Knowing that your child is abusing alcohol or other substance is painful. As a parent, you will feel hopeless when you see them letting the substance control their life and ruining their future. Even though it is quite natural for you to feel angry, sad, and guilty, do not let these negative emotions take control of you. Do not take hasty decisions or say something which will ruin your relationship with your child and destroy your family.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, in America, there are more than 20 million people with substance abuse disorders and more than 16.5 million people who are abusing alcohol. Studies show that 9 out of 10 people who are struggling with addiction, first started consuming alcohol or abusing a substance in their teenage years. Unfortunately, more than half of American teens have started to consume substances by the time they reach the age of 15 years.
So, if your child is one of these teens, do not lose hope. There are still ways to help your teen from addiction. You can look into this guide to get effective tips if you are confused and not sure how to handle the situation.
Gain their trust
Someone who is addicted will always try to get the alcohol or substance in any way possible. This is one common element of addiction. But if you get angry or pour your frustration, they won’t trust you and your relationship with your teen will be ruined.
A way to gain their trust and strengthen your relationship is through open communication. Having good communication with your teen will help you spot their behavioral changes early. Try to make them understand that you are not judging them and instead are trying to help them. Try to display your acceptance and do not vent your frustration.
Set clear guidelines regarding expectations
To gain their trust and build your relationship it is important to show acceptance. But as a parent, you have the right to establish guidelines regarding their expected behaviors. Try to set these guidelines with the knowledge and in collaboration with your child. Make a list of cause and effect statements. Since your teen knows the consequence, they will be able to handle their emotions when you react.
Talk to them and learn why they use drugs and alcohol
Try to talk to them and understand why your teen started consuming alcohol or drugs. Only when you know why they started using, you can take the necessary precautions. There can be a variety of reasons for abusing drugs or alcohol. They may be using it due to peer pressure or to fit in a group. Many teens start to use these as a coping mechanism to deal with loneliness and stress. Understand that teens do not consider the consequences of their actions and may have started using them without realizing their dangers.
Talk to them about the risk factors of consuming alcohol or drugs. And make them understand why staying sober is important and show them your support.
Educate yourself about the substance, its symptoms, and more
As a parent, if you want to help your child in this situation, you need to be well informed on addictions, their symptoms, treatment options, and more. Only when you know all these things, you will be able to understand what your child is going through which is important to assist them.
By studying the signs and symptoms, you will be able to understand the period of use, understand their emotions and their struggles, know the consequences, and also reduce the chances of manipulation. You also need to research the vast topic of addiction. This will help you to realize that it is not a moral failing, which will help you to become compassionate and behave without any judgment towards your child.
Educating yourself will help in the de-stigmatization of your child’s addiction, which will help you behave rationally and will boost the confidence of your teen.
As a parent, if you are sure that you won’t be able to handle the situation alone, then get help immediately. Take your child to a reliable addiction treatment center like TruPath whose rehab and detox programs will help them recover effectively and achieve long-term sobriety. The 30 day rehab along with comprehensive care, holistic intervention, medical detox programs, inpatient and outpatient treatments, and medically sanctioned therapies will enhance the overall wellbeing of your child. The highly trained clinicians and therapists will empower your child and provide aftercare, which will ensure a smooth transition.
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make during this situation is not taking care of themselves. As parents, your child’s treatment will indeed be your priority, but do not neglect your needs. During these times, it is normal for the parents to be emotionally vulnerable and may be going through stress. The situation will be worse if you are not giving importance to your needs. This will lead to various physical and mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, low immune systems, obesity, diabetes, and more. Understand that to help your children, you should be healthy and be in your right mind. So care for yourself and avoid experiencing unwanted stress or other health issues.
So, if your teen is struggling with addiction, do not let your emotions cloud your rationality. Seek professional help and help your child recover and lead a life of lasting sobriety.