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Is your teen at risk if his or her friends do drugs?

While the decision to use illicit substances is a personal one that can be influenced by many varying factors, some elements may bear more weight than others. For instance, a teen may not view drug abuse as harshly if they have friends or even relatives who use – particularly if they have not witnessed any adverse consequences as of yet.

Recently, two concerned parents in Colorado wrote to a local news outlet, the Windsor Beacon, for advice regarding their son. The best friend of their 16-year-old, according to the source, was recently arrested for possession of illicit substances including marijuana and cocaine, and reportedly admitted to using the drugs frequently and combining them with alcohol.

“Our son denies using any of those drugs. We are worried as these boys are together all the time and go to the same parties […] Should we just take him at his word or pursue this issue further?,” they ask.

Gary Crist, a local social worker, responded to this query on behalf of the news outlet.

“If his friend is selling and using, the odds are very high your son is involved in some way,” writes Crist. He advises the parents to ask their son to take drug test and, if the results indicate that the 16-year-old has used such dangerous substances, they may need to consider looking into youth intervention services.

Though the National Institute on Drug Abuse has documented a decline in overall drug use among high school students in recent years, but parents must still be vigilant about this issue. If you are concerned about your teen’s drug use, contact Intervention Services for guidance.

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