Ozark Teen Challenge on How Addiction Can Take People By Surprise
Through years of helping troubled teenagers through the message of God, the importance of faith and sheer determination, Ozark Teen Challenge has learned some things about addiction. We want to share some of this knowledge with you and let you know that you can have faith in us, just as we have faith in the Lord, to help your teenage child back onto the right path.
The Insidious Nature of Addiction
Addiction is a complicated facet of many people’s lives and the way it occurs varies wildly from person to person. Many people live their daily lives addicted to certain common behaviors, substances or even just routines and habits, without ever knowing it.
What keeps these minor addictions from being noticed is often the fact that they don’t appear to interfere with day-to-day life. Unfortunately, this is the insidious nature of addiction. Many addictions can start small and quickly take hold before the sufferer even realizes. This is also what leads to so much hostility and difficulty once the addiction is uncovered, as it’s hard to even make the addict see or acknowledge the problem exists.
Take recreational drugs as an example. Many teenagers will experiment recreational drugs or alcohol because of how normalized it is among their peers. They might not see what they drink, smoke or take with their friends as a problem because they only do it “sometimes”. But, as that “sometimes” becomes weekly and weekly becomes daily, the idea that it’s normal behavior persist, so the idea that they’re addicted is pushed to the back of their mind. This is when confrontations occur and what Ozark Teen Challenge is fighting against.
The Signs of Addiction The Addict Doesn’t See
Fortunately for parents, there are some more obvious signs of addiction that are easy to see if you know where to look. Changes in behaviour are extremely common when someone is using a substance frequently – the more frequent, the bigger the change. The challenge here is identifying these changes from normal teenage hormones and the only way to know is through careful observation.
Don’t be misled into believing that there are certain behaviors that are always the same when someone is using a specific drug or substance – different people react in different ways and your teen could be affected in a very unique way. A sudden abundance of energy or even an unusually good mood that is persistent to the point of being manic is as much a sign as lethargy or anger.
Changes in diet and eating habits, the words they use and the people they hang out with are all things that we’ve heard at Ozark Teen Challenge that have led to uncovering an addiction problem in teenagers, so the best thing you can do is know your child.
The Trauma of Confrontation and the Freedom of Acceptance
The fact that many addicts often don’t realize or won’t accept that they have a problem is part of what makes this all so hard. Admitting to yourself that your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol is hard enough but confronting them and making them see it is even harder. If the time has come to recognize a problem, do your best to leave the judgment to God – they need to know that you’re looking out for them, not punishing them.
Your child coming to the acceptance that they have an addiction problem, while hard, is the first step in the liberation from their burden. Ozark Teen Challenge can help them reach this acceptance and then guide them towards God’s light and help them free themselves from addiction.
Ozark Teen Challenge Can Help
Our mentors have been helping troubled teens with addiction and emotional issues for years and we understand how complicated it can be. But, we also understand how rewarding it is to restore faith in a young person who has lost their way. If you’re looking for help, ask us about our programs for troubled teens.