When addiction runs in the family, you want to be proactive in talking with teens about drugs and what it means for them, but you may not know how to go about it. Today’s blog is a compilation of tips: the grandparent’s guide to talking with teens about drugs.
In many families and cultures worldwide, grandparents are influential figures in their grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents may have many opportunities to offer guidance, life lessons and support to their grandchildren regarding various issues, from what career path to take to how to avoid using alcohol, tobacco and other substances.
Many children may have conflicting ideas about drugs from a young age, as some drugs are legal for people of certain ages, some are prescription medications and others are illegal. Fortunately, a grandparent can help their grandchild or grandchildren get accurate information about drugs and alcohol and the effects of using such substances, reinforce the importance of living substance-free and support their decision not to use them.
Furthermore, grandparents can provide comfort, act as guardians and stand in the gap if their grandchildren’s parents or legal guardians are battling substance abuse.
Having conversations with mental health professionals, clinicians and therapists at a treatment and counseling center and following the tips listed below can empower grandparents to talk honestly and effectively with teenagers about drugs and alcohol.
Tip #1: Be Willing to Discuss Substance Use With Your Grandchildren
Talking about substances can be awkward, but it’s a conversation that you should never avoid. Some grandparents may think it’s better not to discuss drugs and alcohol with their grandchildren, perhaps assuming that forgoing these conversations can protect children from the harsh realities of substance abuse, especially in cases where their parents are battling an addiction. However, the worst thing for tweens and teens may not be knowing about drugs and alcohol but not knowing about them at all.
Ultimately, grandparents must be willing to talk to the teens they love about substances and the effects of misuse, abuse and addiction. Rather than avoid these conversations, grandparents should especially have them with children living in homes with parents who battle addiction. These children may need reassurance from a trusted adult that parental substance abuse and addiction are never their fault.
Tip #2: Seek Information and Professional Assistance to Have Factual, Comfortable Discussions
If you’re unsure how to begin a conversation about drug use, consider turning to professionals like the treatment specialists, therapists, and clinicians at The Ranch Tennessee. The mental health experts and medical team at this center provide effective, evidence-based treatment programs and offer information, guidance and referrals to clients, their families and emotional and social support systems.
An expert in mental health, treatment and addiction can answer any questions you or your grandchildren have and provide you with a safe space to share as much as you know about drug use and its effects. Likewise, a mental health professional can use their expertise to guide your grandchild to feel comfortable sharing with you things they may know about drugs and alcohol and expressing any unmet emotional needs.
If your grandchild’s parent needs treatment for substance abuse and guidance regaining control of their life following a relapse, The Ranch is a safe, judgment-free center that provides several treatment program options, including:
- Drug addiction treatment
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Prescription drug treatment
- Alcohol addiction treatment
Contacting professionals at The Ranch at 888-503-1801 today can empower you to have responsible conversations about substance abuse and help your family resiliently and successfully overcome a loved one’s addiction.