Have an Addicted Son or Daughter? Here are your options.
What Can I Do If My Child is Addicted to Drugs
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) can happen to anyone at any point in their life. People often think that something like this could not happen to their family, their child, or under their roof. Substance Use Disorders can be easily misinterpreted as hormonal changes because they show similar signs and symptoms. Hormonal changes can look identical to SUD symptoms. Such as depression, hostility, or appearing withdrawn. Some common questions parents ask are:
- What can you do if you think your child is on drugs?
- What do you do when you discover that your child is also addicted to drugs?
- Is it time for them to get out of the house?
- What can I do if my child is addicted to drugs?
We Have the Answers You’re Looking For
Jump to the answers you need to help your son or daughter.
- How to Know if Your Son or Daughter has a Substance Use Disorder?
- How to Approach Your Son or Daugther to Talk
- How to Make it Safe for Them to Open Up
- How to Accept the Problem as it is
- How to Communicate Effectively Once the Problem is Known
- How to Offer Encouragement (Without Enabling)
- Tips for Parents of Teens
- Taking steps to Intervene and Offer Help
If you, or a child, are struggling with drug abuse please call (385) 327-7418.
How to Know if Your Son or Daughter has a Substance Use Disorder?
Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder can look remarkably similar to typical teenager behavior. However, this makes it difficult to determine if there is a problem.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse helps parents recognize behavioral changes with signs of drug use. For instance, indications of possible drug use are:
- Change in a friend group
- Lack of hygiene
- Poor grades
- Skipping school
- Signs of depression
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Getting in trouble at school or with the law
- Crumbling relationships.
Is your child addicted to drugs? Call us today, and we can help walk you through the process.
How to Approach Your Son or Daugther to Talk
Approaching your child with a problematic discussion will be uncomfortable. Before getting down to the main event, it is essential to center yourself.
First of all, you must care for yourself. Ask yourself if you are prepared to have this conversation. Do you have the “headspace” to approach this subject right now? If the answer is no, wait until you are ready to discuss a drug with your child. It is up to the adult to be mentally and physically ready to have a lengthy conversation because your son or daughter may be difficult to get to open up.
Sit down with yourself and practice breathing exercises. Try to remember what it was like being your child’s age or go for a walk to clear your mind. Whichever path you choose, make sure you put thought into going down it. Ensure that you are mentally transparent and open.
Creating a safe space to talk to your child is crucial. The environment can play an essential role in providing support during the conversation.
Have questions about treatment options for your son or daughter? Give us a call at (385) 327-7418
How to Make it Safe to Open Up
Ideally, this is a space that is a judgment-free zone. Also, this space can be anywhere that is comfortable and inviting. Examples include the living room, outside in the garden, on the patio, or at the kitchen table.
Clear out any clutter or distractions that can take away from the weight of the discussion. A clean space is the perfect first step in creating a safe space to talk. A bright space can often help to clear the mind. A safe environment paves the way toward honest communication.
After you have chosen a location and cleared the clutter in the area, you may want to add small details that can enhance calm emotions. Aromatherapy is a simple yet effective way to bring people closer together.
Lavender has calming effects and can promote a soothing atmosphere. Also, the orange citrus scent is known for being very welcoming. Additionally, lemongrass is also a citrus scent that can bring clarity and focus to the room.
Aromatherapy is a powerful tool and can be the scent of your choosing. Diffusers, scented candles, or incense sticks and cones are all aromatherapy tools.
How to Accept the Problem as it is
You may discover that you have been lied to previously. During the conversation is not the time to show anger. Instead, soak up the information as it comes out. Admitting drug use and previous lies will be difficult for your child to say.
Be patient. Allow your child to open up in their way and embrace the information. Thank your child for being honest and showing compassion whenever possible.
Next, purchase an at-home drug test for your child to use. The results of the home drug test will provide the truth. The goal is not to catch them in a lie but to confirm what your child told you. Again, this is about helping your child with an addiction problem, not administering punishment for lying.
How to Communicate Effectively Once the Problem is Known
People who suffer from addiction lie, cheat, or often steal to gain possession of the substance of choice. These behaviors are the addiction talking and rarely reflect the true nature of the addicted child.
Addiction changes standard behavioral and thought patterns, redirecting to whatever it takes to get that substance back. These actions and behaviors respond to the brain’s chemical dependency on the drug. These behaviors are symptoms rather than disobedience to be punished.
