When a child is struggling with substance abuse, many families try to handle the situation in-house for various reasons like embarrassment, finances, and the perceived best interests of the kiddo. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn’t. If the situation escalates, your family faces a tough question:
“When is the right time to call the cops and bring in somebody other than a family member to take legal responsibility for my teen?”
The answer isn’t black and white. Police involvement is never ideal for parents. You never want to get your child into trouble, but taking accountability for their actions is sometimes needed when their safety or the safety of others is at risk. Calling the police is a way to get the law in your corner for recovery and prevent your teen from continuing down a more destructive path.
Here are the two most important factors to consider when calling in outside help like the police:
1. What is your child’s mental/emotional state?
If they are having thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or even homicide, it’s time to get the police involved. If your teen’s physical and biological well-being is beyond your help, seeking help from an establishment to stabilize them is essential.
2. Do they pose a danger to the world around them?
Destructive behavior, damage to property, stolen possessions, threats of physical harm, and even real cases of bodily injury are common. These behaviors are red flags that your teen may need outside help.