Talking to Your Teen About Drug Addiction
Talking to your teen about drug addiction will probably be the most complicated and complex conversation you will ever have in your life. So many things can go wrong when you’re trying to convey such a crucial and powerful message, so you have to be extremely careful. The following are some tips that can help you get through this experience with as few hurt feelings and angry emotions as possible.
1. Do not Accuse or Condemn
The most important tidbit of advice that you can use is not to accuse or condemn your teen in any way. You have to approach this sensitively. Therefore you cannot accuse even if you find a ton of evidence that indicates that your child is using drugs. A teen is going to react defensively to the slightest hint of accusation, and he or she will definitely react defensively to condemnation. Once your teen shuts down about the subject, it’ll be extremely difficult for you to resolve anything. Therefore, you have to come up with a strategy that will minimize the possibility of a negative reaction. Just ask your child if you can talk to him or her at a convenient time when your teen is not overwhelmed with schoolwork, busy with sports or stressed in any way.
2. Discuss the Detriments
You may want to start off your conversation by simply discussing the detriment of drug addiction and drug abuse. You can open up the conversation by asking your teen if his or her school has discussed these things. That way, you are not accusing. You are simply opening a dialogue. Once you have your teen’s attention, you can start discussing all the negative aspects of drug use and drug abuse. Examples of topics that you can discuss are health issues, job losses, relationship deterioration and so forth. That will at least get your teen to think about the negative things that can happen behind the activities.
3. Share a Story
It may be easier to talk to your teen if you can align with him or her. Telling a story is one of the most effective ways to do that. If you can think of a story about someone that you knew who overcame drug addiction, that might be helpful. If you have a personal story to tell, that may be helpful as well. The goal is to gain your teen’s trust and let them know that you are not going to be judgmental.
4. Be Supportive
If you want to get through this situation with your teen, you have to be very, very supportive. You have to approach the subject with love and offer your unconditional care and assistance. Your teen needs to know that you will be there for him or her if things don’t work out the first time. Many people try to drug cessation several times before they are successful. Your support can make that easier.
5. Offer to Help Find Resources
Next, you want to help your child find the resources that he or she needs to recover. Offer to search for successful rehabilitation programs. Gather educational materials, and talk to your child about getting help if he or she has a problem with drugs or alcohol. Anything that you can do to support the healing process will be good for your teen.
- Offer to Help Keep Your Child’s Life in Order
Finally, you may want to offer to help your teen keep his or her life in order during the time at the rehabilitation center. Offer to be someone who will help keep the teen’s Affairs in order so that he or she won’t go through shock upon leaving the facility. Those are all the topics you’ll need to cover when you talk to your son or daughter about drug addiction.
If you follow the tips as written above, you should be able to approach the subject of drug and alcohol addiction smoothly and without any outburst or instances. Once you break the ice about the matter, the two of you can get to the heart of the issue. From there, you can create and walk the path to recovery.