Guest post contributed by Emma Sturgis
When a teenager develops an addiction at a young age, it can permanently damage their body and mind in a very short period of time. That is why it is so important for parents to do everything in their power to help their child quickly and safely overcome their substance abuse problems. Teenagers who are supported by their family members have a much better chance of permanently breaking their addictions without relapsing.
Research Their Disease
Many people find it difficult to support addicts because they know very little about how these diseases work. We now know that addictions physically alter an individual’s neural pathways, and that changes how they think and perceive the world around them. Those who know more about addictions will be in a better position to support loved ones who are going through the recovery process. You will also learn that addictions can affect people of all ages, and it is not necessarily a result of your parenting.
Start Communicating Immediately
How you broach the subject of substance abuse can have a major impact on your child’s recovery. Instead of blaming them or becoming angry, you must first make it clear that you love them and are ready to support them no matter what. While it might seem easy to scream and punish your child, that will most likely only make the situation worse. Many people fall deeper into their addictions when they feel as if they are no longer supported and loved by their family and friends.
Find a Youth Recovery Program
There are many different types of recovery programs, like those at Brightside Clinic, to choose from, but you should try to find an organization that specializes in youth rehabilitation. Adolescents who are addicted to drugs or alcohol generally require much different treatments and services than adults who are struggling with those same issues. Many of the programs that are designed specifically for teenagers also address the challenges that family members are dealing with. The final goal is to give your teenager the tools that are needed to permanently let go of unhealthy behaviors.
If you believe that your child might be struggling with a severe addiction, then you should immediately speak with a specialist. Trying to overcome these issues without professional help could put your child’s life in danger during the withdrawal stages. While this process will never be easy, your child has the ability to beat their addiction as long as they have the proper support.