Having a teen in your life with a substance misuse problem can be a daily struggle. You may feel helpless to do anything as the cycle of addiction spirals further and further out of control. What can you say or do in the face of a problem that seems so far outside your ability to manage? Here are some suggestions for getting the issue in hand.
Tips for Helping a Teen With Substance Misuse
Proceed with compassionate, but confident, methods to persuade your son to get help. Try conversation starters like these.
- Repeat as often as possible, “I love you, but I’m worried about what will happen if you let this continue.”
- Point out specific examples of the worrying signs and changes you’ve seen that indicate a substance misuse disorder.
- Discuss how an untreated substance abuse problem can negatively impact the rest of his life.
- Reassure him that addiction is a common illness that affects people from all walks of life, and that it does not make anyone less of a person.
- Openly admit that getting addiction treatment takes an incredible amount of courage.
- Let him know that you and other family members are ready to support him in his decision to change for the better.
- Offer to help him come up with a list of questions he might ask a professional about addiction.
- Make sure your teenager knows he can always talk to you without fear of judgment.
Consider Hosting a Substance Misuse Intervention
An intervention is another constructive approach to convincing a loved one to seek treatment. If you’re only familiar with interventions through their depictions in movies, you may assume this strategy is overly dramatic. However, that doesn’t have to be the case. A carefully planned intervention can be a pivotal point in helping your teen agree to go to rehab.
To improve your chances of the intervention succeeding, make sure you map out every detail in advance – including whom to invite, where the meeting will take place, where everyone will sit and what each of you will say. Consider enlisting the services of a professional interventionist, who can help manage the meeting and keep tension from boiling over.
There’s No Time Like the Present
You’ve probably heard that addicts must hit “rock bottom” before they will finally agree it’s time to get help. If you have been holding off on speaking up because of this, rest assured it is a thoroughly debunked misconception. By stepping in before the addiction worsens, you can prevent dire consequences such as your son dropping out of school or getting arrested.
While treatment will be much more likely to succeed if your son agrees to the need to get help, you can enter your son into a treatment facility without his consent if he is 17 or younger. This step may seem drastic, but as a parent, you know what’s best for your child and your family. If you have any reason to believe substance abuse is putting your son’s life at risk, it’s better to act quickly.
Young Men’s Addiction Treatment in Austin
At Spearhead Lodge, we provide top-of-the-line treatment for young adult men living with substance abuse disorders. Our licensed and accredited Austin addiction facility is gender-specific to provide a distraction-free environment for healing. Reach out to us today to help your son get the treatment he needs.