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5 Tips to Help Your Child Heal From Drug and Alcohol Addiction

For parents, there are few things worse than discovering that their child is addicted to drugs and alcohol. But there’s one thing that few parents realize: there are few things worse for your child to discover about him or herself as well. As the anti-drug commercials put it, “No one ever said, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a junkie,'” and for your child, finding themselves in the torturous position of physical addiction can be terrifying. As the parent, you may be the only person who can really help him or her to get through this experience and come out on the other side a happier, more well-adjusted person. Here are five tips to help you along the way.

Your Child and Drug Addiction Tip 1: Stay Calm

Fear often manifests in the form of anger, but this is a case when screaming and yelling will only serve to exacerbate the situation and potentially make your child feel even worse. If you suspect that your child is using, be prepared for a volatile reaction when he or she is confronted. Their fear of getting caught and concern for their own physical safety will likely turn emotional. It is your job to take a breath, pursue the conversation, and help them defuse so that you can have a conversation that is productive and goal-oriented, instead of placing blame.

Your Child and Drug Addiction Tip 2: Ask Questions

Are you using every day? How much are you using? How do you feel when you don’t use? If you find pills, ask how they are taking them. There’s no need to offer up multiple choice answers, but crushing and shooting the drug is significantly more dangerous than swallowing the pill whole and knowing the answer to this question will help you find the right drug treatment facility for them, even if they give you a sarcastic answer.

It’s not immediately important who they are using with, where they are getting the drugs, or where they were high. Pointing out addictive behavior like lying and stealing won’t serve your first purpose: helping your child accept the fact that he or she is addicted to drugs and needs treatment.

Your Child and Drug Addiction Tip 3: Listen

It may seem intuitive, but after you ask your questions, wait and listen to the answers. Bombarding your child with questions won’t yield anything but frustration. If you don’t understand the answer or feel like he or she is being indirect, you can always ask more questions later, but give your child a chance to speak his or her mind.

Your Child and Drug Addiction Tip 4: Offer Solution Options

Berating your child or handing down punishments isn’t appropriate at this time. Certainly, you want the addictive behavior and using to stop, but the best way for this to happen is to give them solutions: consulting with a doctor and heading to treatment immediately. Talk to them about what is available, and let them know that you will stand by them through it all.

Your Child and Drug Addiction Tip 5: Let Them Know That You Love Them No Matter What

This is crucial. Even though you may be scared to death, angry, and overwhelmingly disappointed and sad, you must communicate to your child that you will be right there as the two of you work through this together. Let your child know that you love him or her and that you will make sure to provide the necessary help to get them back on their feet so that both of you can move forward.

If you have questions about treatment for your adult child, we can help. Call us at 760.548.4032, and our admissions team will answer the questions you may have regarding next steps.