Finally, assert yourself by asking direct questions and actively listening to avoid passive-aggressive conversation and get to the facts. Call us today if you need assistance in talking to your child. Our experts can provide you with information to help make these tasks easier.
How to Offer Encouragement (Without Enabling)
Positive reinforcement and actively encouraging your child to make healthy choices will be the backbone of their support system. As a result, support systems are imperative to recovering from the mental and emotional damage caused by addiction.
Encouragement to seek addiction treatment and keep all appointments is the best course of action for a parent to take.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one out of every four young adults aged 18 to 20 has used a substance in the past month, according to National Institute Drug Abuse (NIDA). Over 20 million people have a substance use disorder in the United States.
As a result, 16.5 million people heavily drink alcohol. At the same time, 24 million people are currently using illegal drugs, per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report.
The SAMHSA report illustrates the seriousness of addiction and the importance of getting professional help and treatment. Setting clear boundaries and expectations is an example of a healthy support system.
Additionally, clear boundaries also tell your child that you will not enable them. Clear boundaries build the integrity of the support system.
Resulting in strength for your child to fall back on. If you need more tips about talking to your child regarding drug abuse, then call us today. Our team of professionals is here and ready to help you.
Tips for Teen Parents
Trust your instincts.
You know your child better than anyone else. Your instincts about when something is off or different about your child are usually correct. Continue to trust your instincts. This will help distinguish when your child acts differently versus when something is wrong. Sometimes the evidence of drug use is obvious.
Whereas other times, it can be tricky to see the signs. Regardless of the reason, if your gut instincts are telling you something is wrong, start asking questions. Asking questions now can potentially save your child from a much more severe problem in the future.
Do your research.
Each generation has a new drug or substance that can manifest itself differently. Not all drugs are going to affect the body the same way. You may not even know what you are looking for.
This is why research is going to be your best tool. Find out what the popular drugs are, as well as the easiest to get hands-on. In addition, some of the common ways for kids to get high or drunk are inside your medicine cabinets.
Cough and cold medicine contain dextromethorphan, which can get someone high if enough is consumed. Understanding what signs to look for is essential to identify a substance use disorder.
It’s not about you.
All of this information can make you feel angry, betrayed, or even embarrassed. None of these emotions will help your child with their drug addiction. It is a common belief that the child’s behaviors reflect poorly on the family. That belief is dangerous because many children do not get help or treatment due to the parents being too embarrassed.
They often will not take their child to a doctor. Remember, lying is a part of normal teenage behavior. Lying does not signify that your child is addicted to drugs but rather a new development with age.
Try instead to understand why your child lied in the beginning. Do not focus on the lie, rather how to prevent lies from happening in the future. Make sure that you are approachable, so your child will feel comfortable coming to you with anything. Encourage honesty and open communication with your child.
Get professional help.
The severity of drug use and addiction should determine whether your child is staying at home or not. If your child is severely addicted to drugs, talk to a doctor about rehabilitation centers for extensive treatment. Otherwise, there is no reason to force your child to leave home.
A child’s drug addiction is a medical condition that most parents are not ready to treat. Find treatment programs with licensed practitioners who can help your child recover from their addiction in the privacy of their home. Living inside the sanctity of their support system can lead to faster recovery and maintaining healthy habits.
Allow your child to grow.
Drug use and addiction can worsen if the parent-child relationship is strained. Disconnection and lack of communication between families leave all family members without a support system. Allow your child to grow and learn in recovery.
Avoid bringing up past mistakes or lies, which can keep your child trapped in those mistakes. As a result, your child may have an unnecessarily challenging time moving forward or recovering. Let the past stay in the past, and then help your child improve by promoting healthy choices and a positive lifestyle.
Expand your parenting.
Often parents choose a parenting style that is equal and opposite to the other parent. One parent is disciplinary while the other is affectionate. Try expanding your parenting to encompass both attributes to allow your child to feel the full weight of their support. Incorporating affection and discipline will let you be flexible at the moment as necessary.
Some moments will require punishment and reinforcement of the rules. If you are only in tune with your affectionate side, you will lose touch with your ability to reinforce boundaries.
Drug Abuse.gov: How to Recognize Substance Abuse
Drugabuse.gov: Guide for Parents
WebMD: When Teens Lie About Drug Use
- Myths about Drug Use for Loved Ones
- Does Childhood Trauma Lead to Addiction?
- What You Don’t Know About Teenage Substance Abuse
- The Biggest Myths About Recovery Explained
- How to Explain Drug Addiction to Children