Did you know that one out of four people under the age of 18 are exposed to drugs and alcohol in their very own family, according to the American Journal of Public Health?
This means that millions of young people are living with a parent who is dependent on drugs or alcohol.
You are certainly not alone, but this doesn’t make your day to day life any easier.
Aside from all the struggles of living with an alcoholic or drug addicted parent, you may be wondering if you too will develop a dependency. Fortunately, your future can be different.
Ways That You As A Teen Can Prevent Drug And Alcohol Use
Here are helpful ways that you can alter your course for the better.
Understand What Causes Addiction
It helps to gain insight into your parent’s problem. Assuming that you’ll struggle with addiction just because your parent does is the wrong approach. You may be more at risk statistically speaking, but this doesn’t mean your fate is sealed. Learn about addiction, who gets addicted and why.
Adjust Your Expectations
Once you learn why your parent has the problems they do, you may be able to gain a different perspective. It’s natural to feel angry and frustrated with your parent, but if you realize that they have these issues for a reason, you may be able to develop some empathy for them. You can then modify your expectations, reducing feelings of guilt or frustration.
Your parent’s biggest hurdle to getting better is admitting they have a problem. But until they realize the impact of their issue, it’s almost impossible to get them help. Don’t turn a blind eye, however. Continue to encourage treatment and let your parent know that you are in full support of their recovery.
Don’t Take Responsibility
Your parent is responsible for their addiction – not you. You are not obligated to carry the consequences either. If trouble arises, don’t feel responsible for your parent’s actions. Leave the scene or go to a friend or family member’s home where you feel safe.
Seek Help For Yourself
Don’t be ashamed to seek help for yourself. You can benefit greatly from talking to a counselor or therapist. Therapy allows you to sort through your feelings and develop healthy coping mechanisms that reduce the risk of addiction.
If your parents use drugs, it’s understandable that you would be concerned about your fate. Many factors play into the onset of addiction, and having the problem run in your family is only one of them. There are many things you can do to stop the cycle of abuse and lead the drug-free, fulfilling life you’ve always dreamed of.
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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call The River Source. We provide integrative care that includes naturopathic detox, counseling and a sober living environment. We develop individualized treatment plans and have a separate rehab facility for male teens, ages 13-17.