Convincing A Parent To Seek Treatment
Talking to a parent about getting help for substance abuse can be extremely intimidating. To some kids, addressing the problem seems like a betrayal of the parents trust to others, it might be a frightening violation of authority. One of the most important things to remember about addiction is that it can distort the users sense of reality, hiding the true impact of the disease. Many parents may not be aware of the effects of their drug use on their kids. They may be so deep in denial that they dont realize how chaotic their childrens world has become.
Listed below are seven steps you can take to make a conversation with your parent more successful, whether youre a young person whos still dependent on your parent or the independent adult child of an addicted person.
1. Write down your feelings first. Before you approach someone about the topic of addiction, its best to clarify your own feelings in writing. People with substance abuse problems are likely to get angry, defensive, or manipulative when theyre confronted. They might yell or cry, and blame you for their problem. When you have your feelings set down in writing, you can turn back to those words when things get tough.
4. Arrange a time when your parent will be sober. When you approach a parent about drinking or drug use, its best to talk to them when they are clearheaded and sober. Talking to someone whos high, drunk, or hungover probably will not be productive.
Just Like Depression And Anxiety Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate
Drug use doesn’t plague only certain kinds of people. Addiction occurs regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, culture, or age. Anyone who wants to chase the high he was seeking doesnt have to look very far.
His final three months in Boulder were erratic, unpredictable, and frightening for everyone in his life. Only after a few incredibly supportive police officers helped us with an intervention did he finally break down and truly own his addiction. A few hours later, in the hospital, he made it clear to us how close he was to dying. At 6-foot-1, he had dropped from 195 to 138 pounds. He had trouble forming words. We were scared out of our minds. And the doctors and addiction counselors who had “seen it all” had never seen anyone with this combination of drugs and research chemicals in their system. I truly hope no other parent ever has to have this experience.
Learn All You Can About Addiction
Learning everything you can about addiction is a great place to start to help an addicted child. There is more to learn about individual addictions than you might think. For example,Crack andCocaine are two different things,prescription drug addiction is all too common, and keeping adrinks journal can help you keep track of alcoholism.
All these things and many more are located within our website. Browse around and get to know more about your sons addiction. Forewarned is forearmed in this case. You can also use your local library or find more info in theNHS pages, should you need it.
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What To Do If You Discover Your Child Is Using Alcohol Or Drugs
Understanding goes a long way here. The last thing you want to do is make your child feel like they cannot be honest with you. Recognizing that your young adult child needs help for their substance use can seem overwhelming. Luckily, you do not have to navigate this alone. There are support systems available. You are welcome to call us for guidance in forming a plan.
Do Ask Your Loved One How You Can Best Support Them
Remind your adult son or daughter that you have their best interests in mind and want them to live a long, fulfilling life. Then, ask them what they need from you and offer to help them accordingly . Inviting them to offer their input conveys that you respect their boundaries and what they have to say, making them more likely to share their feelings with you in the future.
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Tip #: Present Your Child With Available Treatment Options
Just as mentioned in Tip 3, its your job to encourage your child to get help. So when you do that, its best for you to know what can be provided to them.
Presenting your child with available treatment options in a realistic manner will have an impact on them regardless of whether they make the decision to go right at the first mention.
We know youre likely feeling a range of emotions like concern or anger about their addiction. When bringing up treatment, its best to not show so much of those emotions. Confronting your child with anger may only widen the gap of bitterness between you.
Discussing treatment with your child in a calm, practical, and realistic way is the safest and commonly most effective approach.
Your child may be so caught up in the grasp of their addiction they dont understand the very first step of seeking help. The thought of getting high or drunk again might bleed into all of their daily decisions.
This is not saying your child doesnt know they need to make a change. Its simply stating that even when they know change is needed, they might not know where to begin.
Be prepared to talk with them when the time comes. Have treatment options printed out and available for them to see and hear about.
Be ready to answer as many questions as possible.
Also be ready for rejection. Its possible they will reject all of your work. If they do, its best to continue hiding your anger or frustration.
