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Drug and alcohol abuse has become a reality for many young adults and family members are wondering what they can to do to end the addiction.

In Canada, more than 60% of illicit drug users are between the ages of 15 and 24. On the streets, possession of hard drugs has increased by 89% over the last ten years.

Andy Bhatti, professional Canadian interventionist, says these numbers are both alarming and very real.

“We’re seeing an increasing number of young people addicted to drugs and alcohol. That’s why I offer early intervention services for young people.”

As a parent who is looking to fight a child’s addiction, here are some frequently asked questions answered regarding youth addiction.

youth doing drugs

How do you know if your child has a substance use disorder?

Addiction can happen at any age, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it primarily happens when the person is young.

Parents may overlook signs of depression, hostility and acting withdrawn as a normal part of puberty. While they can be normal signs of youth, they are also signs of addiction. Other signs a parent should take into consideration are:

  • A change in friends group
  • Carelessness with personal hygiene
  • Missing classes and skipping school
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Loss of interest in favourite activities
  • Trouble in school and with the law
  • Change in eating and sleeping habits
  • Distancing themselves from friends and family

What is my child addicted to?

According to the Canadian Centre for Addictions, popular illicit drugs in the country include marijuana, ketamine, LSD, Cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and alcohol.

Andy has found that youth are becoming addicted to anxiety medication and “study drugs”, which refers to prescription drugs to increase concentration and stamina during the week. Prescription stimulants include Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta and Focalin.

On the weekends, Andy says youth are doing cocaine, ecstasy and smoking weed.

The easiest way to find out is to ask your child. If they’re struggling to tell you, wait it out and then ask them again.

You want to help your child. Where do you start?

Asking for help from a professional is the first step.

Andy Bhatti Intervention and Addiction Services offers interventions in Canada including Vancouver, British Columbia and Calgary, Alberta. Andy and his team also offer professional counseling with families and individuals to help conquer their battle with addiction.

It takes a lot of courage to seek help for a child with a drug addiction, however, treatment does work. Your child has the ability to recover and by you taking the first step in asking for help, your family is well on the way to recovery.

What if your child isn’t cooperating?

Speaking to professionals, like Andy will give you a better idea of how to breach the conversation with you child.

“I can guide you through the steps necessary to find recovery and restore a happy healthiness to your family. We can make the “long-term” difference in Recovery,” Andy explains.

To set up a conversation with Andy to speak about your family’s options, call 1-888-960-3209.

How do you keep things stable in your home until treatment?

You’re going to want to talk to your teen. Speak to your child and acknowledge their opinions but know that many people with substance abuse problems are afraid and might not always tell the truth.

Be open with your family about what’s happening and work together to create a positive home life.

Are you setting boundaries?

While you’re trying to keep a stable home, Andy says it’s important to create boundaries for your child.

If they’re living under your roof, set times that they have to be inside, don’t allow any drugs or alcohol inside and limit car use/driving in case they’re still using drugs and alcohol.

Remember that you need to set boundaries for yourself also.

Don’t partake in drugs or alcohol in front of them, don’t bring alcohol or drugs into the house yourself and don’t enable your child. You may be thinking you’re helping or the money you give them will go to something that isn’t related to their addiction, but you could be wrong.

Where can you find more information on drug abuse and recovery options?

Your child and the addiction are two separate entities. You’re allowed to differentiate between loving your child and hating their addiction. With the help of professionals, your child’s addiction can be won.

Andy says it’s important for young adults to fight their addiction and go through an intervention as soon as possible because their futures are still bright.

“An early intervention will allow your child to continue the rest of their lives without being addicted to any drugs or alcohol. With my help, they will be set up to live a healthy, happy, sober life.”

If you would like to learn more about treatment options and what Andy Bhatti can do, click here. You can also call 1-888-960-3209 to set up an appointment or speak to Andy, himself.