“My Teen is Addicted”— 7 Books That Can Help

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One of the most important things you can do to help your teen is to educate yourself about alcohol and other drug abuse and dependence and what treatment for abuse and dependence is.”

~the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

When you are the parent of a are the parent of a teenager with a substance abuse disorder, it’s easy to feel helpless. Experts say that one of the biggest ways you can help your child during their recovery is to educate YOURSELF about the disease of addiction.

To help with that, here is a short list of some of the best books on addiction and recovery that can be invaluable resources for you during this difficult and confusing time.

Answering the Biggest Question of All

Often, family members will wait a long time, thinking things will work out on their own. There is too much at stake to take this approach… It has been said that there are three ways to deal with a problem – to do the right thing, the wrong thing, or nothing. The worst choice is to do nothing.”

~Joe and Judy Herzanek, Why Don't They Just Quit? What Families and Friends Need to Know about Addiction and Recovery

Written by addict-turned-counselor Joe Herzanek, Why Don’t They Just Quit is a very user-friendly read, and offers inspiration and hope to struggling families. In this book, family members can learn what to do – and what not to do – when their loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol.

Hearing from the Experts

The latest science boils down to this: adolescent substance use is a very big deal – and a bigger deal than researchers previously thought. Parents do not have to accept it, and when they reject the messages of popular culture that so often ensnare youth, they should know they’ve got reputable science on their side.”

~Dr. Christian Thurstone, M.D., and Christine Tatum, Clearing the Haze: Helping Families Face Teen Addiction

Clearing the Haze addresses the issue of teen addiction with information and guidance from nationally-recognized experts, support from families who have been where you are now, and hope from teens sharing their own stories of successful recovery.

When You’re Struggling with Guilt

“…I became addicted to my child’s addiction. When it preoccupied me, even at the expense of my responsibilities to my life and my other children, I justified it. I thought, How can a parent NOT be consumed by his child’s life-or-death struggle?”

~David Sheff, Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through His Son's Addiction

Every parent of a substance-abusing child wrestles with overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame, mistakenly blaming themselves for their child’s disease of addiction. But as journalist David Sheff learned during his son’s battle with methamphetamines, his misplaced preoccupation may have even harmed his son’s recovery. If you have an addicted child, Sheff’s candid memoir will resonate with you on a personal level.

When You are Acting Just as Sick

They were controlling because everything around and inside them all was out of control. Always, the dam of their lives and the lives of those around them threatened to burst and spew harmful consequences on everyone. And nobody but then to notice or care.”

~Melody Beattie, Codependent No More

Addiction is a lonely, isolating disease that somehow negatively impacts the lives of those closest to the substance abuser—parents, siblings, and other close family and friends. Over time, the desperation and confusion experienced can lead to dysfunctional behaviors on the part of the addict’s loved ones.

This pattern of unhealthy behavior because of someone else’s illness is known as codependency.

Codependent No More offers practical solutions on how to break free from the chains of codependency. When you are emotionally healthy, you can stop standing in the way of your child’s recovery.

When You Don’t Know How to Talk to Your Teenager

Every time the kid gets the parents to jump through hoops with their anger, the child feels out of control as well, because there is no adult in control.

~Tim Chapman, “Answers for the Family” radio interview

If it feels as if you are completely out of touch with your teenager – they are “acting out”, disrespectful, hostile, unresponsive, and possibly using drugs and alcohol – you are not alone. Other parents just like you have felt unable to get through to their children.

Tim Chapman, the founder of Teensavers Treatment Centers, is an internationally-known expert in the field of adolescent substance abuse and recovery. Also known as “America’s Parenting Coach”, Tim is the author of several books that can help you speak your teen’s language:

When you suspect that your teenager is abusing alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription painkillers, timely intervention and effective, evidence-based treatment can literally mean the difference between life or death. If you need help addressing your child’s substance use, contact the experts at Teensavers today.

By Albert Fontenot