How to Approach your Childs Drug use

When you are faced with your child using drugs it can be a heart breaking discovery and an extremely tough battle to win. Your child’s drug use does not just affect him or her, it affects everyone. The whole family will feel the ripple effect of your child’s addiction. Your child’s addiction will have emotional, physical, financial and psychological effects on everyone. Dealing with this could possibly be one of the hardest things you will ever endure.

Learn as much as you can

Learning as much as you can about addiction and the types of drugs your child is using will serve you well. Searching online is always a good idea, but there is a lot to be said for drug counselors who are in charge of teenage drug programs. There are also support groups available for the family and close friends of addicts. Getting all the information you can find will help you to help your child fight their addiction.

It is always good to seek information that has medical or scientific evidence to back up the facts. Government sites that are dedicated to helping families with drug addiction are also great sources of information. There is a lot of information out there, but not all information is based in fact. Some of it could be opinions and theories. You need facts and information that you know will work to help your child.

Locate anonymous addiction programs

Find out where your local addiction programs are; such as, Al Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Alateen. These organizations offer 12 step programs for the addict and support for the families and friends of the addict. These places are well located in most areas, so unless you live in a really remote area you should be able to locate a meeting somewhere in your town or city. The people who are a part of these programs are going through the same things as you are, and will be able to support you in recovering from the emotional effects of dealing with your child’s addiction.

Track down detoxification and rehabilitation centers

Find out where the local detoxification centers and rehabilitation programs are located. Ask your family doctor to refer your child to a program or get on the phone and call to set up an appointment with their intake staff yourself. Some of these places have a waiting list, so it is a good idea to call most days because many addicts will walk out of programs and this could free up a space for your son or daughter.

Many people who are addicted to drugs have underlying health conditions that have not been diagnosed. Perhaps your child is suffering from an undiagnosed mental health condition. This condition could very well be contributing to their addiction, the drug and alcohol addiction experts often call this self medicating. If you feel that your child may have a mental illness then it is important when looking for a rehabilitation center that you locate one that will treat the mental health issue as well as the addiction problem. This can make all the difference when it comes down to whether your child stays clean or not.

Anonymous support groups and counseling might be necessary

Local anonymous support groups can also be helpful too. In addition to detoxification and rehabilitation, your child may need to attend group therapy or independent therapy. This might happen if your child’s mental health issues are serious or the reasons for their addiction are complicated. When someone goes through rehabilitation, it is usually discovered in therapy, why they choose to use drugs. Sometimes it could be a serious issue, like abuse and that may need to be dealt with in therapy.

You may need to speak with a professional therapist or counselor to help you cope with things. Dealing with the emotional fall out of a child on drugs can be a very emotional and challenging experience. Your husband or other children may also need to talk to someone about how the addiction has affected them. Sometimes schools will offer addiction counseling for students and families.

Ask you child to get help

Getting your child to seek help and admit they have a problem is the hardest part. You can start by asking them to go and talk to someone and seek help. Try to encourage them to visit the family doctor with you. If none of this works you may need to stage an intervention and this is one of the hardest things to do when your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol, but you and your family may have no choice.

Stage an intervention

Deciding to stage an intervention requires planning, careful planning and needs to be lead by a professional drug counselor if you want the best chance of success. The drug counselor will be able to direct those involved in the intervention on what they need to do. If the intervention goes bad, this could lead to your child becoming more invested in staying on drugs.

You will need to plan the intervention by deciding who should be there, who will lead the intervention, how you will involve the addict and what activities you will do during the intervention. Many interventions are led by a trained therapist or family counselor. Someone who is influential in the child’s life is probably a good choice to begin the discussion. And anyone else who is important to the addict should be in attendance. Take all of this into consideration when planning to stage an intervention.

The purpose of an intervention is to confront the addict about their drug use. Some interventions revolve around family and friends talking to the addict about their addiction and trying to convince the addict to enter treatment. Sometimes loved ones may read prayers to their loved one that are special to them, or share personal feelings about the addiction. Be prepared for what you will do depending on your child’s reaction. Considering how your child will react to an intervention from all points of view will help you to be prepared. Just remember that Rome was not built in one day and this too may take time. The process of the intervention may have not resulted in your child seeking treatment, but it also sets the boundaries in place.

If the intervention does not go as planned then do not worry, there will be other chances. Now that you have made it clear to your child that you are aware of their addiction and you have put your boundaries in place, there is nothing left to do until they decide to get help. You must persevere in supporting your child, but stick to your boundaries. They may not get help until they hit rock bottom and that could be a long way off. Not all teenage addicts get help for their addictions. Some do later in life, and some sadly never do.

Stick to your boundaries

Do not enable the addiction. Do not give your child money or allow him or her to use drugs in your house. This might be a rule set down at the intervention, you need to uphold it. Keep reminding your child that you are ready and willing to help them get into treatment; they just have to say the word.

Effective communication between you and your child will be difficult, but make every effort to keep the lines of communication going. Consider looking for some literature on the topic so you can get some help on how to communicate with an addict. Learning how to communicate better with your child will enable you to focus on conversations that will help you and your child to make progress. The hope is if you keep talking in a positive way, without threats or blame, then it just may be what they need to seek treatment.

Offer to go with them to therapy for support if they want. They might be overwhelmed and shy about going, so perhaps going with them might help. Tell them that you are willing to be there with them.

Know your limits

You do not have to put up with unacceptable behavior. Be ready to maintain personal safety by cutting ties to your child if need be. Is he or she capable of violence or are they abusive? Do they frighten their siblings with their behavior? You might be put in a situation where it is your own safety or the safety of your family members that will need to come first. Some drug users can be violent, especially when they are coming off the high.

Cutting your child off or reporting them to the authorities for their unacceptable behavior is likely the last thing you want to do, but you may have no choice. If your child is using drugs in your house and you are condoning it, then you could be in legal trouble. Is that going to be worth it? It’s hard when it is your child that is going through this; however you need to remember that this person is an addict. Therefore you may need to think things through from their point of view. If the safety or security of the rest of your family is in jeopardy you may have to tell your child to leave home until they are clean and sober.

Not many parents feel as though they could do this, but sometimes it is the only way. A child who is addicted to drugs will be one of the biggest challenges you have ever faced. You know what you are willing to tolerate and what you won’t so you need to stick to the ground rules with your child, this is important when you are dealing with an addict. They are very good at seeing where they can infiltrate your boundaries, so you must be tough on yourself and the addict for their own good.