Signs And Symptoms Of Substance Use Disorders
As the parent of an adult child, there are a number of behavioral and physical indicators your son or daughter may exhibit if they are dealing with a substance use disorder, be it full blown addiction or a lesser form. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following 4 warning signs and symptoms can help you identify whether your adult child may have an alcohol or drug problem.
1. Physical issues and changes to appearance
Substance use disorders can manifest in many ways, including through changes physically and to ones appearance, such as:
- Red eyes, pupils appear larger or smaller than usual
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Lack of proper grooming
- Unusual odors on breath, body, or clothing
2. Changes in behavior
Is your son or daughter behaving differently? Have you seen significant changes to his or her personality? Common behavioral indicators include:
- Secretive and suspicious behavior regarding where he or she is going
- Barring family or friends from entering his or her room
- Drastic changes in friendships or relationships with family members
- Lying about activities and whereabouts
- Mood swings and extreme irritability
- Extreme hyperactivity or lethargy
- Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
3. School and work problems
- Frequently missing school or work
- Drop in a work performance or grades
- Lack of interest in school, work or other activities
- Inability to maintain jobs
4. Money issues
The Dos And Donts Of Helping A Drug Addicted Child
What to say and what not to say when you suspect your child is developing a drug addiction.
- Keep the lines of communication open
- Reality test to see if he is manipulating you
- Be supportive, but not enabling of his addiction
- Urge him to get the rehab help he needs.
- Nag him, it wont help
- Place blame on him, again, it wont help
- Stop talking to him, as this will make matters worse
- Force him into rehab if hes not ready
Do: Take Care Of Yourself
Indulging in self-care is not selfish, especially when youre helping someone dealing with addiction. You cannot let the addiction of your loved one derail your own life. Continue with healthy activities, like hobbies and social outings, and take care to look after yourself. Therapy or counseling is part of that process, but indulging in activities that arent centered around your loved one is necessary. Determine what it is that you need to keep yourself well and indulge in it.
Take A Step Back And Set Boundaries
Its important not to get too tangled up in this mess. Adult children and teenagers are highly likely to rebel against their parents for no other reason than the sake of rebellion. This can make your efforts feel like a giant waste of time and leave you feeling worthless. If youre constantly asking about your sons problem, giving advice and telling him what to do, it will probably go in one ear and out the other. Just let him know you are there for him if he needs to talk and how much you love and care about him.
A gentle approach usually yields the best results, but that doesnt mean you should let yourself be taken advantage of. If your son is stealing from you or demanding money, cut off these channels immediately. Lock valuables in a safe, and keep tabs on all of your cash and cards. If money has been taken, keep records of the amount and discuss a repayment plan once hes in the recovery process. Personal responsibility is necessary for him to heal, however difficult it may feel to say no and not be so involved.
How Do I Know If My Adult Child Really Needs Rehabilitation
Identifying the stages of addiction is often difficult, but you should have a direct conversation with your son or daughter at the first signs of drug use. If you feel unsure about how to approach and talk to your child about drug addiction, Recovery Centers of America offers free resources to help you start the conversation. If you even suspect your son or daughters drug use is habitual or addictive, it is best to consult a licensed professional for assistance. If you have any suspicion that your adult child is addicted to drugs, it should be taken seriously and you should make every effort to get your son or daughter into drug rehabilitation treatment.
If youre struggling with getting your son or daughter to enter a treatment program, an intervention may be just the thing they need to get motivated to go. In fact, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence over 90% of all interventions done with an interventionist result in the addicted party checking themselves into rehab.
Professional interventionists at Recovery Centers of America will help you set up an intervention and guide your adult son or daughter into a nearby inpatient treatment facility.
Also Check: How To Change An Addictive Personality
Dont Make Excuses Or Be An Enabler
Typically, in families with an addict, someone becomes an enabler to the addict. Sometimes its a sibling who is willing to cover things up or hand over money.
In many cases, the enabler is a parent. Enabling is detrimental to the recovery process.
More often than not, the enabler is in denial of whats right in front of them. They want to protect their child or loved one and hold on to them forever.
They get stuck in the path of denial or making excuses so much that they put the addict in danger by ignoring the facts. Denying things wont keep them as they are itll make them worse.
