Teen Drug Addiction Treatment: How to Support Your Teen

Jan 20, 2014 by

When it comes to Teen Drug Addiction Treatment, some of the most common concerns and questions are how to support a teen you care about who is suffering from drug addiction.  Before, during, and after treatment, this question continues to weigh on the minds and the teen’s family, friends, and especially parents.  What we want to address here are five practical steps you can take to provide this support to a teen in need.

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Image: flickr.com/photos/martinaphotography

First of all, be open and honest.  By exemplifying this yourself, you will elicit the same in your teen.  Sharing your own thoughts, fears, and experiences honestly and openly will encourage your teen to feel un-judged and therefore, safe in asking for and receiving your help throughout the whole process of teen drug addiction treatment.  Secondly, be a good listener.  So many times, with all the demands and distraction of our culture, it’s easy to underestimate how much your teen is trying to tell you.  Create time for this to assure that you are hearing them, and that they know they can come to you to talk.  These conversations might very well difficult, but they’re also extremely helpful, and are one of the most fundamental ways that you can help your teen through this difficult time.  Third: ask others for help.  The more positive influences in a teen’s life, the better.  If there is a teacher, grandparent, or friend that the teen trusts, look into ways that you might be able to involve him/her as part of your teen’s overall support team.

Chances are that you, too, will feel supported by these other positive influences in your teens’ lives.  Fourth: keep open the lines of communication with the therapists your teen is working with.  During this time, keep in mind that these therapists very likely have the most direct, open communication with your teen out of everyone, so make efforts to take the advice they give you, ask for help when you need it, and follow their lead.  And last of all: be patient.  Teen Drug Addiction Treatment, healing, and change take time, and if you model patience yourself, it will be easier for your teen to practice it as well.  Keep a perspective of the long road, and the bright future ahead, rather than just the difficult piece of road your teen is facing today.

Of course, while we offer this advice to parents, we also understand that there is no one right way for every family or every teen.  These are basic rules that have proven true in our experience, both in our Parent Effectiveness Training and working directly in parenting sessions, as well as our Teen Addiction Programs.  But above all, remember to stay positive and keep hopeful, because change really is possible.

About the author – Robert Hunt is a recovering addict of 20 years.  He has devoted his life to helping others suffering from chemical addictions as well as mental health challenges.  Robert maintains many blogs on drug addiction, eating disorders and depression.  He is a sober coach and wellness advocate and a prominent figure in the recovery community.

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