Question:
My son is completing his senior year of high school and will be entering a local university in the fall. His Father and I have found evidence of him drinking alcohol and abusing prescription medication. His attitude has changed in that he used to be very involved with the family. Now, he sleeps more than usual and doesn’t seem to have any excitement about attending university in the fall. What, as his parents, can we do to help him get on the right path?


Answer:
First and foremost, good for you for recognizing the changed behavior in your son. Change for young adults is hard and made even harder when they are abusing alcohol and/or prescription medication. Often, people suffering from anxiety and/or depression attempt to “self-medicate” which results in becoming dependent upon substances. Being able to cope with change and address it head-on is key in developing healthy adults. It’s important to break the cycle of feelings of anxiety and depression, self-medicating with alcohol which in turn leads to increased anxiety and depression.

At Rivendell, we make sure that each patient knows they are cared for, that they aren’t being judged and that they have found a safe place to begin to heal. It’s our mission to show compassion, give validation, and help our patients begin the healing process. Our team works to make sure we provide individual case management and an aftercare plan. We also have contact with the family to ensure that they know what is occurring during treatment and how to better support them once they are back home fulltime.

Taking the first step is often challenging but it is imperative to get help and get help early. Dealing with anxiety and depression through coping mechanisms, therapy or prescribed medication is essential in developing young, healthy adults. And at Rivendell, that’s our mission.

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