Wednesday, February 28, 2024

My Son Is An Addict

Knowing When Its Time To Let Go

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As mentioned, every parent has their limits. When children are younger, it is understandable that we have full authority over the things that they should or shouldnt do. Our control over their lives eventually wanes as they reach adulthood, and this is when learning to love a drug addict becomes increasingly difficult.

Theres a fine line between supporting addiction recovery and learning to let go of the situation for the better. Here are some signs that you may need to take a step back about your sons addiction:

  • Your attempts to help have caused your life and others to be in danger: Some people with addictions end up committing petty crimes and even felonies. If being involved with your son poses a threat to you and other loved ones safety or even their lives, it may be time to let go. This can be especially the case when there are two addicts in a relationship causing a loved one to be involved.
  • You are becoming financially unstable: As a parent, you want to give your son the best chance in life. But if it compromises your own financial security that you end up losing money for your own daily needs, this is also a potential sign. Some parents even lose financially as they become enablers of their sons addiction.
  • Your health is suffering: If you are depressed, anxious, experiencing rage, or have developed other physical health problems due to your sons addiction, this is a symptom that you need to do something different.

Where To Get Further Help

You can get further help for your addiction right here in the Help4Addiction pages. We can offer free consultations, advice, and just general support when you need it most. Taking care of an addict is exhausting, but if you can turn your sons life around, it will be worthwhile. Help4Addiction can find him a rehab clinic near you and ensure you dont have to go through this ordeal alone.

Parent Of Drug Addict Help: Top 10 Truths To Help Parents

My sons addiction started in high school, with what at the time I considered to be normal experimentation with alcohol and marijuana. I never expected then that his alcohol and drug use would escalate into full blown addiction and that it would progress over the years all the way to intravenous drug use, near death, and a prison conviction. I have learned so much along this journey of my sons addiction and recovery. From that I have compiled a list of truths to share with others who may find themselves seeking answers and help.

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How Do I Help My Son With Drug Addiction

As a parent, you may feel helpless or powerless when attempting to deal with your childs addiction, especially when they are old enough to make their own decisions. You may believe that disciplining them will have no effect and yet have the parental instinct to protect them.

Whether young or an adult child, being consumed by your childs problem will not improve the situation and may cause problems in your own life.

Drug and alcohol addiction breaks the hearts of family members and loved ones as much as it ruins the lives of those suffering from addiction. Knowing how to help your child is very important, and a parents unwavering love and support could give them the push they need to become sober.

How My Sons Gaming Addiction Started

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Bullying in middle school is what sent my son hungering for meaningful connection and acceptance. He fulfilled that hunger in his online, multi-player gaming community. But many of the kids he was playing with were also dealing with their own issues and playing video games with them didnt solve his issues of low self-esteem. When he entered university several years later, he became overwhelmed with a sense of doom. He didnt have the confidence to believe he could manage his degree program. He turned to games again to cope and eventually, became gaming addicted.

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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.

Set Boundaries And Take Care Of Mental Health

Creating boundaries may appear very difficult in the beginning, but it will strengthen the relationship you have with your child, which can allow both of you to start healing. Setting boundaries may mean telling your son that he must find his own place to live, or saying no to giving them money. Even an adult child may need to learn new boundaries in their relationship with you.

Practicing self-care is essential. It will enable you to lead by example, and ensure that you take care of your mental health, too. If you ignore your own needs, dont take space, or cant give up trying to control the situation, your mental health may be greatly affected.

If you are ever feeling irrational, overly emotional, or upset, setting a boundary may come in the form of walking away. Of course, worrying over a child is normal, so it may be best to talk to someone about your childs addiction, so that you may process your own emotions better.

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You Cant Rescue Your Child

You cant rescue your child from addiction, either. Addiction is a chronic disease, which means the path to recovery is one with specialized treatment.

Simply put, rescuing does not work. If you try to rescue or save your son, hell most likely resist and resent you. He might feel bossed around or judged and pull away even more.

An addict needs to create their pathway to change and develop personal decision-making, with guidance from professionals who are trained and certified in addiction treatment.

While it can be tempting to help an addict reach certain conclusions about their habits, choices, and life, it wont help them unless they reach those conclusions on their own. They may not want to change or be ready to change, which is why they need professional help.

Remember that you still have a million roles as a parent. Just because you cant rescue them from their drug addiction doesnt mean you cant play an integral part in helping to get them where they need to be.

Be Wary Of Being Manipulated

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Harsh again, I know, but people in active addiction tend to be master manipulators. And yes, they sometimes lie. They will often say and do anything to keep doing what theyre doing, which is getting high. So try to keep your emotional distance, and dont get sucked into the games. Love your child as always, but love him from a distance.

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My Son Has A Drug Addiction What Should I Do

When you suspect that your son is addicted to drugs, its difficult to know how to respond. Will shouting at them help? Should you call the police? Should you just ignore the situation and hope its a passing phase?

We believe that ignoring the situation is the wrong thing to do. Help is available and we can provide it to you and your addicted son. Whilst there is no one solution for every situation, there are steps you can take to start his recovery.

