It is a fear of every parent. What if my kid falls in with the wrong crowd and develops a drug problem? Or a drinking problem? Or becomes promiscuous? The thought of losing a son or daughter to addiction is a terrifying one, but sadly, it is a reality that many parents live with. The teen years are very unpredictable and challenging. It is an age when many young people experiment with addictive substances and activities. Most grow out of it eventually, but some are permanently affected by it. Some even lose their lives to it. It is imperative that parents of addicted teens understand what their child is going through and intervene into their life.
As a parent, it is very difficult to know what to do for a teenager struggling with addiction. Even if the addiction does not pose an immediate threat, as in the case of video games, it is still the parent’s responsibility to help their son or daughter overcome the addiction to prepare their child’s mental health for the adult world. Knowing how to approach this matter delicately is a challenge. Teenagers are at a very emotional, reactive stage of life and words and actions taken to intervene into their addiction need to be chosen very carefully. If the teenager does not respond to their parent’s guidance, the parent may need to enlist the help of professional counselor or teen rehab. If the addiction is becoming severe, do not hesitate to bring outside professional help into the situation.
Teenagers are naturally volatile and experimental because of the phase of life they are in, and some experimentation is normal and natural. But when you can see that your teenage son or daughter is becoming dependent on an unhealthy habit to cope or to feel normal, it is time to address the problem. If you or a parent you care about has a teenager who is struggling with addiction, do not hesitate to reach out to a counselor or addiction treatment service.