Sober College, Sober Dorms and Secrets
Several recent studies have suggested that it is beneficial for parents to talk to their teens about their own teen drug use in the past. Studies by Hazelden which has a sober college, Brigham Young University that has a sober dorm, and the Partnership for a Drug Free America that supports sober university, all suggest that an open dialogue about drug and alcohol use is beneficial to teens- because if anything, the doors of communication are left open.
For me, a lot of my drug use was motivated by the thrill of secrecy, and the feeling that I was not under my parents’ control. especially while I was away at school. However, my parents had always been fairly open with me about drugs and alcohol. Alcoholism runs in my family, so knowing a parent’s particular struggles actually made it easier for me to go to them when things got really bad. I knew that they might be disappointed that I had chosen to use drugs, but I also knew that they would be understanding of my inability to stop. I feel really grateful for that. I was still in big trouble- don’t get me wrong- but I was offered a chance to get help as well. I feel that honesty amongst parents and teens benefits all parties. It seems like disclosing some “secret” information about past drug use is a good bartering tool for parents: they give a little and hopefully the teen will feel safe giving a little as well. Communication between parents and teens has been historically difficult, but today we all have a chance to break those patterns by opening up the lines of communication. While I’m not attending a sober college I am living in a sober dorm. Please contact us if your teen is struggling with alcohol or drug dependence and needs treatment in the Los Angeles area.