Discovering that a teen is engaging in drug or alcohol abuse is devastating for parents. It can be difficult to know what to do in these situations. Every family will respond in a slightly different way. However, in all cases, it’s necessary to reach out to addiction professionals for help. The counselors at a rehab in Fort Lauderdale can help you figure out what to do next about your teen’s alcohol abuse or addiction.
In some cases, a parent might only suspect that a teen is abusing alcohol because of changes in behavior, grades, or personality. If you have suspicions, but need to confirm them, evaluate your teen’s behavior carefully. Does he or she often break curfew, hang out with new friends, or behave in a secretive manner? Perhaps your teen comes home smelling strongly of perfume or body spray; this could be an attempt to mask the smell of alcohol. Consider whether you’re willing to violate your teen’s privacy by searching his or her room for hidden alcohol.
Contact a Rehab
Even if you don’t have definitive proof that your teen is abusing alcohol, you should contact a rehab to discuss your concerns with a professional. A counselor can offer guidance on confronting your teen and convincing him or her to seek help. You might need to take your teen to a specialist for a screening prior to admitting him or her to outpatient therapy.
Teen-Proof the Home
When your child was a toddler, you childproofed your home to prevent accidental access to dangerous substances. Now, it’s necessary to do the same thing for your teen. Don’t assume that if your teen is drinking, he or she will stick to alcohol. You’ll need to lock up prescription medications, cough syrups, and your own alcohol, if applicable. Your teen needs a clean environment in which to work on his or her recovery.
Eliminate Pocket Money
While your teen is going through counseling, you should eliminate the temptation to begin drinking again. Avoid giving your teen cash for school lunches, movie tickets, clothes or other items. Instead, write a check to the school cafeteria and directly purchase items your teen needs.
Provide Ongoing Support
Regardless of how upset you may be at your teen for abusing alcohol, remember that he or she needs your ongoing support. Let your teen know that you love him or her and are proud of him or her for getting treatment. Attend family counseling sessions and parent support groups.