Every parent wants their child to grow up healthy, happy, and successful. However, for some parents, these dreams are put on hold when their child develops an addiction problem. A 2021 survey revealed that about 30% of 12th-grade students had abused substances.
If you have a teen that’s dealing with substance abuse, here are some of the best ways you can help them win the battle and put their lives back on track:
Come to terms with the truth
When you learn about or suspect that your teen is struggling with substance abuse, it can cause you to live in a state of denial. However, that can only do more harm than good for all parties involved, especially your kid. To be in a position where you can support them, you must learn to come to terms with the matter and accept it as your new reality.
It’s also difficult to accept such tough situations because it’s an emotional rollercoaster for you. You might wonder if you have directly or indirectly contributed to their substance abuse or feel helpless and don’t know who or where to go for additional support.
However, no matter how challenging, you’ll be better positioned to make changes. You can consider group therapy or counseling to help you process the shock of the news and be in a better position to take your teen out of the dark place they’re in.
Make positive lifestyle changes
You must encourage your teen to adopt and make new lifestyle changes to overcome addiction. That could mean changing their friend groups, encouraging them to take up new hobbies or sports, or even moving to a new location.
As a parent, you must also make some changes. For example, you can create more time to spend with your teen and ensure that you’re updated on what’s going on in their lives. You can also try new activities or help them find a mentor.
Remember to introduce these changes, especially since change can be difficult. Please don’t force them to try new things; instead, give them the room to explore new interests and support them.
The only way you can truly support your child battling addiction is by familiarizing yourself with their issues. Addiction and overcoming it can be isolating, and your teen can feel unwanted if the people around them don’t seem to understand what they’re experiencing. You can set the time to educate yourself on their struggles to better empathize and show them that you understand how they’re feeling.
When doing your research, ensure that you gather information from reputable sources. Fortunately, many such resources are available online and can arm you with several facts to help you better understand your teen.
Supporting a teen who is overcoming addiction is not easy. But when you accept the reality of the situation, encourage them to make healthy changes, and educate yourself on their situation, it puts you in a better position to push them to get help now.