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How To Get Help For My Son’s Alcohol Or Drug Addiction

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

Medically reviewed by

Brenda Munnerlyn, RN, BSN

April 8, 2019

Few things in life are harder than watching a son fall into and struggle with an addiction to alcohol or drugs. It can make a parent feel a sense of failure and helplessness. However, you can make a vital difference in your son’s life by making a stand and getting him help. It will be a difficult process for both of you, but it can help save him from a life of destructive addiction.

Watching For Tell-Tale Signs

Drug use and addiction will change your son’s behavior in a wide variety of ways. Watch for the following symptoms and behaviors to help decide whether you want to approach your son about addiction:

  • Excessively negative or mean-spirited personality change
  • Sudden disinterest in activities he used to love
  • Changing friend groups
  • Poor performance in school or sports activities
  • A decrease in personal hygiene
  • Difficulties relating to family and friends

Drug and alcohol addiction is one of the few life changes to so heavily influence your son’s personality. If you are convinced your son may be addicted to alcohol or drugs, it’s time to talk to him about it.

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Honestly Discussing The Problem

Talking to your son and getting him to honestly admit he has a problem is going to be the most difficult part of the process. As a teen, he is likely going to feel naturally rebellious against you and drug use will only amplify that. However, there are a few tips you can consider when approaching your son:

  • Ask him honestly if he is doing drugs or alcohol
  • Show no anger or resentment if he admits he is using
  • Discuss the reasons he is using
  • Relate the ways his new addiction is causing him and others problems
  • Bring up different treatment options he may want to consider
  • Let him know you love him no matter what
  • Allow other family members to discuss the problem with him

Interventions like these are very effective; studies have shown that they almost always help bring a person into treatment for addiction.

Choosing A Treatment Type

Drug addiction treatment comes in a variety of different options. Each of them offers a variety of benefits that may suit your son’s needs. Carefully discuss these treatment options with him before trying to find a center near you for his addiction:

  • Inpatient rehab: teens and adults must stay in the center during their treatment. However, they will receive dedicated detoxification treatments, regular medical care, and psychological and emotional treatment. They will also have access to a friendly peer group that is fighting through addiction.
  • Outpatient rehab: attendees stay at home during the duration of this care. They still receive detoxification treatments, but won’t have as ready access to medical care. Psychological and emotional treatments will occur 3-5 days a week, on-site.
  • Wilderness drug rehabs: attendees go into the wilderness with a carefully monitored group. During this process, teens and adults work hard every day to gather wood, make fires, cook food, and raise tents. Many will experience a strong sense of spiritual recovery in wilderness rehab.
  • Boot camps: attendees experience a rough, military-type experience. This treatment is similar to wilderness drug rehab, but is much harsher. Patients must follow strict rules or face expulsion. Boot camps are appropriate only for people fighting against their own recovery.

All of these options will include some form of detoxification and mental and emotional assessment and care. The first three often integrate holistic care options, such as yoga or meditation, into their treatment options.

Looking For An Effective Center

There are hundreds of drug rehabilitation centers around the country and finding the right one can feel maddening. Try to choose a rehabilitation center that:

  • Receives strong reviews from an independent online source
  • Has been certified by a relevant medical association
  • Is located nearby, so you can visit your son during treatment
  • Offers multiple treatment options
  • Includes multiple payment plans
  • Is staffed by highly trained specialists
  • Works heavily with children and teens

The latter point is particularly important when choosing a rehab center for your son: peer recovery has been shown to be an incredibly effective way to treat addiction. As a result, placing him in a center in surrounded by people his own age may aid his recovery.

Finding Ways To Pay

Paying for rehabilitation may seem like an impossible task: some centers can cost thousands of dollars a day. However, Obamacare has made it necessary for every insurance provider to offer some form of addiction care. If your son is covered by your insurance, much of his treatment may be covered.

The amount depends on your policy and your provider. For example, some insurers provide plans that cover 60 percent of all treatment costs, while others cover 80 percent. Sometimes, you must also make a deductible before coverage kicks in: lower plans usually require at least $5,000.

Help Your Son Fight Through This Difficult Process

With your help and care from dedicated professionals, your son will be able to get the recovery treatment that he deserves. If you need any more guidance during this difficult process, please contact us at today to speak with a dedicated and knowledgeable counselor.

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