Nothing makes a parent feel more powerless than seeing their child progressively annihilate itself. Since more than 50 years ago, drug addiction among teenagers and even younger children has been a major problem. Despite numerous initiatives to inform kids about the risks associated with drugs, nearly half of American youth still experiment with drugs at least once before they graduate from high school. More than 600,000 teenagers suffer from alcohol addiction, and Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are the most likely to require treatment for prescription medication addiction.
Make Certain That Your Fears Are Valid.
While many parents dismiss the obvious signs of drug addiction, others worry so much that they start to notice the signs without justification. If you read private journals or question people “just in case,” without a specific cause for concern, your child has every right to be upset. And that could cause the precise thing you fear to happen. Teenagers act erratically when they are in an I’ll-make-them-sorry frame of mind.
First, take care of yourself.
Locate a therapist with whom you may discuss your worries and consider your options. Find a group of parents who are experiencing the same things you are. Be receptive to advice on what you should alter. Not because you have the right to plan your child’s life for them, but rather because of your emotional connection, which means that everything you do has an impact on the other person.
Examine detoxification facilities with a track record of working with teenagers and young adults.
Look for locations that are close by and have solid reputations and references. Verify the coverage provided by your family’s health insurance. Visit the location and speak with the medical staff. Even if you are unable to register your child right away, you will have a better understanding of what to anticipate as well as fresh approaches to dealing with your worries.
You may exercise parental authority if your child is a dependent minor.
This may entail informing them, whether they want to or not, that they must undergo family therapy, drug rehab, or alcohol detox. Use language that highlights your care rather than your authority to help the problem. Because I said so” would only produce animosity and lead your child to perceive you as a power-hungry tyrant rather than someone who genuinely cares about their best interests, which won’t help them accept your assistance. If you treat them with genuine respect, they’ll cooperate more.
Even though they live in your home, if you have a child who is older than 18, keep in mind that you are no longer their legal “boss.”
In fact, putting their needs first may necessitate ejecting them from the home. It’s doubtful that a judge will give you custody of your child unless they have been diagnosed with a severe mental disorder, and it’s even less probable that a doctor would examine them without getting their permission. You’ll need to treat the issue as you would with any other adult; show concern without making demands, maintain open lines of communication, and refrain from providing them with money or lodging if doing so encourages them to continue doing drugs.
The immediate danger of being broke and living on the streets is frequently less than the long-term danger of slowly destroying oneself via addiction, as heartbreaking and terrible as it is to deny them their primary option for a roof overhead. Removing them from the house might be perceived as evidence of their failure to manage situations on their own and could be the push they need to finally decide to seek help.
Be completely prepared to assist your child’s long-term sobriety once they enter detox.
Keep in touch with them frequently while they are hospitalized. Make plans for extended family therapy and encourage participation in support groups. Assist your child in avoiding any situations that could lead them to relapse. This could entail anything from switching their school to removing them from a peer group that abuses drugs to not putting pressure on them to achieve straight As or follow your ideal career.
Above all, make sure they know you care about them and are there for them.
This holds true regardless of how long any of the pre-detox, detox, or post-detox phases last. It also applies to any non-addicted children you may have. A strong feeling of self-confidence is the most effective weapon yet discovered for achieving long-term sobriety or substantial success in any area of life. And almost always, that stems from the knowledge that someone else has your back no matter what.