July 2019 - Substance abuse by teenagers takes a huge toll on the rest of the family. As a parent, addressing your child's drug addiction might be one of the hardest tests you will ever take.
There are many types of addiction but paying attention to your child will aid in early detection and treatment. Here are some few tips to helping your teenage child fight their addictions.
Educate yourself on the signs of drug addiction
You may be suspecting your child of substance abuse. Don't jump into conclusions. Make sure you take note of any changes in their behaviour, general health or appearance. Look for any bits and pieces of alcohol and drugs in and around their bedroom, laundry and school stuff.
Most teens are quite excellent at hiding such sinister behaviour. It's up to you as a parent to be stern in your inspections.
Approaching your child
There may be a serious underlying issue behind your child's addiction. How you approach them on the matter may affect their recovery.
Remain calm and don't be afraid to address the issue. Good communication between you and your child is helpful. Avoid being too aggressive or using an accusatory tone in your conversations.
Talk to them
Teenagers with substance abuse habits are delicate and impulsive. Try to have a healthy conversation. Do not assume that you understand everything they are going through. Instead, focus on trying to help them open up about the topic.
Listen and ask questions about their social life, friends and school. This might give you an insight into any triggers causing their substance abuse.
Reach out for help
Drug addiction needs a strong support system. Situations such as these can be overwhelming, so seek help. Talk to their teachers and school counsellors. An intervention specialist will give you a professional opinion.
You may also talk to your child’s friends. All these people will help you figure out the best decision to take.
Contact a professional as soon as you notice any signs of drug abuse in your teen. A professional will help you choose the best treatment plan for your child. You can also start by enrolling your child in a teen treatment program.
End any enabling behaviour
Loving your child and wanting to protect them can sometimes facilitate enabling. Enabling is when a parent is in denial of their child's circumstances. The behaviour is accepted while you protect them from the arising burdens of their behaviour.
Try not to lie to others about your child's addiction. Don't ignore any signs of substance abuse no matter how small. Finally, learn how to express your emotions and don't resent your child.
Set clear rules and consequences
As a parent of a drug addict, you need to be clear on what won't be tolerated any longer. Be clear on how they are expected to behave and cut off any bad influence in their lives.
You may also need to jot down some few consequences if any rule or obligation is broken.
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