Studies continue to show that the pressures faced by adolescents aren’t showing any signs of letting up anytime soon. In fact, it seems that the proliferation of smartphones and increased use of social media websites like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook may in fact be contributing to an increase in cases of depression in teens. These facts are sobering and may explain why some teens turn to substance abuse as a way to escape or solve their problems. If your family is dealing with a teenager who needs help fighting their struggles with illegal substances, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Get the right information
Staying informed is one of the best things you can do for your family in any time of struggle. Hotlines such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration exist and are available to take your call at any hour of the day, any day of the year. These kinds of organizations offer resources to individuals and families who are dealing with substance abuse and its effects, and can offer you some perspective as well as strategies to implement in your home. You may also want to learn more about the sorts of issues that may be contributing to your teen’s substance abuse, as addressing some of these can help you and your teen get to the root of their problem.
If your child has been charged with a crime as a result of their drug or alcohol abuse, it may be a good idea to get legal counsel from an experienced Denver criminal attorney. A criminal record, especially for a juvenile, can be quite damaging. Knowing your teen’s rights and how to best mitigate any punishments or jail time requires the right information and is not something you and your family should try to face alone. Having someone like Richard Huttner on your family’s side can ensure you have the best chance possible to protect your child’s rights.
Talk to your teen
While it can be a challenge to broach the subject, it’s vital that you keep communication open and transparent with your child as they struggle with substance abuse. Speaking to teens about your concerns is crucial, too, and it may be worth gathering a few close friends, family members, and some of your teen’s mentors to have an intervention. An intervention isn’t something you should initiate without first gathering more information about treatment options and the side effects of long term abuse. Sharing personal anecdotes as well as hard facts can be a way to keep these kinds of interactions compassionate, yet firm, as the sort of perspective a teen needs to be motivated to seek recovery.
Find a treatment solution that works
Not everyone can recover from drug or alcohol abuse on their own, even if they truly want to quit. In some situations, your teen may have a drug or alcohol dependence disorder, which can make the stages of withdrawal even more harrowing to face without doctors or licensed medical professionals on call. In some situations, it may make sense for your teen to enroll in a community of other teens to seek individual or group treatment for their addiction. Residential homes for troubled youth offer a specialized solution away from home to allow your teen to explore strategies to combat their substance abuse in a safe and nurturing environment. With other activities offered as an outlet to drug abuse, your teen can begin to build a life full of fulfilling hobbies and interests without having to rely on illegal substances.
Finding a rehabilitation program that fits your teen’s interests and needs is important. Since it can lead to a higher success rate if your teen has some buy-in to the process, make sure to speak with them about the options available to them to get treatment. While frightening to face, substance abuse can be beaten by teens and their families, as long as the subject is approached from a space of care and compassion.