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What Would Be a Good Parent's Guide to Treat an Alcoholic Teenager?

Many people today struggle with the effects of alcoholism in their lives. These problems can be either caused by them personally (as the alcoholic) or someone else within their family. In Canada, roughly 17% of the teenage population has admitted to drinking two to three times a week. This type of drinking can lead to alcoholism in their adult life. In fact, many of these teenagers who start drinking at 15 or younger continue to drink heavily into their adult years.

For a parent, this can be both very disheartening and frustrating. On the one hand, the parent is faced with the pain of seeing their child addicted to a substance that has taken control of their personality and person. On the other hand, they are frustrated with either themselves or their child, for letting alcoholism into their lives. Treating the alcoholic teenager is something that parents must do immediately if they want to see results and eliminate the dangers of abuse in the future.

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In order to treat effectively a teenager that is abusing alcohol, the parents must realize that there is no one to blame. Once the "blame game" gets started it can severely hamper any hopes of treating the teenager who is addicted to alcohol. It must be something that is dealt with by accepting the problem and then seeking out professional treatment.

Many families try to hide the abuse and sweep it under the rug. By doing so, it is making the teenager feel ashamed of themselves, of who they are, and of what they are made to be: which is an alcoholic. Again, this will only hamper any efforts for long-term treatment success. It is important to react swiftly and acknowledge the problem so as to seek out the necessary treatment.

Two major factors will determine success in treating a teenager for alcoholism. The first is making sure that the teenager knows that there is a stable foundation behind them. Group support is much better than a single person trying to cope with the withdrawals, medical conditions, and other problems. It takes an entire family to step in and continue to help the alcoholic.

This help should also take the form of intervening when it is tough to do so. Keeping a close eye on the teenager for several months to make sure that they are not in positions where alcohol can be present and peer pressure gets the best of them. This is most likely to be the hardest part for a parent. At times, it can get very hard as the teenager lashes out in anger. However, it is integral to long-term treatment success.

The second factor that determines success is inpatient alcohol treatment and therapy. There are reasons that a teenager begins drinking at a young age. Sometimes it is because of peer pressure, but many times it is because of other mental problems. Inpatient therapy is a trend that many counseling services are recommending today. This type of therapy not only removes the person from the element but also gives them the psychological support to endure withdrawals and commit to staying sober.

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Sylvain Fournier

Sylvain Fournier | Bio

Across Canada, there are many different treatment options to choose from, private, government-funded, inpatient, and outpatient. See More