Regardless of how your conversations go, dont blame yourself.
The Scariest Thing For Parents
It was a nightmare for Ryans parents. I was always sick inside. I kept thinking he was going to die. It ruins your life as a parent. Its the scariest thing, because you dont know if he is going to survive. Every time I went to his condo, the place was filthy, and Ryan looked completely wasted. Ryan was caught in a trap he could not escape. His parents realized how miserable the disease of addiction made him. He didnt like being on drugs, Karen says. He said that he was going down in a spiral. He didnt like it at all, but he didnt know how to get off it. My parents always encouraged me to get treatment, remembers Ryan. For a long time, I didnt think I needed treatment. I thought I could manage my drug use, but then I got sick when I was trying to stop. During his first stay in rehab, Ryan didnt fully accept that he was addicted to drugs and alcohol. I wasnt working any steps, I convinced myself that I was happier using, and things got real bad, he recalls. Karen and Jimmy kept asking Ryan to come home with them and go back into treatment. Ryan refused, insisting nothing was wrong with him. I was so distressed I couldnt breathe, Karen says. We prayed and we prayed.
Social Changes That May Mean Your Kid Is Doing Drugs
Some social changes that may suggest drug or alcohol abuse include:
- Loss of interest in social activities
- A change in hobbies
- New friends who are not doing well in school or at work and mimic some of the same behaviors
- Becoming withdrawn and isolated
- Stealing or unusual requests for money
- Complaints from teachers, co-workers, or friends about unusual behaviors
- Medication disappearing from around the house or missing alcohol
Often parents become suspicious that their kid is using drugs because of their friends or social acquaintances. This factor cant be judged on its own. Consider signs from all three domains to assess the situation.
If the changes youre seeing are more extreme than normal, take note. For example, if your childs behavior is aggressive, their friends are changing for the worse, and they are isolating themselves from supportive friends and family, it may be a sign that substance abuse is an issue.
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.
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What Age Is He
If you are dealing with a drug or alcohol addicted son that is underage for drinking, then going to the GP is your first point of call. The GP can advise him on all the ways that the alcohol is having a negative effect on his body. They will be able to talk him through all the elements of addiction, what it looks like and how he can avoid it. The GP will also be able to point you in the direction of getting further help.
If your addicted son is a fully grown adult, then you can still help him. If he doesnt live with you, inviting him home while he goes throughoutpatient rehab could be the way to reach him. Be careful that your behaviour isnt enabling him to use more, but that it is supportive, instead.
Finding The Right Help
In the end, the decision to seek treatment lies within your child. You can force them to treatment, but therapy wont help if theyre not ready or willing to get better. The recovery path is a long, painful, and sometimes lonely one. Having the support of family members can be significantly crucial for those battling with addiction.
At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe in comprehensive treatment programs that integrate the entire family. While recovering addicts go through either partial hospitalization or outpatient programs, we also encourage family therapy. By addressing the addiction as a collective unit, everyone can better understand the triggers, overcome the struggles, and analyze their roles within their childs recovery.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, dont set them aside. Contact our admission specialists today to learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help you and your family find the right path to recovery.
Lighthouse Editorial Team
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Keeping The Lines Of Communication Open
It is vital that your son knows they can come to you to talk about theiraddiction. If they are talking to you, you can still help them. Keeping the lines of communication open is the difference between your son going missing for a week at a time, and your son being able to talk to you about his problems. This can be difficult because you will hear things you dont want to know about, but its either that or losing him completely,
The Acknowledged Thinking However Was That His Difficulties Were Primarily Based On Clinical Psychological Challenges
His kindergarten teachers called our attention to his difficulties with other children. He was uncomfortable with other kids getting too close and would sometimes push them awayit got bad enough that the school kicked him out in his second year. He might have been the youngest person ever to be expelled from school.
Its something that we chuckle about now, but at the time it was hurtful to him and painful for all of us. This was the first of many schools that turned out not to know how to handle a child like ours. This also began our journey dealing with prescribed medications. We resisted as long as we could, until one of his schools simply strong-armed us and said he would be kicked out if we didn’t do something.
