How to deal with your teen’s substance addiction

To find out that your teenager is addicted to substances can be devastating for a parent. During such times, it may take more than just concern to pull your child out of it. You need to begin with not just by treating it as a bad habit, but as an illness which needs to be addressed. The following five Cs may help you see through it.

Confrontation: It’s an absolute no as a parent. Numerous studies have shown that aggressive confrontation may push your child further into the world of addiction. Leave intervention to an expert.

Counselling: Seeking professional help is the first important step. Set up a meeting with an addiction specialist or a psychiatrist to know how to deal with the problem. Also read as much as you can about addiction, what causes it, and ways to get out of it.

Communication: Listen, listen and listen to your kid. More often than not, the root cause of chemical dependence lies not in peer pressure (which could well be an initiator), but in your child’s way of handling their internal state. Introspect and see if you have been too controlling as a parent; if so, be more approachable. Truth is, you can’t and won’t be able to make the decision on your child’s behalf.

Care: It’s parental instinct to nurture, enable and protect. But if you come to your child’s rescue each time, you may actually be preventing him from learning important life lessons. Also, relapses post treatment are common, so don’t be taken aback. Consult the doctor to know how to approach it.

Coping: It will take a lot of courage and patience on your part to stand by your child. While doing so, you can’t afford to ignore self care. So you need to watch your diet, ensure that you get enough rest and not let stress take the better of you. Sleepless nights may not be easy to avoid, but you need to make a conscious effort to keep yourself healthy all along.



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