Tip #: Dont Forget To Love Yourself
The final tip is incredibly important as it encompasses a lot of what weve already gone over.
You should not be bearing the entire weight of your childs addiction to the point that you are unhappy in your own life. You can only do so much.
Take some time to appreciate what youve done and continue to do for them even when theyre turning it down.
Your life changes in an instant when your child first comes into your life, and that never ends no matter what age your child is. However, when your child grows out of that adolescent age and becomes an adult, your roles and responsibilities lessen and evolve.
Loving yourself essentially means youre drawing your boundaries, accepting your limits, and keeping yourself healthy in a difficult situation.
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Q What Should You Do If Your Child Is Addicted To Drugs
There is not enough compassion out there for parents whose kids are addicted. You simply cant judge what theyre going through if you dont know it.
For those of us who are going through this, you face your childs addiction every day, and you think, Will he come back tonight, and will he be alive tomorrow? Youre half-crazed by fear and anxiety. And youre fighting something that is seemingly so much smarter than you are.
Addiction is the wiliest disease that there is. Its intense because its a disease that literally rewires the brain. The addiction says, Give me more drugs, and if you dont, I will put you in terrible pain. Withdrawal is the consequence that keeps addicts coming back for more.
The addict knows the pain of not using and in time they become a prisoner of their addiction. Research also shows that if youre addicted to one drug, especially at a young age, then youre brain is wired to become addicted to any addictive drug.
Keep in mind that youre not your childs friend, youre their parent. You have to stand firm.
And realize that your child has a disease because it will allow you to be objective and not take their anger personally. This will help you be more effective in your efforts to get them some help.
Remember, this person who is screaming, To hell with you, I hate you, youll never understand me is under the influence of drugs. The enemy is not your child. The enemy is the addiction that has taken over their life, mind, heart, and spirit.
Reasons You Should Cut Off A Loved One With Addiction
There are many reasons to support a child who is willing to go to rehab, but there are also valid points when it is time to let go. Anything that compromises your safety, health, financial security, or even life warrants a decisive action. Below are beneficial reasons to let go of a loved one with an addiction.
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What Can Parents Do If Their Child Is Using Marijuana
If you find your child is actively using marijuana, you have won half the battle because you know whats going on. This is a great benefit as many parents are in the dark. But what are the next steps to immediately take? The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids advises that the following actions can help:
- Be clear that drug use will not be tolerated, and set the terms of any ramifications to follow, such as grounding or earlier curfew. It is critical to then implement any such repercussions, in order to underline the severity of the situation.
- Provide opportunities to re-establish the bond of trust, such as supervising homework and chores but also recognizing a job well done.
- Be responsive to the childs efforts to correct the behavior, as a punishing attitude alone can jeopardize or damage the emotional bond between parent and child.
- If a friend is involved, consider contacting the parents. First, it will send a message that drug use will not be tolerated. Second, it can help the other parents to take measures to prevent their childrens drug abuse. Third, it creates a dialogue around drug use between concerned parents.
An Injury Results In Escalated Addiction
When Ryan was nineteen, he suffered a leg fracture, and the doctors prescribed opioid pain relievers. After that, his substance use disorder escalated quickly. When the doctors wouldnt give him any more pain medicine, he bought it on the streets, says Karen. Ryan worked in our family business at the time. We heard from employees that he was showing up looking wasted. When we found out he was buying on the street, Ryan finally admitted to us that he was addicted to pain pills. We took him to our family doctor, and he gave him different pain pills to wean him off the opioids. It was a disaster. Then he put him on suboxone. For six months we thought Ryan was clean, but he wasnt. And when we found out that he wasnt, my husband finally said to Ryan, You need to go to rehab or youre fired. For several months, Ryan had residential treatment at Stepping Stone, the sister center of Lakeview Health. Karen and Jimmy were hopeful, but Ryan was not yet ready or willing to go into recovery. He went back to his condo and his drug buddies. They got him right back on it as soon as he got home, remembers Karen.
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Seek Professional Help If Necessary
If youve tried everything and your son is still smoking pot, then you might need to seek professional help. Many addiction treatment programs can help a person whos addicted to marijuana to quit and lead a healthier life. These types of programs will provide your son with the tools, support, and guidance he needs to stop smoking weed and maintain abstinence from it for good.
