KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
October 22, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
National numbers of teen addiction continue to rise but most parents don’t realize how frequently these addictions involve easily accessible prescription drugs. A local author hopes to give parents a “roadmap” on how to navigate so this dark chapter isn’t a part of their teen’s story.
Alarming Teen Addiction Statistics Continue to Rise
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Twenty percent of teens admit to taking prescription drugs without a prescription. This risk continues to grow in young adults, in addition to drug and alcohol addiction. October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and Richard Capriola of Katy has released a book to assist parents with this difficult subject.
“An addiction leaves parents feeling lost,” says Richard Capriola. “I want to give them a road map of what to do when they find their child is addicted to alcohol or drugs.”
Last year, 47% of American high schoolers admitted to using illicit drugs. 58% say they have drunk alcohol, according to American Addictions Centers.
"Parents Should be Aware."
“Kids can start abusing at any age,” says Capriola. “Parents should be aware of any changes they see in their child.”
Capriola has worked as a mental health counselor for 21 years including time at the nationally ranked Menninger Clinic in Houston, where he specialized in teen mental health.
“60-70% of those with substance abuse have a mental health issue as well,” says Capriola. “The two go hand in hand in many cases and you have to treat both.”
In his book, “The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse,” Capriola hopes to give parents a resource on how to help their teen. The book also has an accompanying parent workbook for an additional resource.
Capriola stresses the importance of the comprehensive assessment to look beyond an addiction to find the true cause, which sometimes could be mental health.
“When you drill down deeper you usually find a bigger issue on why they are using,” says Capriola.
“The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse” helps parents with:
Signs to look for that can indicate a child may be abusing drugs.
Steps to take right away once a problem is recognized.
When to seek professional help.
“Parents must be aware and educated,” says Capriola. “I heard too many parents say, ‘I had no idea this was going on’ and I wanted to help.”