Help ensure your teen attends treatment services.Supporting your child’s attendance of treatment shows that as family you are invested in making a positive change. Attend scheduled family sessions with your child in order to talk about how substance abuse has impacted the family, to clarify what the family expectations are for your child, and to learn ways to support for your child and the family in the change process.
Work together as parents and caregivers to present a united front to your teen. Agree on what positions you will take in dealing with your teen and setting rules and expectations. Avoid blame and undermining other by working together to help your teen. Identify your own support and resources as family members.
Spell out enforceable rules and realistic consequences for your teen. By establishing and clearly communicating rules, your child will know what you expect of them. Set firm consequences for when your rules are broken. Make it clear that you won’t tolerate drug abuse. Rules might include leaving a party where drug abuse occurs and not riding in a car with a driver who’s been abusing drugs. Agree on the consequences of breaking the rules ahead of time and enforce them consistently. This will help your teenager, making it clear what they are to do and not to do.
Reassure your teen that they can talk to you or come to you for help when they are stressed or dealing with a personal issue. Having someone to talk to will reduce their feelings of stress and diminish their desire to use. Help your child to identify other safe and positive adults they can talk to as well.
Be aware of your teen’s environment. Know your teen’s friends and their parents. It can be helpful if the parents of your child’s friends and your extended family members know that your family’s expectation for your child is that they will not use drugs and alcohol.
Know your teen’s activities. Pay attention to your teen’s whereabouts. Find out what positive activities your teen is interested in and encourage them get involved. Get to know the parents of your teen’s friends.
Encourage your teen that they can change. Though they have made poor choices in the past, it does not define who they are or what actions they will take in the future. Offer praise and encouragement when your teen succeeds, whether in the community, at school, or at home.