What do you do when your teen has cough syrup addiction?
It will be heartbreaking for any parent that comes to find out their child is addicted to a dangerous substance. While many parents do attempt to steer their children away from illegal narcotics, a relatively high percentage do not realize just how many teens use and develop a cough syrup addiction. For each of these parents, it is vital to know exactly how prevalent cough syrup addiction is, why these addictions take place, and what steps can be taken to help their teens move past their addiction.
Addictions and Teens
An addiction at any age will have a major effect on one’s body, but teens that become addicted to a foreign substance will have even more issues to deal with. During one’s teenage years, an individual will be developing many of their beliefs, their bodies will continue to grow and they will begin forming their own moral compass. When an addiction is taking place during these years, it will always have a lasting impact on one’s life and it must be addressed immediately.
Why Cough Syrup?
Experimenting with cough syrup and other products that contain DMX has become more and more common over the years. This comes down to a number of unique factors beginning with just how easy these products are to acquire. Teens may begin by sneaking cough syrup from the medicine cabinets of family and friends, have people purchase cough syrup for them, or simply be stealing it from the store. Not only is it affordable and easy to acquire, many teens feel as if it safe due to the fact that it can be purchased without a prescription and is not completely illegal. The ease of access to this medication enables teens to more easily develop a cough syrup addiction.
A Cough Syrup Addiction
Just as with any other addiction, cough syrup addiction will quickly begin to show side effects that parents should be able to recognize. Primarily, parents need to be looking for any major changes to their teen’s life such as severe mood swings or altered sleeping habits. When on the DXM (dextromethorphan), the teen will often show many of the same signs as those that are intoxicated from alcohol. This includes slurred speech, impaired judgment, drowsiness, irritability, confusion, double vision, and disorientation.
Where to Start
If parents do suspect that their child has an OTC cough syrup addiction, they need to immediately begin by removing these products from medicine cabinets and keeping all prescription medication and OTC cough medicine out of reach. Parents should also keep an eye out on any liquor around the house, be wary about how their teen spends money, and keep a close watch on their daily habits. The absolute best method to prevent these situations is speaking with the child and educating them early on, but an addiction to any drug will often require outside help.
Finding Professional Assistance
Many parents will find themselves heartbroken and unsure of where to turn. They are often scared for their child and nervous about pushing them further into drugs with a lack of discipline or too much discipline. When this is the case, it is time for parents to seek out professional assistance. An addiction specialist will not only be able to walk parents through this process, they can also reach out to the teens themselves. In some instances, a full-blow cough syrup addiction or addiction to any other drugs can be avoided completely. If not, the specialist can suggest what rehab options will be best suited for the child.
The key thing to remember is that any substance abuse problems a teenager may have must be addressed immediately. Parents should speak with a rehab and addiction specialist today to begin helping their child through these tumultuous situations.