My Child Is Addicted To Drugs
When a child is affected by a substance abuse disorder, parents and guardians often blame themselves and feel powerless to help. Rather, teen drug abuse begins as rebellion or as a coping mechanism, the development of addiction is no one’s fault: it is a disease with a variety of potential triggers. Understanding that it is not your fault, but there are ways to help is instrumental in helping guide your teen toward a brighter future.
What Parents Should Know About Teen Substance Abuse Disorders
Breaking through the stigmas and assumed truths surrounding substance abuse and addiction is difficult enough; dealing with it as a parent of a teen or young adult adds additional obstacles to overcome.
Concern can quickly morph into frustration and misplaced anger because addiction has no simple solution. When a teen is on the path of recovery, the entire family must walk that path, too. Start by recognizing these realities of addiction recovery:
- Blame the disease, not the child.
The effects of addiction can be seen in multiple areas of your child’s life. From physical changes, to behavioral problems and changing habits and social circles, the signs are there but can easily be misconstrued as teen rebellion. Looking beyond that to recognize that these changes are brought on by a disease makes it easier to truly address and rectify the issue.
- Recovery Begins with Communication.
Pretending the problem doesn’t exist only allows it to fester and further impact your teen’s life and future. This is also true for enabling behaviors such as ignoring missing medication, dismissing hangover symptoms, or making excuses for your child’s behavior. Instead, teen addiction needs to be addressed head on in a compassionate, understanding manner. You may not have experience with addiction, but letting your teen know you care and you want to help mends the bridge of communication and opens the door to recovery.
They Need Your Help and Support.
While enabling your child is detrimental to the recovery process, abandonment is even more so. Teen recovery relies on structure and support on all fronts from you and other family members and loved ones. Your teen needs you to keep them accountable, set boundaries, and enforce consequences when necessary. As their primary source of guidance and protection, parental involvement is paramount to long-term success in recovery.