Using Despite Negative Consequences
Someone with a weed addiction may realize that their drug use is affecting them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Studies have found that some of these consequences include:
- Impaired memory
- Inability to fulfill work commitments
- Financial instability
Despite the negative influence their addiction has on their life, however, someone with cannabis use disorder will continue to use marijuana.
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Parents Cannot Fix This On Their Own
This statement is regarding what I have written above. This is a problem only the person with addiction can fix. A concept such as this is very hard for a person like me to accept, because I try to fix everything. No one is allowed in the mind of a person with addiction, except for them. They are the only ones that can decide to change their lives, for better or for worse. This will not end until they decide to end it. Many times, parents try to make that decision for them and it only winds up resulting in more frustration and failure. What parents can do is encourage them to seek help or treatment, and let them arrive at the decision themselves.
The Treatment Answer For Lasting Recovery For The Whole Family
When you enable your son or daughters addiction, you are participating in it. And they are not the only one suffering the whole family feels the fallout of the addicts lifestyle, their attitude, and their hopelessness. But the situation is not hopeless: You can turn the page of new possibilities at any moment.
You certainly can support your adult child without enabling them. Initially, its important to have an experts perspective and guidance to gain more clarity into which of your behaviors are helpful and which are actually harmful. And ultimately, your daughter or son needs clinical care to help them overcome the major hurdles of their substance dependency and the addictive, destructive behaviors that have become like second nature to them.
Once they do get involved in a comprehensive treatment program, they will have access to safe, medical detox, well-rounded psychiatric care, holistic therapies, and lasting recovery resources. In fact, the whole family will have a chance to participate in healthy new coping strategies and long-term planning for a brighter future.
Alta Mira offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Bay Area programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward lasting recovery.
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Q Should I Search My Childs Room If I Suspect Hes Using Drugs
If you think your child might be taking drugs, I personally dont think its unreasonable to search their room. Its understandable that were afraid to use our power to impinge on their freedom and independence. But if theyre in trouble with drugs, theyre going to lose their freedom and independence and maybe their life.
Check their rooms and in places youd never imagine. Check wall sockets, look in their shoes, and take every bit of medication in your medicine cabinet and put it someplace under lock and key. Thats everythingpain pills, heart medication, sleeping pills, anti-depressants.
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Believe me, kids will walk into their friends houses, take a few pills and see what happens. It doesnt matter what the pills are. Even if your own child doesnt have a drug problem, their friends might. Therefore, I would advise that you keep all prescription medication in a safe, inaccessible place in your house.
Could My Son Have Marijuana Addiction
Many parents become concerned when they believe their children are abusing marijuana. In many cases, a young person is just using it recreationally without a strong need for or addiction to the drug. However, there is a chance of addiction for someone who practices heavy marijuana abuse. If you are concerned that your son may be addicted to marijuana, consider these signs.
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Q If Youre A Parent And You Smoked Marijuana As A Young Person Do You Have A Leg To Stand On When You Talk To Your Kids About It And Should You Lie About It If They Ask You
You have two legs! Marijuana was half as strong twenty years ago, and we know a lot more about its ill effects now. Personally, I would counsel honesty. Drugs are all about lying and dishonesty, after all, and if were going to get through to kids, honesty is vital.
Tell the truth, but tell how things have changed. Give them the facts. Marijuana is stronger than it used to be and we now have research that tells us about the frightening things it does to your personality and your performance in school, sports, and every area of your life. All the neurological wiring is laid down in adolescence for judgment, reason controlling impulses, empathy, compassion, flexibility, and all those more mature brain functions that help people grow into responsible adults.
You throw drugs into a developing brain and you stop emotional development cold, which is an important reason why it takes kids so long to recover from addiction. Think about it, most kids dont have their emotional skills built up and they have not developed the ability to build strong relationships and to make reasonable and rational decisions.
Id also tell parents, first, set aside your rationalizations. Dont argue that because alcohol and marijuana are legal that they are better than hard drugs. Dont make statements like, At least hes only smoking marijuana. Learn everything you can about alcohol, drugs, and drug addiction.
