Whether you’re a parent, a concerned relative, a teacher, or someone else close to a kid whose life is impacted by addiction, talking about it is important. Kids need to learn that the person’s addiction is not their fault and that they have support.
Before you talk to a child about addiction, educate yourself. Read or listen to well-researched books and podcasts, seek out information that includes the perspective of people who have experienced addiction, and look at trusted resources like the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This way, you can help teach the kid about addiction and answer their questions.
The information you give the child should be age-appropriate. Since very young kids are me-focused, you should remind them often that the person’s addiction isn’t their fault. For tweens and teenagers, knowledge about addiction is useful. According to verywellmind, an online resource written by mental health professionals and reviewed by physicians, “At this age, it’s tempting for them to piece together what they do know and try to come up with their own explanations. Your goal should be to keep that from happening.”
For any kid, it’s important to remind them that they have support, and that they can come to you if they have questions. You might also provide them with outside resources; find age-appropriate support groups, educational materials, and other tools that can help them make sense of their lives.
TruHealing Centers is committed to providing not only quality treatment for addiction, but also education and resources. Our podcast SHARE and show Straight Talk are educational resources about addiction and recovery. We have partnered with Baltimore County Public Schools to provide drug and alcohol counseling at school through one of our local centers, Foundations Recovery Center.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, Amatus is here to help. We offer high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff will help you understand the root causes of your addiction so that you can thrive in long-term recovery. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.