Understanding the “Why” Behind Your Child’s Substance Use [VIDEO]

When faced with a son’s or daughter’s substance use, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to “fix” your child and get them to stop using immediately. But often it can be more helpful to pause, take a breath and try to understand the reason behind why your child is experimenting with drugs or alcohol in the first place.

Just as you get something out of eating a favorite dish at a restaurant or a favorite activity of yours, your child is getting something out of using drugs or alcohol — even if they can’t articulate it right away.

Watch Helpline Specialist Karla explain how to think about your son’s or daughter’s substance use differently:

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    Sara Ann

    June 18, 2019 at 3:31 PM

    This is helpful. As a parent of a teen who used cocaine for a few months before entering treatment, I can vouch that the answer to the “why” can be TERRIFYING.. but parents need to be willing to hear their sweet children talk about really difficult stuff.. and it is my opinion that these painful conversations should not be something we outsource entirely to professional counselors or wilderness programs. Just dig deep and hang in there (and please use the Partnership’s free parent coach program). My son’s “why” actually made some sense, given his highly social nature and desire at the time for status among his peers. Did I feel like I had been stabbed in the stomach when he told me cocaine was a “great f-ing high”? Yes. But he told me. And his “why” has helped shape a recovery plan that is closing in on 3 years. I hope this is helpful to other parents.

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