When most parents discover their teenager is using drugs, they panic and often exacerbate the situation. In the first section of this blog post, I’m going to outline some preliminary steps for what to do if your teenager is using drugs. If you believe your son or daughter is addicted to drugs, I’ll briefly outline my 3-step blueprint for fostering an addiction-free kid in section II.
What to do if Your Teenager is Using Drugs
Don’t Fight the Effect
When a parent discovers their son or daughter is on drugs, most of them panic and they fight the effect. Without question, this is a very painful and difficult revelation to make, and that reaction is understandable. But, if you want to help your teenager get off drugs, then you should try to maintain composure and focus on the cause. If your child has become dependent, regardless of the degree, policing you son or daughter’s behavior will only exacerbate the situation and increase substance abuse. To help you re-focus your efforts, l want to explain why your son or daughter is abusing drugs. Contrary to mainstream recovery, I do not believe addiction is a disease. After ten years of research, and 8 years, plus, working as an addiction recovery coach, I am absolutely convinced that addiction is a form of emotional escape. It is driven by anxiety, emotional distress and depression. It is underpinned by low self-esteem, inadequate personal power, and lack of personal identity. And, addiction is generated in patterns of family, relationship dynamics. Consequently, you can not police, scare, or treat your way out of this. If you want to help your teenager, you must re-focus on unearthing and eliminating the cause. I’ll expound more on that in a moment.
Don’t Force Treatment
Mainstream recovery will recommend that you intervene and force your child into treatment. Did you know that many teens and young adults resent their parents for taking such action? And, were you also aware that treatment has a very low success rate. According to the United States Department of Education, approximately ten percent of youth receive formal treatment, although studies of teens who completed treatment programs suggest that as many as 85 percent report some substance use only a year after. That doesn’t take into account those who haven’t completed treatment, don’t report, or any subsequent years beyond the first following completion.
Don’t Impose Tough Love
In many support groups, tough love is recommended. In my opinion, this is awful advice. It almost always ends tragically. Tough love does shield the parent from the destructive nature of addiction, but it also alienates the child further, escalates drug abuse, and increases the risk of incarceration or worse! Tough love is both counter-intuitive and counterproductive to addiction recovery. That is not what to do if your teenager is using drugs. There is a better and more effective way.
What to do if Your Teenager is Addicted to Drugs
If you have avoided policing your child’s behavior, using tough love, and forcing treatment, then it’s time to unearth and acknowledge the generator of your son or daughter’s addiction. This requires a commitment from you to assume responsibility for your part.
Once you have unearthed and eliminated the generator or generators, then it’s time to set some boundaries. However, those boundaries should not be negative or in the form of ultimatums. The boundaries that must be set need to positive and growth-oriented.
As progress is made, and your teenager begins to respond, you can start coaching and mentoring. Remember, addiction is underpinned by low self-esteem, inadequate personal power, and lack of personal identity. As a parent, you will need to use indirect influence to help your son or daughter re-build self-esteem and establish his or her own personal identity.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, and use the power that you possess, then head on over to the home page. Download my free e-guide “The Addiction-Free Kid Blueprint, Revealed,” and get started right away! I’ll show you, step by step, exactly what to do if your teenager is using drugs
For additional reading, check out some of my other posts below: