Youth addiction advice from a veteran parent
By R. M.
With a child that struggles with addiction, ours has been an uphill battle but one I’d fight again in much the same way. My son is by no means out of the woods, but I believe we’re many days into winning this war.
Here are some tips from a veteran parent on knowing what to do and how to handle a child who you believe has an addiction:
Benefit of the Doubt. Only extend it so many times before insisting on a chemical dependency assessment.
Broken Rules. If they keep breaking the rules despite the consequences and can’t keep promises, it might be that substance use is beyond their control and beyond yours.
Trust your Parent Intuition. Most likely you’re not overreacting, particularly with a young addict.
A Clean Slate. Wipe it clean once, twice. Put away the eraser.
Befriend the Parents. Other parents will support you. Some will not see eye to eye, but at least you’ll know where they stand when it comes to your kid and theirs.
You’ll Make Mistakes & Progress. There is no such thing as perfect parenting, just love.
Take Care of Yourself. Explore online communities and blogs in addition to support and recovery groups such as Al-Anon.
Count the Days. If you’re one day into it, you’re one day wiser. Try not to focus on what you think you did wrong. Instead, celebrate the sum total of your own recovery in days, hours, even minutes if you have to.
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