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How to Help Your Teenager Navigate Addiction

Between the unpredictability of recent years, remote learning, lack of social outlets, and general fear circulating the globe, young adults are facing great challenges on top of the already turbulent process of puberty. Evidence is suggesting a substantial increase in emotional and addiction related issues among all individuals, including young teenagers.

Adolescents may be turning to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for trauma, isolation, boredom, and general anxiety from recent global events. While it’s quite common for teenagers to experiment with alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs and not always a cause for immense concern, in some cases, teenagers may develop an addiction. Addiction is not only unsustainable but can quickly grow out of hand and even be fatal if not managed.

While helping a child through this difficult time can be really frustrating, scary, and even devastating, it’s important that you approach your child from a place of love. It is equally important that you practice self-love and establish healthy boundaries for both yourself and your child. While keeping in mind that every case is unique, continue reading for my advice on how to help your teenager navigate addiction with love and forgiveness.

Understand What Drug Addiction Means

Many people may look at drug addicts and question, ‘Why don’t they just stop?’ What these people fail to realize is that drug addiction is a chronic disease. It can be a severe life-consuming problem characterized by compulsive or consistent drug use, regardless of any physical or emotional harm that may be caused to one’s self or others.

Drugs and alcohol cause biochemical changes to the brain as well as bioenergetic changes to the body. By mimicking pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, drugs and alcohol interrupt your body’s normal ability to create these chemicals.

The brain ultimately becomes rewired to depend on drugs in order to achieve the “high” of feeling happiness, joy, and love. Eventually, it becomes a non-optionable choice.

Drug Addiction on an Energetic Level

On an energetic level, drugs and alcohol shut off the body’s ability to process trauma by further suppressing painful memories deeper into the subconscious. Drug use is often a form of escapism; burying the problems allows for temporary relief. But as foundational principles of Emotional Polarity Technique remind us, pain and trauma must rise to the surface in order to be set free.

If one continues to suppress pain with drug use, it will brew beneath the surface, waiting to explode when the drug use stops.

Consider a boiling pot of water with a lid on it. When you remove the lid, steam will pour out, the bubbles may overflow, and there will be an intense and uncontrollable release of unresolved pressure.

The discomfort of this ‘explosion’ will likely be too much for the mind and body to handle, making it nearly impossible to stop drug use without help. When one has to ‘check in’ after being checked out for so long, the body may become physically ill, the mind will struggle to function and piece together the broken fragments, and the spirit will feel confused and lost.

At this point more than ever, the struggling person needs love, forgiveness, and patience.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction

Behavioral Changes

Behavioral changes are typically the first and most obvious signs that your child may be suffering from addiction and is in need of treatment. Look for these signs if you suspect your child is using drugs:

  • Spending money they don’t have

  • Acting out of character such as stealing or sneaking out

  • Failing to meet responsibilities and work obligations

  • Dropping hobbies and passions

  • Secrecy and isolation

  • Sleeping challenges

  • Communication difficulties

  • Legal problems

  • Changes in appearance or dressing style

  • Academic issues

  • Changes in friendship circle

While these signs are not always indicative of drug use, especially as children grow and try to discover who they are, they are a sign that your child needs love and help. Pay attention to your parental intuition. Don’t hesitate to get your child the help he or she needs.

Drug Abuse Symptoms There are many different symptoms that may point to drug use and could vary dramatically depending on the substance(s) your child is using. Look out for the following emotional and physical indicators:

  • Euphoria

  • Increased sociability

  • Increased energy and agitation

  • Issues with clarity and focus

  • Muscle spasms and loss of control

  • Paranoia

  • Extreme mood changes

  • Falls or frequent accidents

  • Dizziness

  • Dilated pupils

  • Chills and sweating

  • Memory issues

Are you concerned that your child is struggling with drug addiction? Drug abuse is often a symptom of and coping mechanism for underlying trauma. With my help, we can determine the next best steps to help you and your child. Schedule your free consultation with me, Jolisa Clare, today - (765) 382-6996.

Don’t Place Blame on Yourself

When helping a child with drug addiction, you may feel compelled to place their needs before your own. Unfortunately, people struggling with addiction can become mean and conniving. While you must keep in mind that this is a result of the drugs and not the person, you must be strong and avoid falling victim to this behavior.

Blaming yourself for your child’s addiction will only set the whole family back instead of giving you the resilience you need to combat this issue with your child. The blame is not yours to carry, and neither is the responsibility to ‘save’ your child.

While there are many steps you can take to help guide your child towards recovery, they must ultimately come to their own conclusions. Your child needs a safe space without judgement to open up about his or her feelings.

They may not be ready or willing to change, which can be very difficult to accept as a parent. Be prepared to forgive both yourself and your child for any mistakes, and find guidance from a trained professional.

If your child isn’t ready to commit to recovery, you still need support. A battle against drug addiction can be traumatic for the whole family. With my help, you can build a toolkit to stay strong through this fight. Book your appointment today.

Establish Clear Boundaries

While you should always provide love and forgiveness for your child, that doesn’t mean you should be an enabler or fail to establish clear boundaries.

You may feel tempted to cover up your child’s actions or make excuses for them. However, the only way for your child to truly recover is for you and them to recognize and accept that they have an addiction. This is much more empowering than trying to ‘hide’ and continue to bury pain.

Your child may try to manipulate you into giving them money or tell you hateful things to make you feel responsible for their suffering. In this case, calmly establish boundaries with your child. Tell them that you hear their concerns, but cannot fulfil their wishes.

Create non-negotiable boundaries, and clearly communicate these with your child.

While communicating your own feelings and limitations, create a space for your child to do the same. This may be difficult initially, but having nonjudgmental conversations can help build trust and help you better understand what your child is going through to get them the necessary help.

Don’t Give Up Hope

Drug addiction is a chronic disease. Unfortunately, there is no Band-Aid solution. If you want to help your child through this difficult time, patience truly is the most important virtue you can have. Your child will need forgiveness, love, and support long after they complete a treatment program and will likely require on-going therapy.

In my practice, I can help you and your family release trauma both caused and created by drug addiction. Together, we can build a long-term strategy with a variety of resources for healing from drug addiction both as an addict and as a by-stander. There is always hope, and with Emotional Polarity Technique, I will help you see that.

Don’t lose hope. Visit Jolisa Clare Holistic to release the energetic heaviness of drug addiction and trauma.


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