<

Welcome to New Life Counselling

TALKING ABOUT THE PROBLEM

Teens | Adult


People have long believed that a person must hit bottom before he or she is in a position to get help. About 20 years ago researchers began to realize that "not helping hurts"; they discovered that we were killing people with kindness. As a result, a person with a substance problem would sometimes arrive in treatment - or at the emergency room - too late.

Neither you nor anyone else can force someone to stop using substances, but you can encourage and help them to make changes.

TALKING TO TEENS ABOUT THE PROBLEM?

  • Don't jump to conclusions
  • Identify specific concerns with spouse first
  • Get as many facts as possible before facing child
  • Arrange a time and place for discussion
  • Discuss specific changes with child
  • Be cool, calm, collected, concerned

DON'T PANIC OR BE CONFRONTATIONAL

  • Ask the child for an explanation
  • Don't assume anything, wait for an answer
  • State rules and consequences of failure to follow rules
  • Continue to monitor the situation after the discussion

CALL FOR APPOINTMENT/INFORMATION TO DISCUSS:

  • Setting better limits: What is appropriate and inappropriate
  • Setting preventative rules to assist your teen.
  • Monitoring
  • Consistency
  • Compliance
  • Consequences

TALKING TO AN ADULT ABOUT THE PROBLEM?

  • Talk to the person you're worried about. Find a time when they're not under the influence and when you're reasonably calm.
  • Tell them about the problems their substance use is causing.
  • Help them to see the effects of their substance use as this might encourage them to change their behaviour
  • Listen to them. Find out how they feel about their substance use and how it helps them.
  • Avoid getting into arguments, it will make it more difficult for them to talk openly to you about things in the future. For the same reason try to avoid sounding as if you're nagging or accusing.
  • Be consistent. Don't keep changing your mind about what you're saying, or say one thing and do another.
  • Make it clear when behaviour is unacceptable.
  • Make it clear what action you will take if they do not keep to their side of the bargain.
  • Don't make idle threats.
  • Discuss with friends and family what you are trying to do, encourage them to support you and take a similar approach. This will be less confusing for the person who is abusing substances.
  • Help the person who is using to be realistic. Don't encourage them to make promises they can't keep.
  • Try to change patterns of behaviour that make it easier for them to use. For example, don't give them money if you think they will spend it on alcohol/drugs.
  • Don't try and hide the effects of the person's substance use (for example, phoning work with excuses, clearing up the mess, putting them to bed, missing social events for fear of embarrassment.)
  • Encourage the person to reflect on how drink/drugging is affecting their life rather than using a label like "alcoholic or addict."
  • Offer your help-go to an NA/AA/CA LINK meeting with your friend or offer to get him/her educational materials or help to find a professional to talk to about the problem. Link Services Assessment
  • Be encouraging and positive IF YOUR FRIEND/SPOUSE TAKES SOME INITIATIVE.
  • Offer your help-go to an NA/AA/CA meeting with your friend or offer to get him/her educational materials or help to find a professional to talk to about the problem.
  • Neither you nor anyone else can force someone to stop using substances, but you can encourage and help them to make changes. Help is always a phone call away!
  • Consult an addiction specialist for additional support and guidance.


Top

New Life Counselling   4211 Yonge Street Suite 302, Toronto, Ontario     416-398-3211    info@newlifecounselling.ca