Going to Rehab: How to Tell Your Kid
The most difficult part of sending a teenager to rehab is breaking the news to them. Find out how to keep the situation calm while letting them know.
Is someone in your life going to rehab? Telling someone they need to attend alcohol or drug addiction treatment is no easy feat. Most alcoholics and addicts push back against the idea that they need help. If they aren’t ready to get sober, they may put up a fight and challenge whoever chooses to send them to a treatment facility.
While it’s never an easy thing to confront someone you care about, it’s easier to tell a friend or distant family member they need to attend treatment. When you need to tell your kids about going to rehab, though, you have an entirely different set of circumstances to work with.
Continue reading to learn more about drug and alcohol use among teens and how to tell your kid they are going to rehab. Additionally, find out where you can find support for your own process. It’s never easy to have a child with a drug or alcohol problem but you are not alone in your struggles.
Totaling it Up: Addiction Rates Among Teenagers
Parenting a child with an alcohol or drug problem presents a staggering set of difficulties that not many parents deal with. Not every parent realizes the troubles that parents with addicted children deal with on a daily basis. Still, an alarming number of teenagers find and regularly use drugs.
According to a study from 2013, 22.7 percent of high school seniors smoked marijuana in the last month alone. This means that more students smoke weed than cigarettes, with only 16.3 percent of students reporting smoking cigarettes.
Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) conducts a survey called “Monitoring the Future.” Every year they gather data on drug use among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students nationwide. NIDA published the results of their most recent survey in 2017. According to this survey, the following number of school-aged children used illegal drugs other than marijuana in the past year alone:
- 5.8% of 8th grade students
- 9.4% of 10th grade students
- 13.3% of 12th grade students
These illicit drugs include prescription painkillers, amphetamines, MDMA (also known as ecstasy or Molly), LSD, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and more. Individual numbers for each drug prove slightly more promising but the rates of use should still surprise you.
Thankfully, organizations like Do Something and the National Institute of Drug Abuse for Teens focus on reducing drug use among young people. It can be difficult to get a message through to maturing and often rebellious teenagers. Still, hundreds of volunteers put in countless hours to raise awareness about drug addiction and alcohol abuse among teens.
How to Tell Your Kid They’re Going to Rehab
It’s challenging to tell anyone they need to attend treatment but when they are your child it’s completely different. Depending on the type of relationship you have with your child, it may be difficult to tell they that they are going to rehab. Try to get an idea of how they might respond and determine the extent of support you may need.
One of the most effective way to tell your kid they are going to rehab is through an intervention. You might have seen the television show Intervention where a family gathers together to explain to the addict or alcoholic why they should attend treatment. You can hold a similar gathering to explain to your child why rehab is the best approach to their problem.
Seeking the help of an interventionist, addiction counselor, or therapist is the first place to start. These individuals understand how to work with various family dynamics and mediate escalating situations. While you can host an intervention without the assistance of a third party, having their neutral input keeps the focus on the matter at hand: your child going to rehab.
Finding Help and Support For Yourself
It may feel incredibly isolating when your child has a problem with drugs or alcohol. You might feel completely out of control of the situation or inadequate as a parent. Remember that you are not alone. Finding support for yourself after telling your kid they are going to rehab helps you cope with that fact as well.
Thousands of parents nationwide understand exactly what you’re going through right now. Though your close friends or family might not relate, supportive communities of parents with addicted children exist. You don’t have to live with the pressure and challenges of your child’s drug or alcohol problem alone if you choose not to.
Al-Anon is a worldwide group based off of the original twelve-step program, Alcoholics Anonymous. Founded in 1951 by the wife of one of the AA co-founders, Al-Anon provides support for the wives, parents, children, and friends of alcoholics and addicts. Through practicing an altered version of AA’s twelve steps, members of Al-Anon learn to live their lives free from the bondage of the alcoholic or addict’s behavior and actions.
If you don’t want to attend Al-Anon, you might want to seek support from a counselor or therapist instead. It is important for you to have your own outlet to help you handle the stresses your child places on you. Taking care of your own well-being is necessary if you want to offer a healthy level of support to your kid.
Choosing an Addiction Treatment Rehab
You need to choose a facility before telling your child they are going to rehab. Selecting a facility may seem overwhelming but multiple avenues exist to help you navigate the process. You could call your insurance provider to receive a list of facilities and treatment options covered by your plan. Once you have this list, start making calls and narrowing down your options.
If the option is available to you, Hawaii Island Recovery offers a well-rounded approach to alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, our facility works with teenagers to help them learn to live without drugs and alcohol. To learn more about our facility and find out whether your insurance covers treatment, call us at 877-721-3556.