Addiction doesn’t pay attention to age boundaries. It’s not uncommon for teenagers to suffer from addiction, and they often need extra help to recover. Fortunately, there are many methods you can use to help a teen who has become addicted. Remember to begin from a place of love and you will be able to help a struggling teen. If there’s a teen in your life who is struggling with addiction you might want to pay attention to a few of the tips below.
Start from a Place of Care
Perhaps the most important thing you’ll do will happen before you ever speak to your teen is to remind yourself to be caring. This isn’t a time to think about punishments for breaking the rules or about how your teen’s addiction will impact your life—you absolutely must start from a place of care. If you can remember that your goal is to help your teen recover, you’ll be able to put together a much more effective plan. Your teen will already be feeling shame and fear about your reaction, and if you want to help them, they need to know how much you love them.
Your next step is to be as honest as you can. Let your teen know what you know, staying tactful but still respecting him or her enough to address him or her honestly. Don’t let yourself be drawn into fear mongering or exaggeration—if your teen is able to catch onto even one half-truth, you’ll destroy the trust that he or she has in you. Remember to be loving, and consider practicing with someone else beforehand so you can avoid damaging your relationship.
You need to be open to helping your teen. Recovery isn’t always a simple process and it’s very hard for anyone on the outside to remain in control. As such, you need to set yourself up as a resource and a cheerleader, but not necessarily a leader. You need to understand that this is not a journey that you can take for your teen but rather one that you will have to support. Let your teen know that you will be there to support him or her in this difficult journey, and be open to his or her feedback and emotions.
Know When You Need More Help
Finally, you need to be aware that this is a problem you and your teen may not be able to face alone. Depending on the situation, you may need to look into inpatient residential care to get your teen that help that he or she needs. While it can be difficult to admit that you can’t solve every problem, working with a professional team might help your teen on the road to recovery.
Addiction is never an easy thing to deal with. Make sure that you are there to support your teen, whether that means lending a helping hand or finding professional help. Your teen can beat addiction, but you need to make sure that you are there as an important part of his or her recovery moving forward.
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