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When Your Teen Is an Addict

Although helping your teen is your first priority, getting yourself help should be your second. Your teen's addiction has likely wreaked havoc on your personal and professional life. Rehab, counseling, and therapy can have a major impact on your finances, and the feelings of guilt and remorse can have implications on your marriage, family life, and friendships. Getting help will not only benefit you, it will help give you the strength to provide your teen and family the support they need. Some options include:

  • Al-Anon This 12-step program is based on the same model as Alcoholics Anonymous, consisting of family and friends of alcoholics who share their experiences and provide support and insight during regular group meetings. It can help you take steps towards coping with your situation. Visit Al-Anon's website to find meetings in your community.
  • Nar-Anon This 12-step program is the equivalent to Al-Anon for parents of teens who are addicted to drugs. To find meetings near you, visit Nar-Anon's website.
  • Therapy Individual or family therapy can help your family work together to cope with one child's addiction, deal with emotions and feelings, and avoid enabling your addicted teen.
  • Marriage counseling There is no doubt having a teen addict can put a strain on your marriage. Counseling can help you and your spouse reconnect and work together to help your teen, and your marriage, get through the addiction.
  • Additionally, there are many books available that recount the journeys of parents of addicted teens that you may be able to relate to. A few books to check out include:

  • Adolescents, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse: Reaching Teens through Brief Interventions by Peter Monti, Suzanne Colby, and Tracy O'Leary.
  • Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Abuse: How to Spot It, Stop It, and Get Help for Your Family by Nikki Babbit.
  • The Day I Told My Mom I Smoke Pot by S. Maloy.
  • Beautiful Boy by David Sheff.
  • Educating yourself and reading about other families' struggles may help you find different strategies to endure your personal ordeal and know that you are not alone.



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