Coming across signs of drug use in your kid's bedroom can be a heart-wrenching experience. Whether you already suspected or were taken by surprise, having concrete evidence removes all doubt that either your teen or his friends are using drugs. Here are some ideas for the next steps.
Inspect the room completely.
Once you found some evidence, it is important to know exactly what you are dealing with. Check every drawer, under the dresser and bed, mattress, and closet to be sure you have all available evidence.
Research what you found.
Even if you believe you know what the paraphernalia is used for, research it online to be sure. Some things, like pipes, can be used for both Marijuana and Meth.
Plan your sit-down.
As tempting as it is to go into an angry rage, now is not the time. You want your teen to talk to you and hopefully open up. Decide what you will say
and practice it so that by the time you talk to him, you can use a calm encouraging tone of voice and a constructive attitude.
Talk with him alone.
This conversation will be stressful enough for your teen without having siblings or other family members included. For this first conversation, sit down with just him and you.
Related: Teen drugs and alcohol abuse video
Better yet, take him to lunch or dinner so that it is a public place. This greatly decreases the chance of either of your losing control and raising voices.
Tell him what you found and ask him to explain it.
Let him know you want the truth, whatever the truth might be and that you will not punish him if he is honest with you. Listen. If he admits it is his, open a discussion about how long he has been using, why he does it.
Whether he says it is a friend's or his own, offer to get him some help. If he is opposed to rehab and insists it is not a big deal, start with asking him to agree to counseling with someone experienced in substance abuse.
Go on Alert.
If he refuses treatment or insists it was not his, let him know you will be giving him random drug tests and the first time he fails he will be expected to agree to treatment.
Don't be afraid to talk to experts about the situation
. Whether you seek individual counseling for yourself, join Al-Anon or go to a group designed for support, you can find answers to navigate through this scary time as a parent.