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Teen Rehab: Key Differences Between Enabling and Helping Your Child

Teen Rehab: Are You Supporting or Enabling Your Child?

Addiction afflicts millions of people every year. Each and every one of these addicts has family, friends, and individuals who love and care about them. Young teenagers and adolescents are the most susceptible to drug use in this country, and it can be difficult for parents to deal with their child’s addiction in a healthy way. Parents struggle to accept when their child needs teen rehab, or they turn a blind eye to obvious symptoms of substance abuse.

How Helping Differs from Enabling

In simplest terms, enabling and helping are exact opposites. When you help your child, you move them closer to getting help in the form of teen rehab or counseling, or whatever it takes depending on whether they have become addicted yet.

Enabling, however, works to keep your child out of teen rehab. If you enable your child, he or she will continue to abuse drugs and drink alcohol. The difficulty in understanding the two actions lies in the fact that you may feel like you are performing one when you are, in fact, doing the other.

What Does Enabling Look Like?

From the outside, enabling looks similar to helping. If you gave a friend down on his luck some cash or a place to stay, this would be considered help. These same actions become enabling when your teen abuses drugs because they will take advantage of your kindness to buy more drugs or alcohol.

Making excuses for your child is another form of enabling. You should never lie to a principal or an employer on your teen’s behalf. They should reap the consequences of their drug use. If you shield them from all harm, you enable them to continue with their self-destructive behavior.

What Does Helping Look Like?

Helping may sometimes feel difficult. Many drug abusers learn how to manipulate their friends and family in order to get what they want: more drugs. Creating strict boundaries and rules helps impose structure on your child. You must show them that their actions have consequences. This does not mean that you refuse to show them love or comfort or understanding, but you must allow them to feel the repercussions of their actions.

If your child has already shown signs of addiction, help comes in the form of enrolling him or her into teen rehab. This process can be as difficult for parents as it can be for a child. Remember that you are helping them, not hurting them when you send them away to recreational therapy programs or other addiction recovery programs.

Choose To Help Your Child by Sending Them to Teen Rehab

A teen rehab program can help take the burden of caring for your addicted child off of your hands. You should not feel guilty for sending your child to trained professionals who offer behavioral therapy and recreational therapy programs to help your teen recover from drug use. The youth programs at Ozarks Teen Challenge will help shape your child into a person who does not need drugs.

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