People who are dealing with substance abuse continue their self-destructive behavior despite its adverse effects on their health and well-being. Substance abuse is complex, and it is often a cry for help to a much deeper problem.
A person’s risk of sinking into substance abuse includes biological, personal, societal, and cultural factors. It may even be a comorbidity of other psychological problems such as depression.
Substance Abuse in Young People
According to the 2018 Annual Surveillance Report of Drug-Related Risks and Outcomes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the level of drug use is particularly high among young people as compared to middle-aged or older people. Looking at this problem as a health issue and not merely as a moral issue is vital in successfully helping individuals with substance addiction. This is especially true when it involves younger people; they need all the support they can get from parents, other family members, and friends.
As early as 12 years of age, adolescents are at a critical risk of substance use initiation, with cannabis and alcohol being the most frequently consumed. Adolescents and even young adults are still maturing, and their brains are still developing – and illicit substances can interfere with this crucial development.
Moreover, many young people tend to be risk-takers and spontaneous. They are also more vulnerable to peer pressure and emotional stress, which may drive them to substance use. Building an open and healthy communication with your child may be hard and even a bit awkward, but connecting with them will help you both deal with the substance abuse.
How Can You Connect with Your Child Who Has Substance Abuse Problems?
We know that substance abuse is undesirable behavior, but scolding and lecturing your child can only do so much. It might even drive a wedge between the two of you so that the child stops listening to you because you are not demonstrating respect to the child.
What your child needs is a parent – a trusted confidante with whom they can share their thoughts and vulnerabilities. We first need to understand what they are going through before we try to help them change their behavior and habits.
Make them feel safe by creating an environment where talking about past mistakes and accepting them are okay. For now, try to set aside your fretful and disciplinarian side as a parent. The sooner you show your caring and understanding side, the sooner you can help them.
If you or a family member ever used drugs in the past, you can draw on that experience to begin the dialogue with your child. Explain how detrimental it was, and don’t laugh it off or say everyone does it, or the child may dismiss anything else you say and continue the behavior. Help them realize and address any underlying problems or motivations they may have behind the substance abuse, and talk about how you felt when you were their age, too.
Seek Professional Help
Ideally, the best option you have to help with your child’s substance use problem is to seek help from professional behavioral health counselors. Through their knowledge and expertise, behavioral specialists can help your child address and unpack the underlying issues they may have.
Every case has different and complex roots. These professionals can provide interventions, prescribe treatments, give therapy sessions, and monitor your child’s progress during follow-up visits.
Behavioral Treatments and Services for Children in Sherman, TX
Substance abuse is a call for help. Creating and maintaining an open and healthy relationship with your child will help them along in their recovery, and seeking professional help is key.
Here at Carrus Behavioral Health Hospital, we provide a holistic and team-based approach for addressing behavioral problems such as substance abuse. We offer various services that are personalized to address your child’s issues so that the child can get past the issue once and for all.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (903) 870-1202 or fill out our online form to get in touch with us. We look forward to helping you and your family heal and get back to being a healthy family again.