Many mothers may be in denial about their teen’s drug abuse problem. They may feel that this is a phase their child goes through, and that it will go away with time. Some mothers admit to the unwillingness to face the problem. Rather than follow facts and suspicions of drug abuse, these loving moms are refusing to accept the possibility that their teen is using drugs or may even become and addict.
So often, without even knowing, the mothers become enablers to their children’s drug abuse problems. An enabler is a loved one who intentionally or unintentionally assists an addict in continuing their drug or alcohol use by engaging in behaviors that they mistakenly think will help the person.
The truth is however, the enabler’s continues support of their loved ones drug use, may result in irreversible medical and psychological health problems. A classic example of enabling is when a drug-dependent teenager comes home long after their designated curfew, and loved ones within their family make excuses for their unacceptable behavior. Facing no consequences, teaches an adolescent to continue drinking or drugging, while having the security of knowing that the family will always be there for them.
Here are some examples of enabling your teen use drugs:
– Calling school for absence excuse because the teen could not get up due to late night partying?
– Making excuses for the addict’s dysfunctional behavior related to drugs and alcohol abuse.
– Telling lies or making excuses to cover up for your teen struggles with a substance abuse problem?
– Accepting the blame and feeling guilty for your teen’s drug or alcohol related behavior?
– Avoiding to confront your loved one about their substance abuse, due to a fear of a subsequent respond.
– Hoping and giving an addict chances, while expecting no changes in their behaviors.
Finding out your teen uses drugs can develop anxiety, fear, depression and anger in parents. It’s critical to remain calm while confronting your teen, and only initiate it when he is sober. State your concerns in a peaceful and yet direct manner. It’s important that you reassure your teen of your support. There are some positive steps you can take at home:
– Set the rules and the consequences. Explain to your teen that using drugs will result in negative consequences. Make the rules that are effective, and the kind you can enforce.
– Monitor your teen’s activity. Keep track of your teen’s whereabouts. Check on your teen’s friends, check your home and your teen’s possessions for drugs. Teach them to earn trust again.
– children’s drug abuse with other healthy activities.
– Find out if there are specific underlying issues, which cause your teen’s drug use. The cause of addiction could stem from peer pressure, personal issues, low self-esteem, and unfathomable family dramas or loss.
– Get professional help. Have your teen speak with addiction specialist or a health care provider to better understand the cause and the damaging effects of drug abuse.
Leo d’Honor is a clinical psychologist in private practice at FHP in North Hollywood, CA.