Addiction is a family affair, involving multiple people who are impacted in different ways by the person with addiction’s behavior. Young people, especially, are vulnerable to the ravages of addiction and, yet, parents and caretakers can take responsibility for some of the drug use which occurs in a home. Learn about teen drug use and ways to take ownership for it when an addicted teen lives at home.
The role of a parent in the midst of a child’s addiction can feel very uncomfortable. Parental responsibility to protect children continues as the child grows and help is needed to steer the child towards appropriate decisions and away from devastating choices. Many parents think the signs of abuse of drugs or alcohol are obvious which is not always the case. The warning signs of a child in crisis may be happening under parents’ noses without even any obvious hints something is awry.
As children enter the teen years, experimentation is expected with drugs and alcohol as part of the maturation process. Parents who have strong lines of communication open with realistic rules and expectations can often survive the process with positive results but this is not always the case. Some of the ways to support an adolescent in this phase may include:
- Keeping communication open and supportive
- Teach ways to say ‘no’ to drugs or alcohol in social situations
- Role play different experiences teen may have and what to do if it happens
Drug Addiction Problem
Adolescent drug addiction can creep up on a family before anyone recognizes what has happened. It may start with catching a child with alcohol in the home or smoking pot with friends. Some parents may be tempted to blow the event off as a one off situation but this can be harmful in the long run. In this case, it can be helpful to do the following to get to the bottom of the situation:
- Confront the teen with information about drug or alcohol use
- Keep an open mind
- Try not to be defensive
- Don’t accept excuses for behavior
- Have an open, honest discussion about repercussions of use in the home
Drug and alcohol use can quickly spiral out of control for teens. Small signs may not be obvious but can be indicative of a bigger problem leading to addiction. Self blame is not helpful, rather it is better to work towards finding a solution to help the teen in distress.
Suspecting a problem with teen drug or alcohol use is the first step towards seeking help. Acting on the small voice that says a problem may exist can help save a teen lifelong stress and problems with addiction down the road. Teens need guidance and it is incumbent upon parents to provide the path to support the teens in moving towards healthy habits and getting help for addiction before it is too late.
Hired Power supports families with teens addicted to drugs and alcohol. Earlier is better when it comes to potential treatment options but it is never too late to get started. The path to recovery is long, but we can help guide you every step of the way. Call us to get started.