Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Teen drug addiction is becoming a common topic in conversations, news reports, health reports, and a variety of news and media. It is no longer a taboo issue. As parents and family members, teachers and guidance counselors, and anyone involved with the daily lives of teenagers approach the issue and dilemma of teen drug addiction, they seldom know where or how to find the solution to the problem.

Parents and teens both experience the pain of teen drug addiction. It is common knowledge that most teens struggling with drug addiction do not seek help voluntarily. In fact, statistics show that most teens do not recognize their behavior as problematic. Therefore, the parents or guardians of a teen are usually more likely to be the first people to initiate a move towards finding a solution.

Solutions to drug addiction begin with the most basic act of seeking help. The decision of a parent to seek help is the first sign of change and hope in the midst of chaos, heartbreak, fear, and confusion in the home and life of the parent and teen. The act of seeking help is a powerful and motivating factor in working toward a solution. As a parent begins to seek help for a troubled teen, it is beneficial for the parent to recognize his/her efforts as a moment of change and the first step toward finding a solution. Every decision and effort thereafter can become a positive, rewarding step toward a solution to the problem of teen drug addiction.

A teen begins to work toward a solution to his/her drug abuse or addiction, by engaging in the conversation of drug addiction and possibly addiction treatment. Even the smallest effort or briefest conversation creates a moment of change. If a parent has conducted an intervention, a teen who has participated in the intervention is demonstrating a change regarding the problem. It is also considered a “shift” in the cycle of teen addiction. A teen might disagree that a problem exists or disagree to entering a teen rehab program during the initial conversation. It is important to acknowledge a teen’s participation in a discussion of his/her behaviors and use the opportunity to empower the teen. Ownership of change is an important position for most teens. Ownership of the act of change is a position of accountability and independence and instills the power of choice for the teen.

Although there are many more actions, conversations, and therapeutic interactions that must occur, as the parent and teen works towards finding a solution to teen addiction, the initial moments of change are critical and require acknowledgement and praise in hopes of achieving a successful outcome.

Written by: Karen Corcoran-Walsh


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