Whether you learn that your teen is experimenting with drugs or that he is already addicted to them, it is never a happy discovery. Your reaction could play an important part in determining how effective your efforts are to get your teen off drugs. Ensure that you don’t do more harm than good when you approach your child about his drug use.
Drug use is a serious issue with potentially lifelong consequences. Unless you are specifically trained in dealing with juvenile drug use, you likely don’t have the necessary tools to tackle your teen’s issues alone. Instead of trying to keep your kid’s struggle a secret, speak to his doctor about ways in which you can help your teen. With the guidance of this medical professional, you can decrease the likelihood that you make potentially serious missteps when dealing with your teen’s drug use.
Confronting the Problem
The way in which you confront your teen about her drug use is important. Upon learning that you have discovered his secret, your teen is likely to become adversarial. Don’t let the confrontation turn into an argument. Instead, focus upon the fact that you are worried about her. By expressing concern for your teen’s well-being, instead of blaming her for developing a drug habit, you can decrease the likelihood that she sees you as an outsider who doesn’t understand and increase the likelihood that she feels like you are there to help.
If your relationship with your teen is not what it once was, it is likely time to rebuild. One of the best things a parent can do to help her drug-addicted teen is to be there. This means eating dinner with your teen regularly, talking with him about his day and playing an active part in his life. Also, share information about yourself to show him that this relationship building is a two-way street, not just a way for you to gain access to his life.
Focus on the Fix
As you tackle your child’s drug demons, avoid glancing in the rear view mirror and focusing on how she got into drugs in the first place. If you attempt to grill your child on what drove her to drug usage, you will likely alienate her and make her feel unwanted. Instead, dedicate yourself to solving the problem and developing a plan with your teen and her doctor to combat and overcome the drug use. Let the past stay in the past, and move forward into a drug-free future.
If you are successful in getting your teen off drugs, your job still isn’t done. Teens who have used drugs in the past are likely to relapse. Don’t abandon your relationship-building efforts and withdraw from your teen’s life just because his bout with drug use is over. Instead, remain an active participant in his life to ensure that you are immediately aware of any relapse.