How to Talk to Your Child About Teenage Drug Rehabilitation
Photo by Polina Zimmerman
You have a teenager who does well in school. They have a 4.0 GPA and remain involved in extracurricular activities. Your child also has dreams of getting into an Ivy League school.
Over time, however, you notice that your teenager is withdrawn and depressed. They stay out late into the evening. You begin to think that your teenager has a drug problem, and you may have to contact a teenage drug rehabilitation program.
Further, your teenager hangs out with new friends that are rough around the edges. He stopped associating with his old friends.
Overall, your child tends to act more aggressively than usual and is always irritable.
Before enrolling your teen, however, you must talk to them directly and in a non-confrontational manner.
The most important thing to keep in mind is listening to them. This article will discuss strategies that can convince your teen to enter rehab. Let’s explore.
Confront Your Teen Directly
You should have a frank conversation with your son or daughter about drug addiction.
Avoid indirect methods, such as leaving pamphlets around for them to find. Rather, tell your child directly that you won’t tolerate drug or alcohol use. Additionally, you should convey the ramifications of continuing drug or alcohol abuse.
With that, don’t be overly confrontational. Instead, talk to them in a calm demeanor. Speaking in a relaxed tone allows them to open up and speak directly.
You want your child to be as honest as possible during the conversation. A frank conversation that’s non-aggressive may convince them that teen drug rehab is a good solution.
Try to avoid an argument as much as possible. You can diffuse the situation by asking them why they don’t want to enter rehab.
Your teenager may think that you’re sending them away. For each negative reason, offer a positive answer.
- Example: If your son or daughter feels like you’re punishing them, mention that you’ll visit them regularly for emotional support
A counterbalance of positive solutions may make them receptive to your pleas.
Seek Family Assistance
Loved ones and family members may change your teenager’s mind. Even though you want to convince your child that rehab is necessary, they may not be receptive because you’re the parent.
No matter what you say, they may feel that rehab is a punishment. It’s worth noting that you can send your child to rehab if they’re underage, regardless of their disapproval.
However, you’ll want to convince them naturally instead of sending them away by force. If you’re getting nowhere, talk to a close friend or relative about the situation.
The other party should be someone that your teenager trusts implicitly. Perhaps they have a favorite uncle or aunt that they confide in regularly. Regardless, ensure that you and the other party are on the same page when talking to your teenager.
Seek the Help of Recovering Addicts
If your teenager is unwilling to listen to you or loved ones, perhaps they’ll be receptive to someone who has gone through the same struggles and addictions.
You can reach out to mentoring programs or rehab facilities to see if a former addict can talk to your child. The person you contact could talk to your teenager about the consequences of alcohol and drug abuse, such as:
- Career and job losses
- Estranged family members and friends
Your teenager may see his or her future by talking with someone who has gone through the same issues.
Moreover, perhaps the former addict had gone through a life-changing event that he or she can share with your teenager. Horror stories could impact your son or daughter a great deal.
Determine the Root Cause
Find out the root cause of the alcohol or drug abuse. Your child may be suffering from the following issues:
- Mental health problems
- History of physical or sexual abuse
- Peer pressure
- School bullying
- Academic pressure
- Family history of addiction
If your child suffers from mental illness, talk to a doctor first. A doctor may refer to your son or daughter to a therapist.
Your child may need to see a therapist before getting help for addiction. Again, be open and honest about therapy. Additionally, stress that there’s no shame in talking to someone.
You should speak with your child with the same frankness about any history of sexual or physical abuse as well. Past trauma can play a major role in drug and alcohol addiction. They may share incidents that you never knew but only if you approach them in a non-aggressive manner.
From there, talk about solutions that can help them get better, such as therapy and/or rehab. Many rehab centers already have therapists on staff to help patients address troubled histories.
Preparing for the Talk
Regardless of root events, addressing past suffering instead of the addiction first lets them know that you’re trying to understand their pain. You may want to do some preparation before talking to your child.
- Example: If you’re close to your child’s friends, ask them if he or she has undergone bullying or peer pressure that may have nudged them into addiction
Moreover, ask family members if your family background contains a history of alcohol or drug problems. Perhaps you had someone in your family who went through the same troubles, but you never knew about it.
If your child mentions that they can drink and use like everyone, mention your family history and convey that they’re wired differently due to a genetic predisposition. As a result, your child may be willing to listen to you about family trauma, which could make them receptive to rehab.
Teenage Drug Rehabilitation as the Only Alternative
Even though talking to your teenager in a non-confrontational manner is the best approach, communicate the consequences of failing to get help.
When it comes to teenage drug rehabilitation, you must intervene sooner rather than later to prevent further damage to their mind and body. You can also contact friends, family members, or former addicts to help you convince your son or daughter.
Does your child need help with drug addiction?
Click here to learn more about New Jersey drug rehab assistance and life after addiction.