Discovering that your child has a substance addiction is heartbreaking. No two ways about it. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, or even a pornography addiction, addiction is a powerful influence that deeply affects the personality and the psyche of the victim.
Whether you discovered your child’s problem through finding drugs or by noticing radical changes in their behavior and physicality, you know it’s time to intervene. But how do you go about doing that? According to the experts at the leading Montecito teen rehab center for addiction, the following can make a world of difference in helping your child in the fight against substance abuse:
Step 1: Calm and Patient
This is an emotional time. It’s easy to fall into the trap of self-blame. Asking yourself where you went wrong as a parent is natural, but living in the past does not help your child here and now.
Whether you feel angry or sad, you need to respond to your child in a calm and patient manner. When you speak with your child, there needs to be no air of blame or condemnation towards yourself or to them. Remember, they are a victim of something stronger than themselves. Just as toddlers do not know how to completely self regulate their emotions, your teenager is still in the process of brain development and does not know how to get out of the hole they have dug themselves into.
Step 2: Awareness
If your teen is aware that they have a problem, taking them to teen rehab options and therapy will be much easier.
As with any bad habit, the first step to overcoming is recognizing it’s detrimental. You can force your teenager into therapy, but it’s unlikely they will be cooperative. They need to agree to get better.
If your teenager is non-compliant, this is where emotional and mental toughness comes into play. Begin by discussing your concern. Let your teenager see the love you have for them here. You don’t have to be strong constantly. In fact, sometimes emotion is exactly what your child needs. However, do not lash out in anger.
Step 3: Getting to the Root
Getting to the root of substance abuse is crucial. Did it come about from peer pressure? Did it come about from sexual abuse? Did it come about from negligence? Do you not play the blame game here, but listen to the pain that your child is expressing in their angry outbursts. If they keep saying that you do not understand, do not say that you understand. Rather encourage them to help you understand.
The best way to get to the root of the problem is to engage your child in professional therapy. If they are resistant to the idea of a therapist, surrounding them with friends and family who love them and want to see them get better is a good start. They may confess their reason for abusing the substance to a close friend. This may bring them to a point of awareness so that they will want to take treatment themselves.
Step 4: Rehab
Rehabilitation centers, hospitals, rehabilitation homes, and therapy are all options for helping your teenager recover.
Recognize that the process of detoxification is painful. Sometimes medicines are administered in order to reduce the pain and help your teenager re-balance. Oftentimes rehabilitation centers will use diet programs, detoxification and therapy in tandem to help your child reclaim their life.
Ultimately, as a parent, you need to be your child’s biggest support system. Be sympathetic. Hear what they have to say. Recognize that whether or not you can find fault in yourself as a parent, your teenager made the decision themselves and it is now your job to help them recover as best as they can.