It is terrible news for any parent to discover their child has been using drugs. Sometimes the results are too hard to think about; committing crime to feed a habit, breaking the law and being arrested and far worse, dying because of an overdose or some other use of the poisonous substance. But parents with a teen in trouble can at least take heart from the wide range of help services available.
And, in addition, parents can help the situation improve by following certain steps. These are not difficult and do not require training or specialist skills. They need determination and common sense.
First you should never lay any blame. You may want to blame yourself or your partner or you may want to blame your child. Laying blame doesn’t help anyone. The problem won’t be addressed or fixed if people are blaming one another.
Likewise with punishment, studies show it has little if any effect. It’s a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Forget about punishment and concentrate on helping your child and discovering the cause of the problem.
Why is your teen involved with drugs? Experimentation is sometimes a starting point but often there is a serious underlying problem. Get help obviously but also try and discover what caused the problem in the first place.
Drug addiction is a serious mental and physical problem which a loving parent is most unlikely to cure. Professional medical help is required. Your family doctor will be able to help in a number of ways not the least being advising the best specialist help available. There are camps and treatment facilities for young people with drug problems. The programs are specifically designed to help troubled teens stop taking drugs and develop strategies and the self-confidence to live without drugs.
Some of these centers offer 24/7 care and treatment, are expensive and often successful in treating their patients. In short, get the appropriate help for your troubled teen as soon as possible.
Look after number 1 is an excellent piece of advice. As the parent of a teen with a drug problem, your main concern is your child. But don’t neglect your own health. Some parents allow their own health to suffer as they worry about their child. You are much less help if you become sick.
Teens may kick up about certain rules of the household but you must be firm. Giving your teen free rein is not in their nest interests. Make some fair and reasonable rules and stick to them. If you show your child you are serious, they will respect you far more than if you allow them to do as they please.
The facts are simple. Drug addiction is a serious problem and must be treated appropriately as soon as possible. This may well involve professional medical services. But there are a number of things which every parent of any troubled teen can do to help their child. And in so doing the parent will benefit as well.