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My Teen is a Drug Addict. Now What?

You've Heard They're Powerless, But You Know Better. Learn The Truth About Teen Drug Use, And What You Can Do

My Teen Is A Drug Addict

Adolescence isn't easy, even without the influence of drugs and alcohol yielding the potential for teen drug and alcohol addiction, and that's true for kids and parents alike. Sometimes, raising a teen can make you feel just as powerless and overwhelmed as actually being a teen.

Substances which can lead to drug addiction in teens certainly don't help clarify these confusing emotions. Teenagers are often confronted with the option to experiment with drugs and alcohol. As a parent, you might feel you want to prepare for this possibility by sheltering, warning, or monitoring your kids, but what happens when they say yes to drugs anyway?

Unpacking The "Addict" Label

In conventional teen drug rehab programs, substance users learn that "drug addiction" is a disease that controls them. For teenagers who already feel controlled by their parents, teachers, and peers, this is a very dangerous idea. For parents who struggle to understand their teenagers' choices, however, it's tempting to excuse drug use as a symptom, rather than a deliberate behavior.

At Freedom Model Retreats, we know that drugs, in and of themselves, hold no power. We welcome teenage guests to participate in our self-directed program to change their own lives for the better by learning the truth about addiction and substance use. Instead of labeling teens as drug addicts or treating them like children, we emphasize their strengths and allow them to set their own goals as they move toward independence. If they want to stop using substances, we make sure they understand that's 100% possible to do so permanently.

Coping With Your Teen's Choices

One of the most important foundational ideas we present is accountability. When family members reach out to us for help, we know they're doing it out of love, but we also remind them that the substance user is ultimately the only person who can change his or her behaviors for the better. No one else — not their parents, not their friends, and not even our staff members — can make their choices for them. If you want to accept their past behaviors, understand the present situation, and focus on the future, you must accept this fact, too.

While the lessons you teach and limits you set influence your kids' choices, that's as far as your reach goes. Even if you physically remove their access to drugs, it doesn't remove their desire to use, so it's a short-term solution to a long-term problem. The big picture is their responsibility, not yours.

Preparing For The Future

The teenage years are all about transition and transformation. Your young adult is at that precious point between childhood and adulthood, and while you've been there too, they're still in the thick of it. Their hormone levels are fluctuating, their bodies are changing, and their future and identity are still uncertain. Drug use might be part of their attempts to deal with this confusing time, but it doesn't have to be part of their future as an adult.

Instead of focusing on drug addiction, we focus on building productive skills. We'll help your young adult make a realistic and optimistic plan for their future, which will require their full participation and commitment. When they return home, they'll put that plan in action to become the person they want to be with a plan that they create reflecting those dreams and goals.

If you’d like to learn more about whether Freedom Model Retreats would be a good fit for your young adult, please call one of our Family Consultants at 888.424.2626 for further information.

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