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Support Options

When people think of drug and alcohol treatment they often think of “detox” or “rehab”. Even when a young person needs specialist help or support for their drug and alcohol use, there are many different ways that support can be delivered. The more intense the service for a young person doesn’t always mean better outcomes and in fact sometimes it may be more harmful to provide intensive treatment options for young people who may not need a high level of specialist support. Exploring how harmful or severe substance use is as well as determining other needs in a young person’s life can help identify the best ways to get help.

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Is all cannabis laced with ice now?

Unlike tobacco, alcohol or prescription medication, any drug that is not regulated can in theory, be laced with another substance. In our experience it is highly unlikely for an inexpensive drug (such as cannabis) to be contaminated with a more expensive drug such as Ice (methamphetamine). 

My daughter has told me she is going ‘cold turkey’ what does that mean?

Cold turkey refers to suddenly stopping using a drug (usually heroin, but could be another substance) and deciding to experience withdrawal symptoms for the short term rather than gradually reducing substance use over a longer period of time.

Symptoms will depend on the drug, amounts and length of use. There are risks associated with cold turkey and YoDAA usually advises a gradual reduction instead. You can Call YoDAA for specific advice if she is going through cold turkey right now. 

I found out my 16 year old son used pot last weekend. Has he got a problem I don’t know about?

Many young people try drugs without developing problems so your son doesn’t necessarily have a problem. We suggest reading this info about different patterns of drug use and about when drugs become a problem.

All her friends use but she just won’t disconnect from them. Why?

Humans are social beings. It is so important for us to be with friends and to be social. This is even more crucial for young people. Even if you don’t think a young person’s friends are any good for her, they are still her friends. Many young people find adding non using friends, or discovering new friendship groups rather than just “getting rid of” old ones can be great for well-being.

I would prefer my son to use drugs in our house so I know where he is. Is this the right thing to do?

Parents often have to grapple with so many competing values. For instance, keeping their child safe in the short term by allowing drug use in a safe contained environment versus feeling like they are condoning drug use. Without knowing your exact circumstances it is hard to be definitive re: right and wrong. But trying your best to keep your son safe in the short and long term should always be encouraged. Talk to YoDAA if you want to talk through your specific circumstance.

My son used after being 3 months clean. Why would he throw it all away?

Without knowing the specific circumstances of your son, slip ups like using again and even going back to regular use can be normal parts of a long term change process. Under some circumstances cravings to use can still be strong several months after last using. In addition, after 3 months your son may still be experiencing many high risk situations for the first time since not using. The most important thing is to continue supporting your son.


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