No one ever said parenting was easy. There will always be hard times in raising a child down the right path and helping them through the troubles they experience. Some kids may find themselves in the wrong crowd, while others may be adopting unhealthy and problematic behaviors. This, unfortunately, includes the possibility of a child becoming addicted to drugs.
While drug use among high schoolers is the lowest it has ever been in over two decades, having to prepare for a worst-case scenario or even suspect that your child could suffer from an addiction is a dreadful feeling. However, there are a number of ways to help guide a minor out of the dangers of addiction while maintaining a good relationship with your child.
You Alone Cannot “Fix” Them
It is important to realize that family involvement in the recovery and therapy process of treating an addiction is crucial. Whether the addict is a child or an adult, having the support of family and friends is a must. It gives the addict hope and support that letting go of their addiction is possible, even in spite of the mental toils it brings onto them.
However, it is also important to understand that this isn’t the only component needed to reach and pass through recovery, and it cannot be expected as the only way to help someone through an addiction. Your role in your child’s recovery from an addiction is absolutely crucial, but you must also be willing to understand when to pass on the problem to professionals.
Drug and alcohol addictions are psychological diseases that hurt the entire family through guilt, shame, abuse, and mental isolation. To some extent, you may also need to consider therapy for both your child as well as yourself and the rest of the family affected.
Seek Therapy and Treatment for Them
As previously stated, love and family support alone cannot help an individual through a drug or alcohol addiction. After you acknowledge your child’s addiction and give them the support they need from their loved ones, taking the treatment to a professional level is the next major step.
Finding an addiction treatment center or therapy location can be emotionally taxing and stressful on your child. A lot of shame can come from exposing an addiction and talking about it to people they see as total strangers. Staying at their side as a support system in these tense times is vital to helping them become comfortable with their recovery.
At the same time, you nor your child should be willing to settle for whatever counselor or therapist you find. Make sure both you and your child feel comfortable talking and working with the professional in question.
Love Without Enabling Them
Your child may need your love now more than ever when fighting off a drug or alcohol addiction, and as a parent, it is your job to make sure they are aware that they have your love and support. Treat the situation delicately, and make sure your child knows that you do not hate them nor are you disappointed in their situation.
Loving them in such a difficult time does not mean you should let them off the hook, however. Help them understand that you want to actively help them get over their addiction. Do not be a pushover; maintain your support, but do not encourage or ignore their problem, as this can lead to enabling the addiction.
When first approaching their addiction, do not scold or be angry at them. Maintain calm and keep a sense of transparency between you and your child. Be honest about your feelings, but treat them delicately. Let your child know that, despite the situation, they can still trust you.
If you or a loved one deal with a child suffering under a drug or alcohol addiction of any kind, consider looking into your local Family Support program or Treatment & Rehab program in Tennessee. You may also consider looking into Discovery Place’s own programs, such as our Family Matters Workshop or Continuing Care for Recovery From Drug Addiction and Alcoholism in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.