If you have a teenage son or daughter who is addicted to drugs, no doubt you are full of emotions, desperately hoping that they can get better and live a life free from addiction.
Firstly, you need to realise that it is just as important that you look after yourself as you try and help your child. Naturally, as a parent you will probably be feeling very stressed, as well as other emotions such as fear, anger and sadness. The key is not to try everything by yourself; it is ok to ask for help and accept any help that you are offered. There are often support groups locally for parents in exactly the same position as you are.
Being strong and knowing what to expect will also help you be able to get your child into a rehab program. But how exactly can this be achieved?
Below are some tips that you should consider before you approach the subject.
I Don’t need to go to rehab
Most teenagers will feel that they don’t need to go to rehab. They may think that they are not an addict or are just experimenting and can stop at any time, however, this is usually not the case. Your job as a parent is to help them see the benefits they will get from rehab.
Explain to your child that they will need help with physical, psychological and social aspects of their addiction, all of what will be covered at a rehabilitation facility.
Speak about the fact that addictions can be unique to individuals and that some are genetically wired to be more addicted than others.
The important thing for them to understand is that addicts need professional help with their addiction and they won’t be able to beat it by themselves.
Please don’t make me go – rehab is scary
The first thing that comes to mind when rehab is mentioned to your teenage child is that it compares to some sort of prison. They will also be worried about leaving their friends behind and having to spend their time alone without any loved ones.
If your child expresses these negative views you need to be patient with them and help them understand more about rehab facilities. Most facilities have brochures or websites that you can sit down with your child and look through together.
Reassure them that you are on the path of recovery with them and that you will work your hardest to support them. It is important that your child feels as though they have made the decision to enter rehab as feeling forced to go will likely result in a less than positive outcome.
Your concern is an act of love.
Remember that teenagers can be intense at the best of times. It can be hard to come across as caring when your child is showing anger, bewilderment, sadness and tears. However, you need to remember that your child will be looking for stability in the storm and you need to be able to offer it. Always be prospered and remain calm in your discussions. Tell them that you love them and that you just want to see them get better.
Remember you are the parent
Teenagers and young adults most often benefit more from treatment when they decide to go on their own free will. Whilst in some places in the world, a person under the age of 17 can be forced into rehab, it is always better if they are willing to go.
It is likely going to be very frightening for them at first, so you need to be supportive every step of the way, including when they return from rehab.
Most rehabs will let you see the facilities first before making a decision so it can be a good idea for you to attend some facilities with your child and see which one they like the most.
Your child will benefit the most from early intervention in their addiction problem. Often times a parent will believe their child when they say they are just experimenting or they promise you they have quit already. Research shows that this is very rarely the case!