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Physical Signs Your Kid Is Doing Drugs
Physical signs of alcohol or drug abuse include:
- Frequently bloodshot eyes or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
- Frequent nosebleeds, which can be a sign of snorting cocaine or meth
- Appetite changes, such as periods of no appetite that alternate with periods of increased appetite
- Frequent, unexplained bruises or other injuries
- Incoherent speech, jitteriness, or tremors
- Breath that smells like alcohol
- Drug paraphernalia in their room or backpack
- Paint stains on the mouth due to huffing paint
- Burns around the mouth or on the fingers from smoking drugs
- Track marks from injecting drugs
- Poor dental hygiene and personal care
- Frequent requests for money
The Road To This Place Started Long Ago
Perhaps his parents divorcing when he was a year old was a factor? As we slowly realized the depth and breadth of his addiction, I began to examine my own behavior and to blame myself. I was building a company and traveling constantly during his childhood. Maybe this was a cause? I had a rule against corporal punishment. In fact, I joke with him now and then that maybe I should have spanked him every once in a while. It’s one of those funny/not funny things.
Or maybe its that he grew up in a relatively affluent community. While he wasnt lavished with money by any means, he certainly could tap into resources behind our backs. We also happen to live in Boulder, Colorado, where cannabis stores outnumber convenience stores. Despite the fact that neither of his parents used pot or other drugs and drank only infrequently, the normalcy of drug use in the community he grew up in certainly influenced his perspective on it.
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Tough Love Is A Hard But A Valuable Language To Learn
Geno, an adult client of mine, came in to see me, feeling very frustrated and angry. He described recently seeing his adult son’s phone number pop up on his Caller ID. It was Geno’s day off from work and he had planned to decompress. But, he thought, after all, “This is my son, and I love him,” so he accepted the call. As Geno listened to his son’s slurred voice, he felt flooded with upsetting thoughts such as What the heck is it now? immediately followed by guilt for being so suspicious of his son.
Geno’s son went on a 20-minute rant about how his former boss was a jerk and that he still can’t find another job. He mentioned that he had smoked less weed, but that he had no money for his rent payment. Geno mentioned that he had financial pressures too and his son immediately said, “Whatever, dad, don’t worry about me!”
As the room started to spin, Geno, to his own amazement said, “Only this one time” but he knew his words had a hollow ring, since he’d said this so many times before. So, with mixed emotions, Geno later went to his son’s apartment to “loan” him money to pay his rent. As usual, his son, with his beaming, broad charismatic smile, promised to pay Geno back, but he knew that would never happen. Geno thought about how this chaos is unsustainable and wondered when he would ever learn to stand on his own two feet.
Do You Enable?
Helping Your Adult Child Without Enabling
Encouraging Your Adult to Live in Her or His Own SkinSkin Thats Also in the Game
Parents With Addicted Children Need To Know These 4 Things
I recently spent time with some friends who just had their first child. Hes now a six-week-old, bright, blue-eyed baby boy. Eli is the light of his parents lives and with good reason. Hes one of the most precious things Ive ever held. From his tiny hands and feet to his little smile, Eli is brand new to this world and has so many things ahead of him.
A new baby brings so much joy and excitement. Parents watch in awe as their children have their firsts first smile, first tooth, first steps, first everything. They want the best for them and its thrilling to watch them physically grow, learn and develop their own unique personalities. We imagine all the different paths in life they may take: Will he play football? Will she want to be a ballerina? Is he going to be creative? Will she be good at math? Will he be a doctor?
With a brand new baby, the possibilities and opportunities seem endless.
One thing that doesnt cross parents minds when they imagine their childrens futures, however, is the possibility that their baby will grow up to become addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Addiction may seem like a far-off, distant problem that may never affect you or your family. But the reality is, millions of parents across the country are facing the nightmare of having a drug-addicted son or drug-addicted daughter every single day.
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