If you are a parent or a friend of a parent who has a teen with addiction, you can’t help but be worried too. We’re pretty sure you want to extend help and that’s good because time is ticking. However, you should know that there is always a proper way to approach things. Doing it without being cautious can aggravate the situation. Luckily, you found this post where we could provide a couple of tips on how to deal and help teens with addiction.
Are you overreacting?
Admit it, there are times when we actually magnify issues at home. But if you sense that your teens are getting addicted to drugs or alcohol, you have to observe them twice, even thrice as much. Let’s summarize the manifestations of getting addicted.
- Sudden loss of interest in different activities
- Failing grades
- Skipping school
- Bad grooming habits
- Changes in behavior and attitude
- Changes in eating habits
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Doing petty crimes
- Challenges in managing relationships
Remember, you have to look for sudden or drastic changes. And the only way to do it is to make time for your teens. The sad thing about our society now is that we spend way too much time on our work and we unintentionally forget that we need to sit down with our teens. If you notice the above signs, take action right away!
Helping teens with addiction
Do not allow them to drive on their own. They might lose focus when driving and that can lead to serious accidents. Make sure to accompany them when going to school or to their friends.
Avoid giving too much money. Giving them the resources to buy drugs or alcohol is never a good idea. Just give them enough and try to monitor where their money goes.
Be firm. If they are trying to manipulate you to follow THEIR orders – like not getting treatment – be tough. They obviously need it and if you let them with their ways, it might be too late.
How do you talk to them?
Truth be told, it isn’t easy to talk to a teen with addiction. Most likely they will be defensive. But as an adult, you have to be patient. Do not let their ‘rebellious’ attitude get into you. Remember, they need you now more than ever.
Step 1. Focus on your teens. Turn off your phones. File a leave from work in the meantime. As they always say, family first.
Step 2. Don’t let your emotions get into you and be calm.
Step 3. Practice what you want to say. It will help if you plan first. This is so there is a good flow of conversation.
Step 4. Do not blame them. Try to understand their reasons.
Step 5. Highlight the importance of getting help and give them a clear picture of what might happen if they continue with their deed.
If the conversation gets too intense, don’t force it. Give it a rest but make sure you follow up with your teens. And again, take extra effort to monitor them. Lastly, make sure you talk to an expert on strategies you can use for your teens in order for them to accept help.