Dont make excuses about your son to friends and family either, especially when they can hear. Believe it or not, recognizing that they have an addiction is much more empowering than trying to cover it up. Addicts appreciate someone whos on their side and recognize the extent to which the disease afflicts them.
Making excuses for them or covering up their behavior and actions will only contribute to their feelings of shame and isolation.
Does My Child Need Drug Rehab
Substance abuse treatment can be useful for anyone who is willing to put in the work to build a better life without drugs or alcohol. As the parent of an adult addict, you cannot force them to get help, but you can do the work of finding a treatment program so they dont have to face that stress when they finally decide they need help.
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When You Stop Caring
This may seem unnatural for parentsbut showing that you stop caring is different from not caring at all. Some children respond to reverse psychology. The more attention, nagging, or coaxing that you give, the more they are repelled to seek treatment. However, letting them know that youre providing more autonomy with their life may eventually encourage them to achieve sobriety. To do this, you must:
- Acknowledge their maturity: You have to let them know verbally and through your actions that they already know whats right versus wrong, that they are thinking adults who will be responsible for their decisions.
- Letting them know you respect their choices: Tell them that although you would love for them to get help, you still respect their decisions nonetheless. This must come from a point of sincerity and not from manipulation.
- If your son is not living with you, you may want to decrease contact. If he is living with you, set up an agreement for more independencesuch as moving out, stopping to pay expenses for them, etc. The choices you will take depends on your unique situation.
Hopefully, doing this will loosen strings that suffocate your son, allowing them to take a more proactive approach to their addiction recovery.
Emotional Signs Your Kid Is Doing Drugs
Some of the emotional signs of drug abuse include:
- Uncharacteristic and unexplained changes in attitude
- Sudden mood swings, such as outbursts of anger, irritability, or uncontrolled laughing, or going from very chatty and personable to surly and aggressive
- Periods of hyperactivity or agitation that alternate with periods of lethargy and/or apathy
- Anxiety or suspiciousness that seems to have no apparent explanation
- Uncharacteristic dishonesty
- Loss of motivation and problems with focus
- A loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed
Adult and especially early adulthood is difficult. Many of these signs on their own do not imply that your child is using drugs. But if you notice a few of these signs along with some of the physical signs of substance use, there may be cause for concern.
Also Check: Is Vaping Without Nicotine Addictive
Hosting An Intervention For My Alcoholic Son
The best way to learn how to help your addicted son is to consult professionals who can help you put together a plan. You should never try to help your addicted son by yourself. Once you find the right professional, he or she can assess the situation and help you find treatment for your family and for your son. A professional can help you stage an intervention or simply find the right treatment facility to help your son get clean and sober.
A licensed professional can explain the different types of facilities available, including:
How To Help Your Son Or Daughter Stop Smoking Pot
May 3, 2018
If you discover your child is using marijuana, you may be struggling with numerous emotions. From feeling upset about your childs substance use to experiencing a sense of guilt regarding actions you could have taken, adolescent drug abuse is a reality many parents face. Due to perceptions regarding the safety of use and the movement to legalize marijuana, adolescents are increasingly at risk to begin experimenting with the drug. As parents, it can be difficult to navigate this terrain, but it is important to engage with your child as soon as possible to address the problem before it gets out of hand.
Also Check: How To Battle Drug Addiction
My Son Is Addicted To Video Games
Note:The following answer is an excerpt from “How to Help Children Addicted to Video Games – A Guide for Parents”, which can be instantly downloaded hereor by clicking the image on the left .
Yes, if your son is addicted to video games recovery is possible. If I did not believe this and did not have evidence that children and teens can recover from video game addiction I would not have written this manual.
As is true for any addiction, recovery can be very difficult, slow-moving, and can seem impossible, but you do not need to accept that your son is destined to be addicted to video games. For some children, it may require drastic measures to break the addiction, but based on both clinical research and my own practice with children who are addicted to video games, I know that recovery is possible. Not sure if your child has a gaming addiction? Take the Video Game Addiction Test for Parents.On numerous occasions I have worked with children and teens that have been compulsively playing video games for years. In some cases these individuals were playing 50 hours or more per week . Not surprisingly, these kids were doing very poorly in school and some had even dropped out. Friends no longer called, the child was not interested in doing anything else, and relationships with other family members were strained to say the least.
