When teens turn to drugs, counseling can be a way to help them call the habit quits. If your teen suffers from a drug addiction, trying to deal with this difficulty by simply taking away his drug supply or forbidding him from using drugs will likely not be effective. To truly help your teen overcome his addiction, you must deal with the underlying causes of his addiction and help him come to terms with the issue that led him to drugs in the first place.
Importance of Early Detection
When combating drug problems, early detection is key. The sooner you identify your child as suffering from a drug addiction and provide him with access to counseling, the more likely your efforts are to prove fruitful, reports TheAntiDrug.com. The longer your teen struggles with his drug addiction, the more deeply seated and hard to overcome the addiction itself will ultimately become. To ensure that you identify and tend to addiction early, carefully monitor your teen and don’t ignore any suspicions of drug use you may have.
Avoiding the Blame Game
As you begin the process of getting your child into drug counseling, it can be tempting to blame the teen for his drug addiction. While this response is natural, it is not productive. Whenever possible, avoid blaming your teen for the problems that he is experiencing. For example, don’t say things like, “Why did you have to start doing drugs anyways?” Statements of this nature lead to the development of an adversarial relationship between you and your struggling teen.
Effectiveness of Family Treatment
As Slate Magazine reports, teens are often most successful when they don’t go it alone in drug counseling. By engaging in family therapy to deal with a drug issue, you can ensure that your teen doesn’t feel like he is fighting this battle solo. Also, drug problems are often the result of some unsolved emotional problem in the child’s life. By engaging in counseling and working through this issue with your kid, you can make it easier for him to kick the habit.
One-on-One Treatment Options
If your teen seems hesitant to open up with you about his drug issues or your relationship has already been damaged due to previous attempts to get him off drugs, engaging your teen in one-on-one treatment may be the best option. To find a mental health practitioner who specializes in teen drug counseling, speak with your child’s primary care physician and seek a referral. See to it that your teen attends these sessions faithfully, as he may be hesitant to do so; if he doesn’t, he won’t reap the benefits that the counseling offers.
If your teen’s drug addiction is severe, or your previous attempts to help him have been met with massive failure, inpatient drug counseling may be your wisest option. While not as prevalent as programs intended for adults, some inpatient programs across the country accept teen patients. These rigorous programs ensure that your teen is monitored around the clock and may be helpful in modifying the behavior of teens who are extremely resistant to change. While potentially quite effective, these programs also often carry a large price tag, so if you opt to go this route, be prepared to spend the cash.