Like most parents, you only want the best for your children. You want them to be successful and happy. So it can be very disheartening for a parent to learn that their teen has an alcohol or substance abuse problem.
Recent economic and technological advancements have unfortunately made it easier for teens to access drugs. There are new versions of Opioids getting sold on the internet that do not require buyers to provide an id. Research has shown that ease of access is a significant predictor of future substance abuse, especially in teenagers.
Reports indicate that up to 30% of high school seniors had consumed alcohol in the past month. Access to drugs and alcohol can have a significant impact on your teen’s future. It can affect their performance in school, damage the brain, and cause a lifelong addiction problem.
Experts say that parents need to ensure that they get treatment for their children as soon as possible. They need to close the gap between the time they detect the problem and take them to a luxury drug and alcohol rehab for treatment. Here are a few steps to take if you suspect your loved one has an alcohol or drug problem.
Parents usually understand their children well enough to detect when there is a problem. However, they often decide to wait or simply dismiss their gut feelings. Even seemingly minor changes in behavior like being withdrawn can be a sign that something is not right. Some of the common signs of substance abuse are.
Signs of addiction:
- A significant drop in academic performance
- Loss of interest in activities they were previously interested in
- Missing classes and skipping school
- Isolation and deterioration of relationships with friends and family
- Sudden changes in behavior such as anger outbursts
- Changes in Eating and sleeping patterns
If you see any of these signs and suspect that your loved one is using drugs, don’t confront them yet. It is best to collect the evidence to avoid counter accusation when you finally confront them. Even though it may seem nosy to look for these signs, remember it is for their well-being.
When you finally confront your loved one, you expect anger especially on that first occasion. It is likely that your teen will try to avoid the conversation altogether. You may also be called a hypocrite and they may point out that you used alcohol, tobacco or drugs when you were younger.
However, do not be tempted to respond in anger. This will only escalate the issue and is unlikely to lead to any meaningful resolution. So avoid getting dragged into a shouting match. If the conversation gets too heated you can raise it later.
You can set rules to discourage the use of alcohol and drugs. It is important that you make it clear from the onset what the consequences of disregarding the rules will be. Avoid setting rules with consequences you cannot affect.
If a teenager’s life has been taken over by addiction, the good news is that there are treatment protocols that can help them reclaim their lives. One of the most effective treatment options is family therapy. It is one of the evidence-based strategies that have proven to be particularly effective with teenagers struggling with addiction.
Family therapy encourages the family to come together and discuss the addiction problem. These sessions are overseen by a qualified professional working at a rehabilitation facility. It provides an environment for the family to tackle their problems in a more constructive manner.
Professionals at luxury drug and alcohol rehabs will also educate the family on the triggers and enablers that are contributing to the problem. During these sessions, the family can discuss issues such as finances and past mistakes. This allows for a fresh start once the rehabilitation and recovery process is complete.
Other evidence-based interventions that are beneficial for teens are: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Seeks to break the negative chains of thought. It is effective for anxiety and depression; two common factors that often increase the risk of substance abuse.
Dual Diagnosis: Your child could have an underlying mental health issue such as bipolar syndrome. Mental health problems can trigger a substance abuse problem as they seek to medicate. It, therefore, needs to be addressed if the substance abuse treatment is to be effective.
Alternative Therapies: Luxury drug and alcohol rehabs are increasingly incorporating alternative therapies such as meditation, art therapy, and adventure therapy. Alternatives such as adventure therapy are suitable for teens who may not be suited by a conventional program.
Substance abuse and alcoholism are complex problems. As a parent, it is best to be firm but avoid being too judgmental as that could push them deeper into substance abuse. Most importantly it is an illness that ought to be addressed by professionals and programs that are based on scientific research.