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Parents Of Addicted Children: A Guide For Getting Your Child Help for Substance Abuse

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Parents Of Addicted Children: A Guide For Getting Your Child Help for Substance Abuse

Drug Testing, Room Searching, Ignorance, and Confrontation: What is Appropriate For Parents of Addicted Children?

Abusing and experimenting with drugs and alcohol is a common occurrence among teenagers. High school can be an overwhelming experience for many teens. It is during this period of time that most adolescents are first introduced to drugs and alcohol. Teens may use drugs for any number of reasons. Oftentimes, it is a result of peer pressure or a desire to fit in with a certain crowd, but in other instances it may be a onetime thing, such as an experimentation. Despite the form or level of use, it is crucial for parents to be alert and look for signs and symptoms that may indicate their son or daughter is taking drugs. If you suspect that your teenager is using drugs, chances are you’re correct. Parents of addicted children can educate themselves and find support talking to other mom’s and dad’s who have been in similar situations. Chances are you have enabled them at some point, you have gotten angry, the addiction has caused family dysfunction however, as a family you can also heal and support your child during recovery. 

There are several ways to talk to your son or daughter about adolescent addiction. It is important to know what to expect and how to encourage them to get help rather then run away. When a parent confronts their teen about his or her drug use, they will be lied to and given excuses for their behavior. Teens use these lies and excuses as a method for protecting themselves, and parents believe them. Even when physical evidence of drugs or alcohol is found in their possession, the teen will likely claim that it is not theirs and place the blame on someone else. Parents continue to believe these lies and excuses because it is difficult for them to accept that their child is using drugs. What parents do not realize is that the longer this continues, the longer their teen goes untreated. By believing these lies and accepting these excuses, parents are putting their teen at risk, and essentially allowing the abuse to potentially develop into an addiction. It can be hard for a parent to come to terms with the fact that their child is using drugs, but facing the reality and getting teens into treatment is the best possible solution. The earlier issues of abuse and addiction are dealt with, the greater the chances are that the teen will not suffer permanent damage and will have a healthy drug free future. If you suspect your child is lying about using drugs, there are a number of helpful tips you can use to assist you in address the problem.

Trust Your Instincts

Many times teenagers raid medicine cabinets for cough syrup and prescription drugs. If you notice these items disappearing or if you have seen a concerning change in your child’s behavior, do not hesitate to address the situation. No one knows you better than your parents. If you are a parent and your gut is telling you that your teen is using drugs, then it is important for you to trust that feeling. Once a parent sees a number of indication that their child is using, it is important to immediately confront the teen. In order for this to go smoothly, be sure to conduct the conversation in a manner that is open and honest, and listen to everything they have to say. Being hostile or aggressive will make your teen feel as though they are being attack, and therefore will he or she will become defensive. Open and honest communication will provide the most success.

Educate Yourself

If you suspect your teen is using drugs, do thorough research to find out the current drug trends, the most popular drugs among teenagers, and the signs and symptoms related to these drugs. Different drugs cause different symptoms and behaviors, and because of this, doing your research can help you pinpoint the class of drugs your child is using or their particular drug of choice.

 If Your Teen is Lying To You, Do Not Take It Personally 

It is typical for teens who are using drugs or alcohol to get defensive and lie when confronted by their parents. Being lied to by a loved one about something as serious as drug abuse can make a person feel angry, hurt, upset, and even betrayed. It is important for parents to understand that lying is second nature for teenagers, but in order to better avoid this, parents cannot stress enough to their child that lying is wrong and will not be tolerated. If your teenager is lying about using drugs, then a conversation should be held in order to uncover their reasons for lying, figure out what is going on, and discuss the importance of honesty in the future.

Get Your Teenager the Help They Need

Parents of addicted children commonly hide their son or daughters substance abuse from the outside world or ignore it and act as if it isn’t an actual problem. Sometimes parents make the problem worse by acting as a co-dependent. It does not take long for drug abuse to turn into an actual addiction, which is why it is vital parents get their teens the help they need the moment that problems with drug abuse come to light. Talk with your family doctor or your teenager’s school counselor; they can give you advice and guidance and recommend several options for handling this matter. Inpatient and outpatient treatment will be necessary, as well as individual and family therapy. This will benefit both the teen and the parent, and allow the teen to get back on track and have a healthy, sober life for the future.

Rebuild Trust

It can be difficult for parents to trust their child after they have been lied to, but it is important to keep an open line of honest communication. If the teen feels they aren’t being heard or being constantly accused of something, they will be less inclined to open up and be honest. Listen to what your teen has to say, and continue to instill the value of truth in your child. With time, healthy communication and trust between you are your child will be rebuilt.

Allow Your Style of Parenting to Grow and Expand

Some parents want to be their child’s friend, whereas others want to strictly be seen as the parent and an authority figure. Instead of being one or the other, be both. Every teenager goes through several new life experiences and need their parents to guide and direct them when things go wrong. If your teen is having trouble, they will need a friend, and they should be able to turn to you for help. If your teen is misbehaving, it is important to be stern with them. Fluctuate your parenting style to meet your child’s needs. This will improve communication and honesty in the relationship Being the parent of a teen is no easy task, especially if your teenager is using drugs or alcohol. If your child is abusing drugs or alcohol it has probably already started to negatively impact the family. By utilizing the tips listed above, you can help both you are your teen. Teenagers are going to lie, especially when they are using drugs, but it is important to immediately address the situation and get them the help they need. During this process trust will be rebuilt, and your teen’s health will be restored.

Your not alone, recovery coaches are available to assist you with confronting your child about their drug or alcohol use. Whether you need intervention assistance or help finding personalized adolescent addiction treatment options for your families unique case, we can help!

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