We all try to be the best parents possible. We stumble and fall sometimes, but we get back up and learn to not be too hard on ourselves. However, even with the best parenting in the world, sometimes, our teens wind up with the wrong crowd. It begins with an innocent friendship then can turn ugly very quickly, sometimes overnight. Before we know what has happened to our sweet child, he or she has done something from which there is no return. If that accident was the consumption of an addictive drug, it’s definitely time to intervene and help before it’s too late for your teen. When you find out your teen is addicted to any type of drug, you need to learn to be strong right away, even in the face of your shattered heart.
Recognize the Signs of Addiction
You’ll need to start by recognizing the signs of an addiction. Your teen will become even more secretive than before. Moods will change and there may be an increase in sneaking in or out of the house. A lock might appear on the bedroom door out of nowhere, and he or she will begin avoiding you at all costs. Even a teen who is normally reserved around the family will change through drug addiction – he or she may become violent or start fighting with the family more often. Your family might find things missing or money gone.
How to Proceed
The next step is to not panic. Yelling, demanding answers or punishing will push the teen further from you. At this time, you need to try to pull your teen closer to you. You don’t want to cause more strain through overreacting or panicking. You will need to research options to help your teen overcome the trouble he or she has found. Begin by talking to your teen every chance you get about the situation. Expect resistance and denial in the beginning, but stay consistent. Look into treatment centers and talk to your teen about them. The most important thing to remember is that no one can get treatment unless they want it. Forcing your teen into treatment will only cause relapses.
It is heartbreaking to go through this alone, so make sure you have a support group around you. Friends, family and experts in child advocacy can help get you through this time. Many times, you can find experts at the drug treatment centers who will recommend a support group. This issue is a whole family issue and this fact is recognized by all experts involved. Don’t go through the heartache alone – you will be better able to help your teen if you have a substantial support group.
This article was written by Claire Dawson