If your child is using drugs or alcohol illegally in your home, deciding to ignore the problem can be a very dangerous mistake. There are multiple studies that show that parents are one of the most important factors in the prevention of drug use by minors. The sooner you can address the drug usage problem, the sooner you can prevent or lessen the negative impact on your home environment. The list below provides several helpful tips if you are trying to figure out how to handle a child using drugs in your home.
Trust The Gut
Many parents notice signs of odd behavior from their children but decide to disregard it. They will think that they are overly obsessive, or perhaps hypersensitive. However, most of the time that a parent gets the instinct that something is wrong with their child, they are right. As an example, if you notice that a cough or cold medicine in the cabinet is getting used up at an excessive rate, ask your kids about it as soon as you can. Cough medicine and related drugs contain the substance dextromethorphan, a chemical which can cause an individual to become high when taken in excess. If your child is usually acting angry or stressed, there could be a serious cause or a simple explanation. Perhaps your child is worried about the test coming up, or just had a break up with his or her best friend. It is advised that you make it so that your children feel comfortable talking with you. Try starting by asking what is going on, and then describe the specific things you notice and the related concerns you have.
Educate Yourself in the Drug Culture
You may see your child becoming increasingly withdrawn or sullen, but not exhibiting any physical signs of addiction. If you don’t know what to be looking for in your children, you won’t be able to help them as effectively as you would like. The use and popularity of individual drugs change from year to year. It is entirely possible that your child could be using a drug that you have never heard of in your entire life. By spending a little effort and time, you can find out what substances are most commonly abused by children today. Using websites such as drugabuse.gov or drugfree.org can make your research easier and enable you to focus on helping your kids.
Don’t Take It Personally
If you find out that your child has been using drugs and lying to about, please understand that getting angry about it will not help to resolve the problem. It is completely understandable that you might feel guilty, betrayed, hurt or angry, but displaying these emotions to your child will only make the problem worse. If you discover that your child wasn’t telling the truth about drug usage, you should first investigate, together, the reasons why your child didn’t tell you the truth. Tell the child that lying is not fine and explore how, to be honest in the future.
Get Help As Soon As You Can
Many parents try to keep a child’s drug use problems within the family. The common idea that drug addiction reflects badly on their parenting skills causes many parents to keep their children out of drug therapy until the problem is quite out of hand. Just like you wouldn’t try treating AIDS or a broken bone on your own, treating drug addiction requires special equipment and skills that the vast majority of parents do not have.
If you suspect drug use in your home, take action as soon as possible. Doing so is essential to ensuring the welfare of your child.