Learning that your teenager has an addiction to drugs or alcohol probably feels like a nightmare come true. Adolescent drug abuse is a serious problem in the U.S., affecting millions of teens and their families. Of high school seniors, 39 percent reported drinking alcohol in the past month, and 23 percent reported using marijuana.
Even the most vigilant parents can be blindsided by the discovery that their child has developed an addiction. Getting your teenager the help he needs to recover and finding your own support system are crucial for your child’s successful recovery.
Where to Begin
Finding a high-quality adolescent treatment program for your teen is the best way to help her overcome an addiction. Drug addiction changes the way the brain functions, affecting judgment, behavior and decision making.
Considered a chronic and progressive brain disease, addiction treatment requires intensive therapies that help your child identify and replace self-destructive thoughts, attitudes and behaviors; develop coping skills for dealing with stress, cravings, and triggers; and improve her self-esteem.
Family Support is Crucial
The more love and support your child has from family members and other loved ones, the more engaged he’ll likely be in treatment, and the better the outcome is likely to be. But supporting your child in the right way often requires professional guidance. Addiction affects the whole family and causes dysfunctional relationships and behaviors, including enabling and co-dependent behaviors that can put your child’s successful recovery at risk.
For this reason, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence recommends family therapy to help restore function to the family system, and it stresses the importance of seeking emotional and practical support through individual counseling and a support group. Doing so will help you work through your fear, anger and other negative emotions and provide a wealth of resources to help ensure your family and your addicted child will enjoy long-term successful recovery.
Hope and Resilience: The Foundations of Recovery
Recovery is built on an individual’s talents, strengths, coping skills, inherent values and resources. It’s a holistic process that addresses issues of the mind, body, and spirit, and it’s most effective when it’s supported by loved ones.
As a gradual process of change, recovery usually involves setbacks that can leave you reeling. It’s critical to understand that when you remain hopeful and resilient through these challenges, you’ll help instill those values in your child, and that will go a long way toward keeping her fully engaged in treatment and recovery and focused on long-term goals. Your support group will go a long way toward helping you maintain a positive outlook and will help you successfully and open-mindedly navigate any challenges and setbacks in recovery. Hope and resilience are the foundations of recovery.
Throughout your child’s treatment and recovery, taking care of your own physical and mental health and nurturing your overall sense of well-being will leave you in a better position to support her. Recovery isn’t easy, but in the end, with a high level of family support, it leads to a healthier family system and an overall higher quality of life for everyone involved.
Contact us at 877-466-0620 to learn more about how you can help your teen overcome addiction.