What are you abusing New Year's … New Year’s Eve?


If Christmas and Hanukkah are largely for the kids, New Year’s is definitely for the adults. Children get the nine p.m. New York ball drop and the New Year’s parade on TV in the morning. A parent of a teen however, has the burden of requests to go party or a young adult stealthily making plans behind their back. With substance abuse skyrocketing, parents need to ask their teens, “What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?”

Do not enable underage drinking

Teens attempting to be a part of the social scene in school may abuse substances with other peers at parties; ignoring the risk. Parents can intervene and stop their child from getting into these dangerous situations.

Drinking has become the unifying tradition of New Year’s Eve worldwide, regardless of the danger overconsumption possesses. For concerned parents, there are a few basic questions to ask a teen before letting him or her attend a party:

  • Where is the party and how long will it last?
  • How will the teen be getting to and from the party?
  • Who is attending? Will there be any adult supervision?

Any partygoer who is inebriated can utilize a ride and tow service offered by AAA, free for members in specific areas.
For parents who know their teenager has experimented with or is abusing substances, do not let the teenager attend a party in the first place. Hosting the party is always an option to keep vigilance on such a young adult.

Make the resolution together

The New Year can be full of promise and resolve or marked by pain and sorrow for a teenager associated with illicit substances.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, advises parents on bringing their teenagers in for substance abuse treatment. If a family doctor is unable to screen for substance abuse issues, “Ask for a referral to another doctor skilled in these issues,” NIDA recommends. Parents may feel unsure if this is the best choice, but NIDA adds, “Young people will listen to professionals rather than family members, as the latter encounters can sometimes be driven by fear, accusations, and emotions.”

Knowing a teenager abuses substances from alcohol to other drugs and not taking any stance, enables the teenager. Parents can resolve to be a part of the teenager’s treatment and offer support when possible.

Make the resolution together. “Treatment works, and teens can recover from addiction, although it may take time and patience,” NIDA explains. A teenager in treatment is going to need as much help as possible to get back into the groove of a healthy life. Attempting to do so alone is a concoction for disaster.

Parents can still be a strong part of a teenager’s treatment program, even when the teen goes away for treatment. White River Academy is a boarding school for troubled boys from ages 12 to 17, struggling with issues at school and interpersonal problems. The academy provides treatment and care for the boys through disciplined guidance, continues a strong education program and instills character values with service projects promoting positive growth. For more information or to register, feel free to call our 24/7 helpline.

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