How to Respond to your Teen's Suspected Substance Use


"First, be calm, be calm, be calm. Anger can cloud your ability to communicate with your teen and communication is going to be critical in addressing the problem. So if you are really angry or really emotional, it is not the moment to try to talk about it.  Wait a few minutes or a few hours, if needed, because you need all your wits about you when you address this highly volatile issue with your teen, and starting out calm is the best way to navigate that."

Patty Stetson, CCS, CSAC, is fully credentialed both as a professional interventionist and as a substance abuse counselor and clinical supervisor. Having held significant clinical positions in both inpatient and outpatient facilities, Stetson is very familiar with the benchmarks of quality programs and the intricate details of treatment. She provides interventions and recovery support services across the United States to adolescents, adults, and seniors, and can be contacted for a no-cost consultation by calling 919.757.6397 or visiting her website at:


About Author

Page Cvelich

College/Teen Program Manager

Page Cvelich has brought a wealth of knowledge to the Work/Life Center from prior experience as a high school guidance counselor and parent education coordinator. Page has been responsible for setting up a high school college and career center, designing a career exploration program for teens and serving as a counselor at a backpacking camp in the Rockies. In her role as Teen/College Program Manager, Page enjoys interacting with small groups of parents and teens, as well as consulting one-on-one with parents and referring them to resources so that they are better able to provide the support and encouragement their kids need.

Leave A Reply

Back to Top