Does My Child Need An Intervention
An alcohol or drug abuse intervention involves family members, close friends, and other loved ones coming together to encourage a person to get help. Successful interventions are usually run by a professional interventionist or a clinician who specializes in addictive behaviors. Emotions will be running high. The interventionist can ensure that the entire event stays on track and is productive.
If you work with a professional interventionist, they will help you assemble the team members and prepare for the event. Theyll help you craft what to say to your child in a manner that has the best chance of persuading them to get help. Theyll even escort your child directly to treatment following the intervention, if youd like.
During an intervention, you and the group lay out evidence of the problem, expressing your love and concern for your child. An intervention presents a unified front of several people who care for them. Seeing this level of concern and love may motivate them to reach out for help.
Sometimes people involved in the intervention will write letters to the person doing drugs. In these letters, youll outline how their substance abuse is affecting you as well as damaging their future. The interventionist will help the group phrase their letters in the best way possible to encourage the person to get help. The focus will be on a loving, supportive message of hope.
- Family members
- Spiritual leaders
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How To Help My Drug Addicted Son
Perhaps youve already caught your teen using drugs. You found paraphernalia in his room, or caught him red-handed as you drove by the neighborhood hangout. Maybe this isnt the first time the substance abuse has happened. Youve noticed he has developed the preliminary signs of addiction, and you know that his drug habits are recurring despite their destructiveness. Watching this battle against substance addiction can be extremely challenging for parents. You want to help him, but as a mother or as a father, you just dont know how much you can offer.
Teens, because of their stage of brain development, can be tough. Your son or daughter may not want to listen to you, and may ignore your threats at punishment. He or she may not take you seriously, or laugh when you suggest professional addiction treatment. Part of you may want to be your childs friend, while simultaneously wanting to help him pursue the healthy life he deserves. You may feel your efforts have run dry, asking yourself, What can I do now? How can I help my drug addicted teen?
Fortunately, there are ways that parents can help and support their child through a drug addiction. Follow these steps to get your son or daughter back on the right path to a drug-free life.
How To Stop Enabling An Alcoholic Or Addict Son
Adults who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will normally look to their family for money to support their growing habit. Parents want to help their children, but helping your son financially during this period will not ultimately help him, you, or the rest of your family. Each time you give your son money or protect him from the consequences of his actions, you take away any reason he might have to actually change his behavior.
Once you begin to cut off financial support, you may see your son become aggressive toward you. For most addicts, this is just posturing. They will do anything they can to get the situation back to the status quo. But if you stand firm in your convictions, this will eventually change. Make sure that the rest of the family supports you and also holds back financial assistance or else the problem can continue. If you find it difficult to cut your son off right away, consider tapering off your financial support if he doesnt take steps to clean up his act.
Also Check: How To Stop Addictive Behavior
Dont: Expect Immediate Change
How do you help an alcoholic? One of the best ways is to be realistic in your expectations. Long-term Recovery is not a quick fix. Its an ongoing process for your loved one that takes time, effort and continued support from professionals and family alike. Some treatments may work for some time and then need to be changed.
If one treatment doesnt work, it doesnt mean all treatments will fail. It just means youll have to find the specific one that will work for your loved one.
Can My Adult Child Die From Detoxification Or Rehabilitation Treatments
When performed under the proper supervision of medical professionals, drug detoxification is safe and effective procedure. During detoxification, drugs are eliminated a patients mind and body. Recovery Centers of America employs expert medical practitioners who oversee the detoxification process and ensure the treatment aligns with your son or daughters physical and psychological needs. The full detoxification process lasts approximately 4-7 days, and patients are under 24-hour supervision the whole time to ensure safety.
Unmedicated detoxification from the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines can cause seizures and other health complications that may result in death, so it is vital that detoxification from drugs is conducted under the care of medical professionals. Detoxing from any substance without professional help is dangerous and often ineffective at breaking the chain of addiction.
Read Also: How To Stop Marijuana Addiction
Dont Make A Habit Of Lending Them Money
You may be tempted to help your loved one with their living expenses when they are feeling most vulnerable, but it can be difficult to tell what your financial support is funding. Your son or daughter may become dependent on you and feel less of an incentive to overcome their addiction if you continue to offer them money. Without a reliable source of income, they are more likely to reflect on their behavior and work toward their recovery, cultivating core values like honesty, accountability, and hard work along the way.