A large number of teenage addicts are homeless. Getting help for a teen who has run away and may want nothing to do with you can be a tricky task. There may be a good reason they have run away from home and a good reason homelessness isn’t enough to bring them back. However, it is important that these teens get help and support from a caring adult in order to avoid an overdose. Here are a few ways you can get help for a teenage runaway:
1. Find an Adult They Trust
Oftentimes, runaways do not trust their parents. Something has occurred that has shattered the parent-child bond enough to cause the teen to leave the home. However, there is likely a friend or family member with no connection to the event, meaning they are more likely to accept help from this person.
A few options might be aunts and uncles, grandparents, friends’ parents, teachers, or counselors. Ask this person if they are willing to convince the teen to get professional help. Perhaps they can bring the teen into their home, getting them off the streets, or maybe get them into a rehabilitation program that will house them until they are in a better mental place. Any step in the right direction is a success.
2. Try to Keep Track of Their Wellbeing
Do your best to keep up to date on their situation. If things get too dangerous for the teen, a rehabilitation center or detention facility for detox is preferable to accidental overdose. If the teen is not responding to any attempts to help, you shouldn’t be afraid to involve the authorities. Never do so to teach the teen a lesson. Only contact the police if you are genuinely concerned about the teen’s safety. Remember that a jail sentence will impact them for the rest of their lives.
You may want to consider reporting them as a runaway instead. This can be a good way to guarantee their safety without causing a drug sentence to appear on their permanent record. It may also convince them to try living at home again. Of course, if nothing has changed, they may simply disappear again.
3. Target the Cause
Establish why they ran away, and keep in mind there may be abuse occurring that you’ve been unaware of. If possible, repair the damage done to the parent-child bond. If the teen has been rejected due to their sexuality or gender identity, it may be time to consider acceptance in order to get them the professional help they need. If this puts you at odds with your spouse, remind him or her that your child’s safety should be the first priority. Any other issues can be dealt with later, once you know they’re somewhere safe.
Establish and correct the reason the teen ran away and let them know things will be different. From here, you will be able to track their road to recovery and ensure they are getting the help they need. Support and acceptance are the key factors in beginning the teen’s recovery process.
Figuring out the best way to help a resistant teenage runaway is a challenge. Many of them believe they do not want help nor are many of their parents willing to give it. If you know a teen whose parents have checked out, you may be the one to step up and take charge. Get the teen to a safe space, offer support, and enroll them in rehabilitation programs.
Steve Johnson has always been dedicated to promoting health and wellness in all aspects of life. Studying in the medical field has shown him how important it is for reputable health-related facts, figures, tips, and other guidance to be readily available to the public. He created PublicHealthLibrary.org with a fellow student to act as a resource for people’s overall health inquiries and as an accurate and extensive source of health information. When he isn’t hard at work in his studies, Steve enjoys playing tennis and listening to his vintage record collection.