Addiction Treatment Services Are Available For Your Adult Son Immediately

More than anything, your son needs drug rehab or alcohol rehab. You may be in need of an intervention to help get the process started. Regardless of what your needs are, please know that addiction help is available for you.

At Northpoint Washington, we understand how you feel knowing that your grown son is an addict or an alcoholic. The fear that you live with everyday is unmatched. You may dread getting the phone call that something terrible has happened to your child. All you really know is that something needs to change. We want to help you make that change happen.

You may have questions about drug and alcohol rehab, or perhaps you’re curious about what an intervention involves. We’re here to get you the information you need.

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Dont Play The Blame Game

Not blaming your child can be very hard. After all, the pain they cause to themselves and their loved ones may seem unfair. But it is important to realize that drugs and alcohol are very powerful substances. They can hijack a persons brain, rewiring it and its reward system, so that your adult son or daughters main focus becomes obtaining a substance and consuming it.

Know that your childs addiction is most probably causing them feelings of being trapped, discouraged, and helpless. Harsh treatment, like phrases such as I never taught you to behave like this may increase their feelings of shame and may cause them to become defensive and isolated. Many times, a son or daughter is very concerned about disappointing a parent.

It is important to always address the behavior instead of the person. Judging a child who is suffering from addiction will not mend your relationship, but it is important to express how their actions affect you.

Instead of blaming them, let your child know that they can confide in you and that you are willing to listen without repercussions. This will enable you to discover the extent of their addiction, and what kind of help is needed. It will also improve the establishment of trust, which is crucial in mending relationships.

The blame should not only be avoided toward your child. As a parent, you should not blame yourself either.

Just Like Depression And Anxiety Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate

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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.

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Learning To Spot Emotional Manipulation

Counsellors can help you learn to spot manipulation as it happens. Specifically, it will help you perform reality checks. These simple little checks are enough to make you pause and think about your sons actions towards you.

For example, if he comes to you asking for his inheritance early because he really loved his grandad and he wants to wear the watch he gave him every day. You should listen to the request then engage some reality checking. What is the likelihood that he will sell the watch for drug money? What is the likelihood that he really wants the watch early to wear it, and not to trade it? What is the likelihood that you saying no to this demand would result in a family argument if the watch wasnt going to be used for drugs or alcohol?

If you say no to him and a massive argument ensues, you can be positive that he is trying to manipulate you into giving him the watch so he can spend it on his addiction.

How Do I Talk To My Child About An Addiction

Approaching adolescents and young adults calmly and openly is a key component of having a safe and effective discussion about addictive behaviors. Being open and compassionate can open the conversation to growth and healing. It is not recommended to scold or to use strong consequences when addressing potential addictive behaviors as this may cause more harm and isolation, increasing substance use. Good tactics to use while discussing addictive behaviors include:

  • Active listening

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How Can Clinicians Help Families Struggling With Gaming Addiction

The INTENTA Training provided me the tools to assess each family and understand that there is no cookie cutter approach. Addiction and recovery is not a linear process. Its more like three steps forward and two steps back. I see parents who recognize the addiction long before their child is willing to admit to it. There is a wide gap between what the parents expectations are and that of the addict. My goal is to bridge that gap.

The clinicians and coachs approach needs to be one that is individualised to suit each familys dynamics. Often one parent will be onboard with recognizing the problem while the other turns a blind eye. Its important to get them both on the same page and working as a team. There is strength in numbers, and the more support systems that can be provided, the more chance of success. I have come to realize that not every gaming addict needs to fully detox. For some, a harm reduction approach may be better. Regardless of which course of action, its important to take a holistic approach and look at the overall picture, from physical to emotional health. INTENTA training provides an effective tool to help map this out.

Footnote:

Signs Your Child May Be Addicted To Drugs

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Depending on the kind of drug your child is using, some signs of drug addiction may not be too obvious. Look for signs and symptoms that seem unusual for your daughter.

Signs that your daughter may be addicted to drugs include:

  • Abrupt changes in weight

If you believe your child has an active addiction, contact a professional right away. The longer that substance abuse continues, the more difficult it becomes to kick the habit. Speak with an addiction specialist to help you better understand the best treatment program for your child.

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Where Can I Find A Treatment Program For Drug Addiction

Luckily, there is help for dealing with your childs addiction. Even if your adult son or daughter is struggling, they do still have time to turn their life around.

Crossroads Centre Antigua is here to help. We are an international treatment center that offers individualized drug treatment and support. Our sublime setting provides a calm environment to support abstinence, while caring therapeutic staff can provide tools for maintaining sobriety beyond our center.

Stop Enabling The Addiction

Its also important to understand the difference between helping and enabling. If youre financially supporting a loved one whos struggling with addiction or lying to help them hide the problem, then youre enabling.1

When you recognize this behavior and stop it, the benefits are twofold. First, your loved one will begin to see the consequences of their actions. Second, by refusing to continue your enabling behaviors youll make it harder for your loved one to keep feeding their addiction.

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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.

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