February 26, 2020
If your teenager is abusing alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medications, you are probably in a desperate state of mind. As their parent, you of course want to do everything you can to protect them, but this time, you don’t know how.
You think you’ve tried everything—talking, reasoning, yelling, grounding, and punishing. You’ve monitored their whereabouts, their electronic device, and their social media. You stay up late at night worrying. Maybe you even drive around looking for them.
Nothing’s working, and you don’t know what to do.
And that’s OK…
Addiction is a complicated disease that hijacks your teenager’s brain and takes away their ability to make good decisions that are in their best interest. It is an illness that can’t be reason with, threatened, punished, or convinced. Wishes and willpower won’t work.
In other words, most parents find out that they just they don’t have the expertise or experience needed to solve the problem. They beat themselves up because they don’t know how to help.
But Substance USE disorder is a legitimate medical condition. You shouldn’t blame yourself, any more than if your child had any other chronic illness, such as diabetes or asthma.
Sat these three statements to yourself as often as necessary:
You didn’t. SUD is influenced by many factors, including genetics, environment, peer pressure, mental illness, and personal choices, among others.
You can’t. SUD is a disease of the brain that impairs reasoning, learning, impulse control, and how behaviors are rewarded. At a certain point, substance abuse become a compulsion, rather than a choice.
You can’t. There is no cure for addiction and even people in recovery will always have to take steps to prevent relapses. But the disease can be successfully managed, and with the proper treatment, a teenager in recovery can go on to live a sober, healthy, productive, and happy life.
None of this means that you are supposed to give up and let addiction win. Rather, this is the time to seek expert specialized professional help. With individualized treatment that combines one-on-one behavioral counseling, peer group therapy, education, anti-craving medication, and ongoing support, your child CAN recover.
So the most important thing you can do as a parent is to find that help and let trained and experienced addiction experts guide your child and your family as you travel down a sober path of healing and recovery.
And if you live in Southern California, your best, most-trusted resource is Teensavers Treatment Centers. Located conveniently in Orange County, Teensavers has been helping young people and their families since 1978. If your teenager is in crisis because of an addictive or behavioral disorder, Teensavers can help by using a unique evidence-based approach that addresses their needs as an individual.
To get immediate help, contact Teensavers TODAY.
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