Teens, Drugs and Toxic Relationships

You're worried about your teenage son's toxic dating relationship, but perhaps his substance
use should be the bigger concern. What are we talking about today? Well, this is what we're talking
about today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist,
and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families to live happier lives. I lead two organizations,
Teen Therapy Center and the non -profit 501c3 organization, Child and Teen Counseling, both
here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump onto Facebook Live to answer
your parenting questions. Let's answer today's. We sent our son to an adolescent drug rehab.
When he came home, he started dating a girl, and it's a very toxic relationship. In just a few
months, they got caught shoplifting eight times. He also got back into drugs and it escalated
while they were together. He went back to a sober living rehab facility again and it seemed like
he was going to break away from her.

Then she got into a car accident and it brought them back together. Now she's even more unstable.
He doesn't have the mental ability to get sober and deal with her. Soon he's gonna be 18 and I'm
worried he'll go live with her. What can we do to push them apart? Thank you for your question.
This sounds like a really heavy heavy situation for your family. My heart goes out to you. What
kind of like I alluded to before, the toxic relation with this girl, yeah it's a problem but I
think his substance abuse is the higher priority. Dating relationships can come and go and
I'm sure from your perspective his substance use is It's probably tied to this dating relationship
and that may very well be true. I don't know how you push her away because the more you try to push
her away, the more you elevate her on this pedestal and he'll just feel he needs to protect her
and save her because I imagine, I'm just guessing here, but I imagine this toxic relationship
gives him the illusion of importance and

meaning because he has to go in and save the day. And there's a lot of, what's the word I'm looking
for? there's a lot of feeling of importance and feeling of a passion of you know this up and down
up and down people can get really drawn into really toxic relations because they cause so many
big feelings and when you're up it feels amazing but when you're down it feels horrible and people
live for that up hoping that they'll keep that up instead of having that more healthy medium
that most of us as we mature start to look for but the drugs and the substance use that's really
the insidious part because he's doing it to himself you know he's fallen off the wagon several
times it sounds like I think you really need to focus on getting him sober of course he has to be
willing to do it if he doesn't want to be sober you can't make someone else be sober now since he's
still under 18 you have the opportunity to send him to a rehab again or wilderness program or
something like that if you think

it will help there's No guarantees, that's the problem. And once he gets out, there has to be
a really clear plan of how to keep him sober. Is he going to meetings every day? Is he doing things
to stay busy? You know, it's possible also him, once he gets out of rehab and moves back in your
home, just being in your neighborhood, is that too much of a trigger for him? Because just going
down Ventura Boulevard could be the trigger, because that's where he used to, you know, score
and use. You know, whether it's weed, heroin, it really doesn't matter. Addiction is really
insidious. and it's not just about stopping, it's also sometimes getting out of those environments
where those triggers are, whether it's the people, whether it's locations, whether it's situational.
And obviously I don't know what that situation is and I don't know if you know that either, but
hopefully as you work with his mental health support group, hopefully there's a way to identify
what those triggers are and get him

in a place where he's less triggered. I think the girlfriend thing, like I've talked in other
videos before, girlfriends come and go, as toxic as they may be, boyfriends as well. Sometimes
you have to let your kids just ride it out and get through it and learn from the experience, just
like many of us have been in toxic relationships in the past and learn from the experience and
become wiser people for that. Anyways, it's a big topic. We could talk all day about this. We
can just scratch the surface here on Tips on Teens, but I wanna let you know that I think you should
really reach out, make sure you're getting the support you need so you can stay grounded and
be the mature adult when he can't be. Again, my name is Kent Toussaint with Teen Therapy Center
and Child and Teen Counseling. By the way, if you ever want to have a free phone consultation,
feel free to give us a call. Our phone number's down below. And if you'd like me to answer your
question here on Tips on Teens, email us at

tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com, or you can direct message us. We love your questions,
keep them coming. I will see you next Wednesday at noon on Facebook Live, and I'll see you then,
guys. Bye -bye.

Your teen is in a toxic dating relationship and abusing drugs and you feel like the two are interwoven. What do you do?

First, the relationship. We know that for so many parents, seeing their kids in toxic relationships can be really scary. You feel like this person they’re dating has a grip on them, and you’ll never get them back. And in this particular case, you’re worried that the relationship is perpetuating the cycle of addiction. Try to take some comfort in this: relationships for teens come and go. This person your teen is dating is not going to be the person they end up with forever. And the more you try to push them away from that person, the more it pushes them straight  into their arms. So relax, try to be patient and stay grounded.

More urgently, we recommend keeping the addiction as your main focus. If your child has struggled with addiction, removing them from their environment may be necessary, and wilderness therapy is an option to consider. In your kid’s current environment, potential triggers abound. To set them up for success, you need a really good plan for after rehab. Remember, your child needs your support and understanding during this difficult time.

There’s a lot more to say about it, and we get into it in this Tips on Teens. If you feel like you need more support give us a call for a free phone consultation at (818) 697-8555.

“We sent our son to an adolescent drug rehab. When he came home he started dating a girl and it’s a very toxic relationship. In just four months they got shoplifting 8 times. He also got back into drugs and it escalated while they were together. He went back to a sober living/rehab facility again, and it seemed like he was going to break away from her. Then she got into a car accident and it brought them back together. Now she’s even more unstable. He doesn’t have the mental ability to get sober and deal with her. Soon he’s going to be 18 and I’m worried he’ll go live with her. What can we do to push them apart?”

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.