This week we’re going to look at five steps to take if you discover that a teen you know and love is abusing drugs or alcohol. The first step is to take a deep breath. Don’t panic. Losing your cool, composure, or head will only make the situation worse. In addition, avoid the temptation to feel guilty. Your first priority is to eliminate the influence of substance abuse on your child. Wallowing around in guilt, shame and self-pity can paralyze you and keep you from taking the necessary steps. Remember, your kids have the freedom to make their own choices. For whatever reason, they have made the choice to abuse drugs and/or alcohol. And as you take a deep breath, love your child. Now, more than ever, he needs to know that you’re going to stand by and love him unconditionally – in spite of his bad choices. The best thing we can do when we discover this kind of problem, is to love them.