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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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How do I help my 18 year old granddaughter who is abusing drugs,

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How do I help my 18 year old granddaughter who is abusing drugs, her parents and out of control

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It can be hard to deal with a family member that is harming themselves or someone else. If your granddaughter is willing, try to see if she will go to a therapist. You may even offer to go with her if you feel that would help. Gently suggest that she might be under stress right now and she might need someone to talk to. We all do at sometime in our lives.

If your granddaughter is not willing to get help, it can be very frustrating. Getting someone to get treatment when they refuse is always difficult, especially when dealing with an adult that you have no control over. You want them to see the importance of taking care of themselves but for some reason, they refuse. It can be upsetting when you care about the person and they will not listen. You can see what they are going through, but they are not willing to address any of their own issues so they can recover.

If you can, try to see if your granddaughter is willing to see her own doctor. Sometimes a person will talk to their doctor when they refuse to talk to a therapist or psychiatrist. If she is willing to see her doctor, call ahead before her appointment to let the doctor know what is going on. He or she may not be able to share anything with you, but you can certainly tell them what you are witnessing with your granddaughter and they can address it with her.

You can also enlist the help of friends or other family members. Sometimes a person will listen to someone from outside of their immediate family because they are not so easy to dismiss.

You may also want to try an intervention with your family and friends. An intervention is when the person using drugs is confronted in a gentle way by family and/or friends about their use and how it is hurting them as well as others. Here is a guide on how to do an intervention:

Here are some other resources to help you with ideas on how to help your granddaughter:

I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment-Xavier Amador.

At any time if you feel your granddaughter is out of control or hurting someone, you can contact your local ER to request to file a 302. A 302 is an involuntary commitment that forces your granddaughter to get an evaluation at the hospital. If the doctor who sees your granddaughter feels she is in any danger, they will admit her and provide the care she needs.

Most of all, offer your support. Be there as much as you can for your granddaughter. Sometimes that is what makes the most difference in helping her to change and get the help she needs.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I hope my answer was helpful to you. If you have any more questions, please let me know.


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