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Thursday, February 20, 2020

How to Hold an Intervention for a Young Adult

As a parent of a teenager with substance misuse problems, you might feel desperate or hopeless. The bright, vibrant daughter or son you raised has become unresponsive, withdrawn and secretive. Their grades may be slipping as they continue down the path to a worsening addiction. You know you should do something to help, but you aren’t sure how to start the conversation that could save your child’s life.

A structured intervention can often be transformative – both for the person with the addiction and the team who has agreed to participate in the meeting. But for many people, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are some tips for intervening in the life of a teenager who needs help.

1. Identify a Treatment Center

Ideally, you should have a rehab facility already picked out and ready to admit your teen if your intervention succeeds in its goal of persuading them to enter treatment. Researching various options to determine the best fit for your son or daughter can take time, and it’s not a decision you want to rush into. With that in mind, make sure you have done your due diligence and found a qualified rehab specializing in the unique needs of young adults.

2. Plan the Details

TV depictions of interventions are almost always of dramatic, spur-of-the-moment events where one person has reached the end of their rope and begs the addict to seek help. In real life, the most successful interventions are carefully orchestrated meetings. You’ll need to decide on the details in advance, including who will attend, what time of day to get together and even where everyone will sit.

3. Write Your Remarks

An integral part of your intervention planning process includes writing what you will say and rehearsing it extensively. While you may feel as if your teen will respond better to off-the-cuff comments, an intervention is no time to speak extemporaneously. Tensions can run high during this meeting, and if you don’t practice what you’re going to say, chances are good you’ll let your emotions run away from you.

Phrasing is critical here. You and all the other members of the intervention team must avoid negativity or comments that blame or shame your teen loved one. Instead, frame your comments as “I” statements, such as, “I know addiction is a disease, and I want to help you get better.” You can also provide concrete examples of how their substance misuse has affected you, such as, “It scared me to see you passed out from drinking too much. I worry about how you are jeopardizing your future.”

4. Consider Hiring Help

For your meeting to have the best chances of success, you may wish to hire a professional interventionist who can help you plan and execute it. An intervention can keep the conversation on a productive track if things seem to be getting out of control or devolving into an argument.

5. Keep Lines of Communication Open

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the first attempt at an intervention will not succeed. Some teens may need time to process the information they received and the emotions you have revealed. They might have to get comfortable with the idea of going to rehab and learning to manage their addiction for the rest of their life. If your teen doesn’t immediately agree to enter the treatment facility you’ve picked out, don’t give up. Remind them daily that you love them, and that you only have their best interests at heart.

Contact Hope Academy to Start the Healing Process

Hope Academy is a place where young adults can find the treatment they need to get sober and begin the work of addiction recovery. If your son or daughter needs help for substance misuse, please reach out to us to learn more about our admissions and insurance acceptance.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Addressing the Unique Treatment Needs of Younger People

Every adult can look back on their teens and early 20s with a mix of nostalgia and relief that they don’t have to go through that turbulent time again. However, today’s landscape is significantly more complex than what you might have faced during that time of your life. For one thing, readily available technology and 24/7 access to social media have put unique stresses on people, even those who grew up as digital natives.

If you feel like a gulf has developed between you and your child as they’ve reached these difficult years, how can you tell the difference between typical teen angst and signs of possibly risky behavior?

Challenges Facing Today’s Young Adults

None of us could have accurately predicted what the introduction of social media outlets would mean for society at large. Many people happily jumped on board with Facebook, for instance, willingly trading their privacy in exchange for being able to stay in touch with far-flung family and friends and participate in various online interest groups.

However, we now know Facebook did not have people’s best interests at heart. The company's executives were more than willing to provide detailed user information to political campaigns seeking to influence votes in the 2016 presidential election. What other “helpful” apps might be secretly harboring harmful intentions?

Ironically, though social media platforms were supposed to bring us all together, they have also served as a tool for cybercriminals and purveyors of discord and discrimination. For example, creators of “alternative news” have flocked to YouTube because it’s free to use and presents low barriers for entry. As a result, many teenagers – largely young men – have become dangerously radicalized into violent far-right ideologies that pull them away from the mainstream.

When to Seek Therapy or Help for Your Child

Sometimes, it can be challenging to tell when a teenager or college-aged child is struggling with substance abuse or other co-occurring mental health disorders. Is a son or daughter who seems withdrawn or sullen dealing with troubles like depression or cyberbullying, or is their isolation a simple form of teen rebellion? Here are some signs your child might benefit from counseling or professional help for their problems.
  • Ignoring responsibilities at home or at school
  • A lapse in personal hygiene
  • Skipping classes or other, even riskier, behavior
  • Sleeping too much or not nearly enough
  • Erratic mood swings, hostility or anger
  • Unwillingness to discuss any difficulties with you

How to Find the Right Program

If you and a medical professional determine your teenager or college-aged student needs help to overcome a mental health problem or dual diagnosis, it’s essential to find a treatment program that will meet the unique needs of their situation. Even the best-designed course of therapy will be less effective if your child is not willing to play an active role in their recovery.

Early intervention is also essential because it can help avoid the lifelong consequences of untreated substance use and mental health problems, which can disrupt your child’s promising future and set them on a rocky road to the financial, legal, emotional, psychological and physical issues associated with these issues.

At Hope Academy, we understand the challenges the younger generation faces, both in society at large and their lives in general. We are here to provide structure and support with customized programming that helps teach life, academic and job skills to clients ages 18 to 26. If you’re ready to learn more, contact us today.
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