Drug Abuse Among Teenagers and What You as a Parent Can Do About It
As a parent, one of your worst nightmares would be for your teenager to start abusing drugs or alcohol. Everything that you have worked for to ensure that they have a bright future begins to circle the drain right in front of your eyes. You fear that their future is in jeopardy along with their health and overall well-being. Now, it’s up to you to try and fix it.
It is going to lead to a bunch of questions for you. What they are doing, how much, if it is normal for them to be experimenting, if you are overreacting, and what you should do to help them are the top ones. While this is not professional medical advice by any means, it is an excellent guide to follow to try and get your child back from drug abuse.
Don’t Be Too Harsh or Extreme
There is a decent chance that your child is struggling with feeling as though you are always against them. That’s why they turned to drugs in the first place. If you start yelling and causing more fights between the two of you, there’s a good chance that you are just going to push them further away from you. So, even though you get angry, that doesn’t mean that you should kick your child out of the house because they came home high or drunk. There are other ways to react that might be a little bit more effective.
Parents Aren’t To Blame
Even some professionals think that parents are who should be blamed when a child turns to alcohol or drug addiction. There is no scientific evidence or proof of any form that the adults in a child’s life are the direct cause of them using drugs. Instead of blaming the parents and pushing the family apart to avoid a “toxic environment” it has been proven to be more useful to work on a solution with everyone together.
They’re Paying Attention
How many times have you heard a parent say, “You deal with it, they aren’t listening to me.” As a parent, you’ve probably experienced that before yourself. Even at a young age without the influence of alcohol or drugs, you have moments when you think your child isn’t listening to a word you are saying.
While their outward response might say that, they are holding on to every piece of information that you are throwing at them. Instead of giving up on them and trying to send them to a counselor or halfway house, you have to keep working. You never know what it is that they are looking to hear, and you might say the right thing to help them on the road to recovery.
Drug abuse for teenagers can be impossible to deal with for couples. It can cause even the strongest of marriages to dissolve in a very short time. That’s especially true when the pair is working against each other on the drug issue instead of forming a united bond and tackling it head-on. Get together with your partner and make a plan that you both can agree on, and stick to it.
There is no question that at some point you are going to have disagreements. Instead of arguing in front of the teenager about the problem, save it to talk about later when nobody else is around. Something that might seem like a small debate could turn into a full out screaming match in a matter of seconds. That’s not going to help anyone involved in the situation.
Firm Yet Loving
Parents often think that they have to be the strict, mean authority-type person in a child’s life. That, or they have to be the loving one that lets them get away with everything. When there are two parents involved, usually each one takes an opposite role, and that isn’t helpful in a drug abuse situation. You have to be able to show your child that you love them more than anything. You also need to be firm with them on the rules surrounding using drugs and alcohol.
It might seem a little bit difficult at first to find this kind of a balance, but it’s the most important thing that you can do for your kids. They will soon be able to see that you do love them, but you are watching out for their well-being, not trying to be mean. When a kid sees this, he or she might have the motivation that they needed to get into treatment or even outpatient therapy. Witnessing a parent that genuinely does care about them and isn’t yelling at them all the time is a big reason for them to make some positive changes in their lives.
Author Bio –
This guest post is a contribution of Peter Jones in support of Lanna Rehab, a prominent drug rehab center in Thailand. For latest updates on drug, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, meth etc. addiction treatment, do make sure to follow lannarehab.com/blog/.