Set Rules And Consequences For Smoking Marijuana
One of the best ways to deter your son from the smoking pot is by setting rules and consequences. If he knows that there are negative consequences for smoking weed, he might be less likely to do it. You could, for example, make it a rule that he cant smoke marijuana if hes going to school or work the next day. Alternatively, you could impose a financial penalty every time he smokes marijuana. Such rules and consequences will help your son take his marijuana use seriously and understand that its not okay.
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Symptoms Of Addiction In Teens
Every addict is a master manipulator. They have a sixth sense for knowing how to convince people theyre not seeing what they are seeing. Addicts are like magicians. They camouflage what is in full view. All the signs and symptoms of addiction are apparent but the familys attention is diverted elsewhere.
Your Adult Child Can Still Get Help To Beat Addiction
Dont lose hope.
Its so easy to give up after dozens of repeated attempts to help, but if youre able to follow the six tips above, youre doing everything in your power to help your child.
Things change when your child becomes an adult. Roles change, personalities change, and overall relationships change.
You are not responsible for everything your adult child does, but you can still change their future.
Looping back to Tip 4 from earlier, take your time and be ready for the day to come when the answer to your request that they seek treatment turns from a sharp no into a maybe or even a yes.
There are hundreds of treatment options out there for each type of addiction a person can be facing.
In the end, nobody knows a person quite like their parents do. Take what you know about their addiction and them and turn that into your base for searching out treatment options for them.
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Top 10 Myths About Addiction In Teens
1. Hes just being a boy. Every kid experiments at some point. Although many kids will experiment with drugs, there is no reason to assume this behavior is normal or healthy for your child
2. Theres nothing we can do. If you are thinking there is nothing you can do to help your child or other family member with an addiction problem, read this book: No More Letting Go. In fact, the most loving act a family can take is to confront addiction and stay determined until you root it out of your home
When the Hazelden Foundation asked sober alcoholics what set them on their new course to recovery, 77% said a family member intervened.
3. Addiction is a lifestyle choice. Most addiction starts in the teenage years when the brain is not fully developed in terms of judgment and decision making . Once the teenager becomes addicted, a switch is flipped, making it very hard for the person to stop.
Reports of binge drinking and the use of other drugs are common on college campuses but only 10 percent of students will develop an addiction. Genetics, not choice, determines their fate
4. You have to wait until they want help. This is perhaps the most insidious myth of all. Most addicts do not want help. They might want help with other aspects of their lives as things become unmanageable. However, once addiction takes hold, they will not generally seek help for their drug use
Are all drugs extremely dangerous for teenagers? Well, as with many issues in life, it depends.
My Child Is A Drug Addict: What Can I Do
If you have a son or daughter addicted to drugs or alcohol, you might feel helpless and exasperated with not even a glimmer of hope that anything can be done. As someone who was addicted to drugs or alcohol for nearly 20 years, and after having many near-death experiences and landing in prison for many years, I can honestly say that there are many things you can doand many things you shouldnt do.
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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.
Is Marijuana A Gateway Drug
Social environment might be a more critical factor in determining someone’s risk for trying harder drugs.
If someone is vulnerable to getting involved with drugs, they generally start with substances that are readily available, such as alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana.
However, a person is also likely to start using the same substances that are used by the people in their social environment, no matter how addictive the drug.
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Q How Should You Go About Seeking Treatment For Your Child
One of the heartbreaking things for parents is they often dont know where to go when their child is using drugs. If you can, find a doctor whos knowledgeable about addictions. Work with your doctor to find the best treatment center you can for your child. The first step will be to have a chemical dependency assessment done. Your doctor should be able to direct you to a reputable institution that can do this.
If I were to bring in my child who is addicted to alcohol and marijuana, what would your approach be?
Some doctors tell parents they will not deal with addicted kids. Or they may tell the child that smoking marijuana is not a problem as long as they keep it under control. Believe it or not, this happened to me when I took our son to the doctor to talk about his marijuana use, and it has happened to other parents I know.
If its decided that your child should undergo treatment, there are both inpatient and outpatient programs your child can attend. Most centers dont specialize in treating adolescents, but there are some that do. A good place to start looking for a program is through the American Society of Addiction Medicine, an arm of the American Medical Association.
When you contact them, you need to ask:
Who do you have on staff who understands adolescent addictions?