The beginning of the school year can be an exciting time of year; parents are rushing to buy the school supplies and get their children ready in time for their first day.
Students are excited about seeing their friends again; it has been months after all. Maybe some had jobs, went to camps, traveled, and visited family and friends. 
Buying the supplies and uniforms for middle and high school is a bit of a reality check, even more so for parents of teens who have drug and alcohol dependencies. For these parents, the beginning of the school year is just another new set of worries.
School is no longer a safe, educational place. Instead, it turns into a place that feeds these addictions.
Their sons or daughters are reunited with that one friend. We all know the “bad influence friend”. She or he is the kid who might have introduced your child to marijuana or who might have given your teen his first drink. Maybe it’s the friend who sells Adderall during break, or even during class.
There is no scientific formula that will determine which teens will experiment with drugs, but there are some situations that are known to push teens towards drugs. A correlation has been made between broken households and drug use. As you can read here, teens find it hard to deal with divorce, especially if they’re in their early teen years.
This stage is already confusing enough; 12 and 13 year old children are going through puberty. Their roles in society and even within their families are changing as they undertake more responsibilities and make the transition from grade school to middle school. Dealing with their parent’s divorce just puts more stress on them, especially because it is something they have no control over.
Parents, please remember to always pay attention to your child, especially if you are recently divorced from your partner. They may still get perfect grades and might not show their pain, but many teens turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with the pain of a parental divorce. You, as the parent, will not notice the changes unless you are able to pay specific attention.
Teens also try drugs and alcohol because of peer pressure. Others are doing it and they feel that they need to fit in. Parents must be there to provide love and support and to be able to answer any questions. Teens need to know that they can rely on their parents for advice and support regardless of the situation. It may be tough sometimes to think of parents as confidantes, but some situations are way too overwhelming for teens to handle alone.
Clear and constant communication with your child will also help you as the parent to determine whether or not they are going through some emotional distress. They may be stressed out or even depressed. Such emotional turmoil may also lead them to find another outlet, like drugs or alcohol. Again, the solution is clear, open communication.
As the school year begins talking with your teenager is vital. Teenagers are learning about their bodies, finding themselves, evolving in society. Your son or daughter may think he or she knows everything, but they always need your steady hand to guide them. Be that support and love they need. Together, we can all work towards a brighter future for every teenager. Also, please know that we are always here for you at Inspirations for Youth and Families. Whenever you or your teen needs someone to talk to, they can always call (888) 757-6237 to speak to one of our trained admissions counselors for free. 
Sincerely,