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Effects of Divorce on Teen Drug Use

Talk with your children about divorce and common teen drug use.

Talk with your children about divorce and common teen drug use.

Statistics show that more than 40% of all children will at some point experience a divorce in their family. Many of these will suffer through more than one divorce in their lifetime. But how does divorce affect teens and what type of impact does an adult marital relationship have on the children? A recent study on adolescent health shows that teens who experience a divorce of their parents are 4 times more likely to use drugs than teens who come from a family with both parents together.

So what is a family to do if the parents just can’t seem to work things out? A study funded by the scientists of the National Institute on Mental Health found that children of divorced families who were involved in a family program were up to 50% less likely than those not involved in a special family program to suffer from depression, promiscuity and drug use.

Family Programs at Drug Rehab Centers

Some of the most effective drug rehab for teens includes family programs that can help them learn how to cope with the emotions that they are feeling as a result of family break up or other problems at home or school. Many drug rehab centers offer family programs that can both help the parents to learn what signs to look out for when they have a teenage child that is using drugs, and also how they can better communicate with their teens for a happier family life.

The following characteristics of a drug rehab program for families can greatly reduce the impact of divorce on teens and help to prevent future drug abuse:

  • Programs should work on improving communication skills between parents and teens
  • Where there is destruction there is trouble – teen drug rehab programs should focus on resolving any destructive alliances between families
  • For parents, family rehab programs should focus on teaching them how to develop effective parenting skills that work together and not against each other

Divorce can be detrimental to a teen and left untreated, the negative effects of divorce can have serious complications including drug use and various mental complications such as depression or anxiety. Studies show that such impact when left untreated can also linger well into adulthood and this can result in as much as double the likelihood of mental health problems and poor educational attainment as well as family well being for adults versus those who do not come from divorced families.

Preventing Teen Addiction in a Divorced Family

Drug rehab centers are not the only answer to the prevention of teen drug addiction in a divorce ridden family. Teen addiction prevention can begin before the divorce for many families and for those who are already divorced, it’s never too late to start thinking about ways to help prevent your teen from abusing drugs. Teen addiction prevention includes recognizing and taking action against the following:

  • For troubled parents and families, consult with a licensed marriage counselor or family therapist. Seek the help of a psychologist or a certified teen psychotherapist
  • If you are not divorced yet, plan on a way for both parents to let the children know of the impending decision. Talk with a marriage counselor or a children’s therapist in order to find out how you can best let the children know of the problem and your decision with the least amount of mental trauma.
  • Make sure that the adults make the decision as to where the children will live, who will provide for them financially and other living arrangement decisions. Do not force the children to choose between the the two parents. Children and teens should be worried about their attendance at school and various developmental issues that they have and should not be left to worry about a divorce or who will care for them as a result.
  • Children will grieve as a result of the divorce. Acknowledge this grief and seek help for them at this important time.
  • Never ever ask your children to choose between you and your spouse or ex-spouse. This goes for all situations – fights, arguments, school choices, living arrangements, etc. Children love both parents unconditionally and this should not be taken away from them as a result of your divorce.
  • Don’t discuss adult problems with your children, do not criticize the other parent in front of the children and do not let children know that you are angry with the other parent. These issues should be discussed with other adults and not with your children.

When All Else Fails, Teen Drug Rehab Can Help

If you have tried everything, and you find that your teen is using drugs, the best thing you can do for them is seek immediate help of a teen drug rehab center. Teen drug rehab centers have counselors who are specially trained to work with adolescents and their unique problems regarding school, home, drugs, addiction and developmental issues. Even good parents suffer the consequence of their teen becoming addicted to drugs, but good parents recognize the need to seek immediate help for teen at a drug rehab center when this happens.

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