There are many reasons teens become addicted to drugs. Despite the warnings they receive from parents, school counselors and drug awareness programs, kids still often choose to experiment. Sometimes it’s peer pressure. It may be a mode of escape from their problems. Perhaps they’re just curious. No matter your teen’s reason for turning to drugs, experimentation can become a real problem due to the addictive properties of many chemical substances. If your teen is addicted to drugs, quitting on his own may not be possible. It’s likely you’ll need to hold an intervention. If you’re wondering, “What is an intervention?” this article will give you a better understanding as well as show you ways you can help.
A drug intervention is a meeting held with the teen, his parents, other important people in his life and a leader who’s knowledgeable about substance abuse issues. This leader is usually a social worker, doctor or trained addiction counselor. The leader will help provide guidance to the family and friends in talking to the teen about his drug issue and how it’s affecting those around him. The key component of an intervention lies in the addict seeing how his addiction and behavior are causing pain and difficulty for others; it’s not to confront or place blame on the addict.
Intervention for Teens
You may wonder, “What is an intervention for teens, and how does it differ from that of one geared toward an adult substance abuser?” The premise is the same. However, because a teen’s brain is still developing, drugs may affect him differently. He’s also likely to react in different ways than an adult would due to his psychological stage in life and the fact that he hasn’t yet learned coping skills or ways to deal with his emotions. This is actually quite understandable, because the portion of the brain that controls decision-making and impulses isn’t fully developed until a person reaches about 25 years old.
How You Can Help
Although it’s natural for teens to push their parents away and to be moody or hostile, deep down they often crave stability, care and acceptance. Believe it or not, they’re listening to you, and they care about your opinion. Being involved with your teen and talking to him about his addiction will be more beneficial and encourage him to change his behavior more so than backing off in order to avoid conflict. An intervention is a structured opportunity under the watchful eye of a professional that can allow you the chance to express the importance of drug treatment to your teen in a way that’s non-threatening, controlled and effective.
You’re probably no longer wondering, “What is an intervention?” You should know, however, that an intervention requires planning, consistency and follow-through. Everyone will need to be on the same page and remain steadfast in outlining the consequences and treatment plan to the teen. Be prepared to have your teenager enter treatment at the end of the staged intervention. Call the helpline at 800-447-9081 to learn more about staging an intervention and to find a qualified interventionist to assist you.