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Hi, I am a mother of a teenage girl. I am very worried, because I have noticed she has started to act very strange. I think this behavior is a result of some kind of substance abuse. I want to help her, but I am not sure how to deal with this situation. Is it wise for me to talk to her? I fear if I confront her with my suspicion, the situation would only get worse. How should I deal with my teenage daughter's substance abuse?

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Hi, teenage years are a very stressful period for everyone. The kids go through a lot of changes, but the parents are under a great deal of stress too. I can understand you are worried, because my children were teenagers too. Nowadays, the dangers for a child to go astray are much greater, than when my sons were in those years. You didn't say what kind of strange behavior your daughter is expressing. If she is not talking to you as much as she used to, you shouldn't worry too much. During teenage years kids are more comfortable talking to their peers than their parents. But, if she is showing excessive temper outbreaks, her school performance is deteriorating and you have noticed her lost of interest in some of her favorite activities, you have every right to be worried. I remember how hard it is to talk to your teenage kids without them accusing you of meddling with things that do not concern you. However, there is no better way to learn how your daughter is feeling about substance abuse than to talk to her about it. But do not confront her with your suspicions. Try to have a calm conversation about the dangers of any kind of substance abuse. Ask her if she had tried any of them. If you had a quality relationship with your daughter so far, I am sure you will have a good conversation. Also, you should try to find out more about her friends. If nothing of this helps, talk to a health professional about your worries. This is a person who will give you best advice if your daughter needs treatment.
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