How to Understand that Your Child is Addicted to Drugs?
Before the birth of a child, most people carry a heavy burden. That’s because they realize the responsibility that comes with the birth of a child. Typically, the choices that a parent makes from the moment they conceive until childbirth will influence how the child will turn out.
After birth, a parent is responsible for inculcating good habits in their children. However, it gets to a point where a parent can no longer control what their children do. For instance, some parents are unable to monitor what their teens do whenever they go out with their friends. Nevertheless, a child can do things that will make a parent realize that they are addicted to drugs.
The realization that a child is addicted to drugs alone is devastating and heartbreaking for most parents. That’s because many parents don’t know what to do to help. Some can opt to call drug questions hot number to seek assistance while others may send them to rehab immediately. Nevertheless, the approach that a parent takes towards helping the addicted son can play a significant role in their recovery journey.
The most important thing that a parent with an addicted son can do is to use strategies that have been proven effective in enabling people to realize the need for getting professional help. That’s because most young people deny the existence of an addiction problem for which they need assistance.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most people start using drugs before their teen years. The institute reports that over 2.8 million started using illicit drugs in 2013. 54.1% of these were below the age of 18 years. Such figures show how serious drug abuse and addiction are among young people.
Nevertheless, if you have a son that is addicted to drugs, there are things you can do to help them. Here are some of them.
Strengthen Your Relationship
When battling addiction, a person uses deceitful means to get and use more substance, no matter how negatively it affects them and others. Unfortunately, these actions can significantly damage how they relate to those around them. To combat this behavior, rebuild and strengthen your relationship with your addicted son.
A great way to do this is by having an assertive and open communication. Effective communication will enable you to notice problems early and act appropriately. Such communication can include things like active listening and asking questions that lead to productive conversations.
Ask nonjudgmental and open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a single word. Thus, answers to such questions will help you learn more about the addictive behavior of your son. They will also let your son express their struggles, hopes, and concerns.
Try to stay focused and engaged when communicating. Show understanding and acceptance while being respectful and kind. Additionally, try to reduce negative reactions, focus on the positives, and reduce distractions.
If you become overly emotional, sarcastic, irrational, or upset, manage these emotions. Nevertheless, don’t ignore the problem because this will only worsen the condition of your son. If unable to address the issue alone, call an addiction helpline for assistance with your son.
Encourage Positive Treatment and Behaviors
Focusing more on poor decision-making and mistakes of your son will lower their self-esteem and confidence. It will also lower the feeling of personal power. This can make them continue using the addictive substance. Therefore, encourage positive behaviors while emphasizing the positives.
Optimism and encouragement create a sense of cooperation and teamwork. It also lowers negativity and conflict. This will enable your son to try healthy activities and coping skills. It will also create positive peer relationships and enable them to face challenges.
Essentially, you should focus on positive messages. For instance, tell your son that he can do it when trying to beat addiction. Tell them that they have great ideas. Make your son feel important no matter what they are going through.
Establish and Reinforce Guidelines
You set expectations by establishing guidelines for your son regarding their unacceptable and acceptable behaviors. When it comes to battling addiction, consistent and clear rules yield improved outcomes. In addition to helping your son, consistent guidelines will help them determine how to react to different situations.
For the guidelines to be effective, develop them together. This will give each party a say in the consequences of certain behaviors. These guidelines can be a list of states on causes and effects. Always remember that the guidelines will be effective if they are consistent.
If unable to come up with these guidelines, you can call rehab for assistance. This is particularly important because rehab professionals can help you come up with guidelines that cover most contingencies and common events.
Guidelines are rules whose basis should be the behaviors of your son. However, boundaries should be the things you can and can’t do for your son. Boundaries represent the ways you will treat your addicted son and how he will treat you. There will be a time when you will feel like your son is testing these boundaries indirectly or directly through manipulation. Therefore, sit down with your son and come up with clear boundaries when thinking rationally.
It’s important to have boundaries because they help you avoid enabling behaviors. These are behaviors that may support the continued use of the addictive substance by your son. They may include lying for the child, sacrificing your needs for your son’s wants, and accepting a certain level of substance use.
Having clear boundaries and strong guidelines will lower your stress levels. However, you should practice self-care to achieve your desired results. You may not want to call a drug hotline number immediately. However, you might still have to call this number at some point if unable to help your son alone.
Your stress will grow and eventually lead to burnout if you take care of your child without practicing self-care. Increased stress will present itself in the form of different mental and physical health conditions.
These may include:
- Low immune system
- Attention and memory problems
- Heart disease
Practicing self-care will keep you in proper condition to take care of your addicted son. It will also enable you to lead your son by example.
The Bottom Line
You may want to help your son overcome addiction alone. However, you might need more restrictive guidelines and boundaries. In that case, call an addiction help hotline for professional assistance. Nevertheless, following these guidelines will help you deal with the addiction of your son to drugs more effectively.
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