The Teen/young adult brain and how it’s affected by substance abuse

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the part of the brain where risks are assessed, impulses are controlled, and plans are made to reach goals.  The PFC is not fully developed until 25 years old on average.  That is why teens are more likely to engage in risky or impulsive behavior. In addition to your teen’s …

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Setting boundaries with your child when they are abusing drugs and alcohol

Boundaries create clear lines between you and the world.  People often have fears about how others will feel about their boundaries and worry they will cause distance, but properly set boundaries lead to closer relationships.  People with naturally strong boundaries can be compassionate because they don’t feel taken advantage of.  If you feel taken advantage …

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How your child’s substance abuse affects their natural dopamine levels and what happens when they try to stop using substances

As you read this, keep in mind this is JUST ONE FACTOR, one chemical, that is affected when dealing with substance abuse. Dopamine is the brain’s way of rewarding us or nature’s way of rewarding the brain for activities like eating and sex that are necessary to the survival of our species.  Dopamine makes us …

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How Unconditional Love Helps When Your Child Is Abusing Substances

The most surprising lesson I have learned from substance abuse is unconditional love.  Unconditional love is the willingness to work through all the discomfort I feel because I see my teen suffering, and I want to fix it, and I can’t fix it, but I keep showing up with love in the face of that …

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You Have a Choice About How You Feel When Your Child Is Abusing Substances

You can choose to feel however you want. When you are facing your teen’s substance abuse It doesn’t feel like it, but you have a choice about how you feel.  For years I chose to feel angry because I thought substance abuse stole my daughter from me.  I felt robbed of our relationship and every …

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The Advantage Of Making Decisions Ahead of Time When Your Child Is Abusing Drugs or Alcohol

Deciding ahead of time will save you from yourself.  Doors are slamming, voices are raised, tensions are high, and angry words are being exchanged.  You are in the heat of the moment with your teen.  Does this sound like a good time to make a decision?  Deciding how you are going to handle this situation …

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Why You Have To Make Decisions When Your Teen Is Abusing Substances

There is no perfect decision.  Decide ahead of time, that no matter what decision you make it is the right decision.  Your teen’s substance abuse requires you to make many decisions.  Where do you get help? Which doctor, lawyer, counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, in patient treatment center, out patient treatment center, nutritionist, medication assisted treatment, detox, …

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Acceptance as a tool for keeping your sanity amid your teen’s substance abuse.

Acceptance is not approval.  It is simply receiving the situation as it is, rather than resisting it and fighting against it.  When you accept it, you are no longer telling yourself this should not be happening.  You accept that this is reality and figure out how to meet your teen where they are at. The …

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