. Researchers have found that parental rejection during an LGBT teen’s adolescence boosts the risk of substance abuse. Consider how you or other caregivers have reacted to your teenager’s identification as non-heterosexual. If you or a spouse has reacted with disappointment or anger, or if you’ve rejected the teen outright, start educating yourself in order to better understand your own feelings. Support groups for LGBT parents can be an ideal resource for those struggling to accept a non-heterosexual teenager. You’ll find beneficial support from parents who have experienced the same emotions and challenges.
This can only come through education and understanding of sexual diversity. Experts believe ‘coming out’ is the opportunity that parents can seize to build an honest, open and a strong relationship with their teens. This is the time when LGBT teens rely most on their parents to shield and prepare them to deal with bullies at school and adversaries in society.
Substance abuse aftercare is also a critical part of maintaining sobriety in adolescents. Addiction aftercare, which will likely include therapy, ensures that a teen addict continues to have access to the tools that help him or her stay in recovery. In addition, LGBT teens are particularly vulnerable to bullying and, in some cases, violent attacks because of their sexual identity. An aftercare program will help a teenager cope with those challenges in a healthy way.
Following are some useful techniques through which parents of LGBT teens can make the process of coming out and adjusting in the society easier.