Teens today can make you lose your mind! Sometimes, you’ll ask yourself, “What’s happening to this world?” I ask myself that a couple of times a day and a couple more before I go to bed. Could it be from the way we raise our kid or could it be from the culture of this new generation?
We started to have problems with Johnston when he turned 15. We thought he was only passing through a phase, but even if it may, we couldn’t let it continue because he might not be able to get out from it – his addiction.
Honestly, at first, I didn’t know he was a substance addict. I had a gut feeling, but I was too scared to admit it. I was hoping I was wrong, and if he was having issues with his life as a teenager, it was anything else but being an addict. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., “An addiction can strike a person when they least expect it, as they’re trying to handle an increase in their workload, childcare or child-rearing, mental health issues, family issues, or for no reason whatsoever.”
Signs Of Substance Abuse In Teenagers:
- They get irritated about simple things.
- They dress differently.
- They start to have poor hygiene.
- They have less interest in family activities.
- They have a new set of friends who have a negative influence.
- They begin to be secretive
- They fail in class.
- They talk back.
- They have unexplainable weight loss.
- They begin to have weird behaviors.
When you are a parent, it’s hard to see these things happening to your teen. It crushes your soul, and no matter how good you are at solving problems, it’s just not this time. “For family and friends of drug- or alcohol-addicted individuals, addressing the addiction is one of the most difficult aspects of helping the addicted person seek treatment,” says Steven Gifford, LICDC, LPC
My husband and I talked about it, and we knew at that moment that we needed help. It was hard to accept it at first, but we knew we had to do something before it gets beyond fixing. We sought the help of our friend. He was a doctor, and he was kind enough to refer us to a psychiatrist.
Our precious son had been on outpatient addiction therapy for quite some time, and it’s been challenging for us as a family. Through addiction therapy, we learned about the possible causes of addiction and how we can prevent it. His psychiatrist then recommended he undergo online counseling to support his rehabilitation continually. According to Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC, “Many people find that intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment is necessary to curb addiction and learn healthy coping strategies for depression.”
We sought online therapy for him, and it had been helpful to his situation. Being a teenager, the last thing we wanted was to let the world know he was battling with addiction. So online therapy was very convenient as we didn’t have to go every time to the clinic. We just had to choose his schedule at his convenience. Gradually, Johnston was doing pretty well with online therapy, and I was so glad we took the courage to deal with our family crisis before it got any worse.
Our children wouldn’t stay our babies forever. There will come a time when they would grow up to be independent, but until then, we must fulfill our obligations as their parents – to ascertain they would grow up to be valuable and responsible adults.