While there are a variety of issues that parents who have teens must grapple with, dealing with a teenager who chooses to use alcohol can be particularly problematic. However, there are a variety of things parents can do to help a teen “taper” away from alcoholism. Here are five:
1. Schedule An Intervention
When you recognize that your teenager has an alcohol problem, scheduling an intervention is oftentimes the most effective way to bring a resolution. This is the case for several reasons, because it causes your child to understand you don’t take the issue lightly. Additionally, scheduling an intervention will put your teen in a position where she or he has to make a life-altering decision regarding their alcoholism, which will determine the course of his or her life. When you schedule the intervention, be sure that you have a trained drug rehabilitation professional or counselor there to monitor events as they unfold so that everyone remains on track to solving the problem.
2. Offer Unconditional Love
As many psychological experts know, one of the main reasons that teens experiment with or abuse alcohol is that they perceive that they are not valued. This low self-esteem will often precipitate a willingness to drink alcohol as the teen feels that doing so will please friends and help them “fit in.” Once you have decided to help your teen taper from alcohol, it’s critically important that you offer him or her unconditional love. This does not mean that you have to accept the undesirable behavior. Rather, it means that you make it known to your child (in both subtle and salient ways) that they have innate value and you will always love them, irrespective of whether they cease the unhealthy behavior.
3. Get Healthy
When people abuse or misuse substances like alcohol, they can do substantive damage to their physical and mental health. Yet when an individual comes to recognize the great power that can result from caring for their health, she or he will likely cease engaging in the destructive behaviors like alcoholism. Since this is the case, one of the most effective things you can do for a child in order to help them taper from alcohol is emphasizing the importance of getting healthy. Be a model for health yourself by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet largely comprised of fruits and vegetables. Then encourage your child to get involved in this type of healthy lifestyle by cycling with them or being physically active in some other mutually agreed upon way.
4. Pursue Detoxification
As many drug rehabilitation professionals know, detoxification is a great way to help a teen taper away from alcohol. Once the potentially harmful substance is removed from the teen’s body, she or he will likely experience a decreased physiological dependence on the alcohol. Since this is the case, make a point to call a local drug rehabilitation center in order to learn more about their detoxification services.
5. Monitor The Teen’s Environment
Oftentimes, teens take to alcoholism as a result of the fact that it is deemed acceptable by other individuals in their environment. Thus if you are serious about helping your teen taper from alcohol, it’s a good idea to monitor their environment. When you notice that anyone is openly offering your teen alcohol or enabling them in other subtler ways, you can remove this individual from their life.
Although alcoholism or alcohol abuse can be a difficult matter to deal with, help is available. If you or your teen is currently grappling with alcoholism, pick up the phone now and call a drug rehabilitation professional in order to attain the diagnosis and treatment services you need and deserve.