You had a suspicion that your teen was using drugs and alcohol, so you searched their room and car to see if your intuitions about their behavior was right. Along the way, you found some paraphernalia that made you fearful about what could happen to your teen. The next indicated step is to have “the talk” with them concerning drugs and alcohol even though you are afraid that they may implode once they find out you were snooping in their belongings. However the conversation goes, you need to keep in mind a few basic points.
Give them an intro
You should start off by letting them know how much you love them so that you can break the ice a bit and get the conversation going in the right direction. Once you proceed to tell them what you found, you should let them know you were in their room for their own well-being because you sensed something was off.
Do not lecture
This is not a time to let them know how disappointed you are in their actions or shame them, but merely a way to get them to talk about what is going on. If you stay calm and collected, there is a better chance they may as well. Encourage them to open up to you about their use by asking them questions that are to the point and that require a definite answer.
Affirm the consequences
Let them know that you will help however you can although you will not enable them in any way. Make it clear to them that they are not permitted to use, drink, or keep paraphernalia in the house because not only are they underage, they are putting the family in jeopardy and harming themselves in the process. You may need to give them some consequences for breaking the rules, so they understand what a big deal this actually is.
There may be a chance that they will want help from you. Before you start the conversation with your teen, you may want to do some research on what treatment will be like for your family and to gain tips on how to how to talk to them with some guidance from a counselor or therapist. By getting some professional help, a therapist may be able to assess what your teen needs so that you can offer your support to them. Having a conversation about what you found will probably not be easy. In order to protect your teenager, you need to talk to them and see what their reaction will be to comprehend what to do next. The good news is that there is help out there for anyone who needs it and wants it.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long term residential treatment programs for addiction recovery. Our programs involve the whole family for foundation building, life cleansing change.
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