Ep 34: Drug and Alcohol Conversations
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Robert J. Meyers, the author of “Getting Your Loved One Sober”, explores strategies that parents can use to get teenagers to stop using drugs and alcohol. Instead of blaming and shaming teenagers, Meyers’ research-based approach involves loving and accepting your teen.
Full Show Notes
If your teen is using drugs or alcohol, what can you do to get them to stop? Should you punish them?
Punishing teens for drug or alcohol use will often drive them to increase their use even further. And, even if that doesn’t happen, your teen is definitely not going to feel like they can talk to you freely about drugs if you are always punishing them for drug use.
Studies show that tough love doesn’t work, despite what the “old wisdom” says. And, when it comes to teenagers, this is especially true.
With teenagers, parents are slowly becoming less important in their lives and it can feel hopeless. But it isn’t hopeless!
This week’s podcast guest, Dr. Robert J. Meyers, has spent his career studying the best ways for people to get their loved ones to stop using drugs and alcohol. And he has found strategies that are insanely effective.
In hist studies, people come to him because they are unable to get their loved one to enter drug or alcohol treatment and about 70% of the time he is able to help them get the individual into treatment successfully.
The key comes in Robert’s ability to teach people to use their power more effectively.
Robert’s book, Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening, is a masterpiece and is considered to be a classic text on the subject. He is one of the top experts in the world on how to get friends and family members to stop using drugs and alcohol.
He explained that his approach centers on mapping out the times when your teen is using drugs or alcohol and map out alternative activities during those times that don’t involve the drug. Then, when your teen does use the drug and comes home intoxicated, you need to understand how to respond properly. Robert has identified subtle things you can say in these moments to get your teen to start questioning their use.
How, exactly, to do that is the subject of this podcast episode.
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Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen
1. When your teen comes home high:
“I’m glad you’re home safe but it hurts me to see you like this. I think I’ll go upstairs. Dinner is in the refrigerator. Help yourself. I’ll talk to you later.”
-Robert J. Meyers
2. If your teen is using marijuana, say this on days when he comes home sober:
3. If your teen is using marijuana, instead of attacking him, say this on days when he comes home high:
4. If your teen is intoxicated, just say this and walk away:
5. When your teen comes home sober:
6. When your teen seems to be having a hard time or has been high a lot:
7. When your teen needs to make new friends, get them to try something new:
8. Issue your teen a challenge to reduce drug or alcohol use:
9. When your teen is using drugs but you have no idea what they are using:
10. Tell your teen that you want a better relationship with them:
Step-by-step guides for applying the ideas from this interview
1. Reward Your Teen for Being Sober:
After spending his career helping women get their loved ones sober, Robert told me the first step is to focus on the things your teen is already doing well. If you reward your teen heartily when they do get it right, they will automatically start to get it right more often. So whenever your teen is out with friends and comes home sober or comes to the dinner table sober or anything that you could consider a positive behavior, you need to find ways to reward your teen. On a piece of paper, try to come up with 10 small ways to reward your teen. This can be things like a smile, a hug, saying “I love you”, or whatever you like. Think for a few minutes and put together a list. Now, start rewarding your teen with 2-3 things from the list every time you see them sober.
2. Get Your Teen Involved in More Activities:
About Robert J. Meyers
The co-author of 5 books and one manual on addiction treatment, Robert has been in the addiction field for 39 years. His most popular book, Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening, is a guide for anyone looking to help a loved one who is heavily using drugs or alcohol.
Robert and the program he developed (known as CRAFT), were the subjects of one of 14 featured segments in the Emmy Award-winning HBO Addiction series and he’s also been featured in Oprah magazine for his work. In his studies, around 70% of the people who enroll are successfully able to get their loved ones into treatment–truly impressive numbers.
An internationally known speaker and consultant, Robert has delivered trainings in 31 states in the USA and in 15 countries around the world.
Find Robert here, on his website.