Helping Your Teen With Their Substance Abuse Problem: Tips For You

Health & Medical Blog

As a parent, you never want your child to find themselves suffering from a substance abuse problem. However, if you do find yourself with a teenage child who is abusing drugs or alcohol, your focus needs to shift to figuring out different ways to help them overcome their substance abuse problem and regain control over their life and well-being. Get to know more about what your role can be (and should not be) in helping your teen with their substance abuse problem and guiding them to getting the treatment and recovery that they need to keep them healthy and sober for the rest of their life.

Punishing Their Bad Behavior Is Not Enough

Many parents of teens who are abusing drugs or alcohol first try the standard punishment or discipline technique. They confront their child about their substance abuse and then discipline them as they would any other behavioral transgression. 

This is not necessarily an effective way to handle substance abuse. While punishment may temporarily seem to curb the behavior because you have taken away their car or grounded them, they will likely resume their substance abuse once their punishment is lifted. Punishing your child could also cause them to act out even more, delving even deeper into drugs and alcohol.

As such, while punishment is a legitimate way to deal with the behaviors related to substance abuse in your teen, it is not a solution to the overall problem. It is important to keep this in mind when you are dealing with your teen.

Have A Professional Help You Perform An Intervention

Interventions are an often popularized step in the substance abuse treatment process. However, while the television and film versions of interventions are often amusing, they may give you an inaccurate idea of what an intervention entails. If you do not approach the intervention process thoughtfully and carefully, you may only upset your child rather than inspire them to make the decision to get help and treatment.

For example, being accusatory or dismissive of your child's feelings, even if it is only a perceived attitude, can put your child on the defensive. You want to say things that are factual rather than just emotional. Talk about the factual effects of the drug or alcohol abuse on your child, their life, and the family, for example.

Having a professional therapist or counselor lead and guide the intervention will help to prevent the defensiveness that could otherwise occur and prevent problems in the process. It is important to have this professional guidance because an intervention can be the catalyst that gets your teen to realize they have a substance abuse problem and to seek out the help and care that they need.

Now that you know a few of the factors to consider when you are attempting to help your teen with their substance abuse treatment, you can get started in the process as soon as possible.


4 February 2016

Making Changes With Vision Therapy

When my daughter began having academic problems in school and acting out, I knew that something wasn’t right. Her teachers wanted me to put her on ADD medications, but I didn’t think that that was the right course for us. I had serious doubts that ADD was what was causing her problems. I took her to several different specialists before discovering that her issues in school were actually do to a visual processing problem. The doctor recommended vision therapy, not medication, to help correct the problem and get her back on track. The exercises are really starting to pay off, and she’s showing great improvement.