Struggling with addiction is a painful process any way you look at it. But to watch your own child have to go through it is one of the worst pains imaginable. Here are some suggestions for how to approach teenage addiction, and how to come together to help the recovery process.
One of the most important things when approaching someone with an addiction problem is to remain calm during the conversation. Any sense of antagonism, anger, or blame towards the victim can set them off in a defensive stance. You want to keep lines of communication open and the best way to do this is to hold back emotion during any conversations about his or her addiction.
Recommend Treatment Options
If the situation is dire enough to merit seeking treatment, it is imperative to have this conversation as soon as possible. There are communities such as the newlifehouse.com that are dedicated to helping people get their lives on track. Offering services such as life coaches, sober living, counselors, addiction recovery, and more, these communities serve as safe havens for both the victims and the parents of the victim.
Offer Help, Not Blame
When approaching the subject of addiction with your son, it is important to make them feel heard, seen, and validated. Addiction is a disease and not a choice. Therefore, when bringing up the conversation, make sure your posture towards your child is one of love and compassion, not defensiveness and blame.
Showing that you are willing to be understanding and patient through this process will allow your child to be more comfortable talking about their issues with you. This is their first step towards accepting your help and getting better.
Being There Through Recovery
The recovery process can take a long time, especially if rehab is a possibility. During this time, it is essential to let your child know that you are there for them. They can feel very isolated and lost during this time, especially if they are participating in a rehab program.
It’s your responsibility to let them know that sending them to get help is not you abandoning them! It can feel awkward to try and play a role in your son’s recovery, but don’t let that deter you from making the effort.
Set Clear Boundaries
As important as your child is, it’s equally as important to take care of yourself and your own mental health during this process. Children who struggle with addiction are adept at testing boundaries, so you will need to set boundaries beforehand to avoid inconsistencies between what they can and cannot get away with.
Addiction is a painful process and should not be taken lightly. Helping someone recover from their addiction can become a full-time job. Remember that it is not your responsibility to fix their life—that is on them alone. All you can do is help facilitate the process.
Long-term recovery from addiction is more than possible. Have a conversation with your child or loved one about recovery today.