Karen Corcoran Walsh talks about Tough love in teen addiction treatment

Karen Corcoran Walsh panelist on Addiction 911 – Does Tough Love Work in Teen Addiction Treatment?

Karen Corcoran Walsh was a featured panelist on the Addiction 911 Facebook Live show. Corcoran Walsh appeared on the episode Tough Love: Does it Really Help the Addict? The addiction treatment center owner joined other top addiction professional panelists to answer questions about whether Tough Love and Rock Bottom applies to teen addiction treatment. Addiction 911 is a the Facebook Live talk show.

What is Tough Love and Rock Bottom?

Tough Love in Teen Addiction Treatment

According to Wikipedia, Tough love is an expression used when someone treats another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run. As for Rock Bottom – to hit Rock Bottom – means that someone has ended up in a very distressing place in life; perhaps the lowest point that person could go. When it comes to alcoholism or drug addiction, rock bottom could be a near death experience, legal trouble, or the loss of a partner or children. It could also mean experiencing a mental or emotional breakdown. Either way, rock bottom is a terrible place to be.

 

Here are excerpts from the Tough Love Addiction Treatment Interview:

Addiction 911: Please introduce yourself Karen and let us know where you are from and what you do and the question for everyone is what is tough love and how the term “Rock Bottom,” has been used in the addiction field?

Karen Corcoran Walsh: Okay, my name is Karen Walsh and I work for Inspirations for Youth and Families. And most of my life’s work involves treating adolescents who are struggling with drug abuse. At Inspirations, we have anywhere from 30 to 40 teens at all times in a residential setting. Also, we work with the teen’s families. 

At Inspirations, we do not see teens at the Rock Bottom phase. Because most children that we see coming into treatment have not hit rock bottom thankfully. But what we do see are teen’s whose behavior has become so problematic that their parents become concerned for their safety and ability to complete their education. As for tough love, definitely with kids tough love works. 

Before many teens come to Inspirations, their parents practice tough love. And they do this by reaching out first and putting their foot down. By saying: “These are the requirements for you to continue living in this house and having the privileges that you have.” Even though, parents practice tough love, in many cases their teens still need addiction treatment in a residential setting.

But getting their teen to addiction treatment can sometimes be tricky. That’s why, we provide interventions as well to assist when the circumstance prevail. Tough Love definitely saves their lives. And has made a difference with many of the teenagers moving on, graduating high school and going to college.