Addiction is a form of disorder which affect people’s brain and behavior. It can also be referred to as a family disease. Not only does it have an impact on the individual misusing the drug, but it also offers a detrimental effect on the addicted person’s loved ones. As a father, learning how to cope with a drug-addict son is actually necessary for a successful recovery of the son as well as the well-being of the entire family.
Just as my neighbor over here. John was raised in Atlanta, GA along with his parents. Rick and Michelle had been highly active business folks that were capable of giving their single child a safe home in an affluent neighborhood. “We wanted to protect John from the outside world,” says Michelle. “He was the right kid, but he soon began to hang out with the wrong friends. John was taking honors classes until he was about fifteen, then things changed. We didn’t understand what was going on; we believed it was part of puberty.
“He started to be highly disrespectful to his confused parents. He looked like a different child entirely. Grades were beginning to drop.”
Michelle recalls school meetings, where she just heard John had been sleeping in school. “We searched for John’s room because we knew it wasn’t him. We found marijuana and other drugs inside his bag,” says crying Michelle.
It was indeed a wake-up call. Michelle and Rick quickly put him right in rehabilitation to express their main concern to John, but it didn’t work. “And again, it seemed to work for a few months before he began all over again.” John’s parents felt they had lost their son, while John discovered to manipulate his parents. He was also smoking marijuana while taking alcohol at high school and was starting to misuse painkillers.
“My husband wanted to be the tough guy, which caused a lot of issues in our marriage,” Michelle says. “John would manipulate me as the only child I have, telling me how he loves me. I am sorry, mom. I’ll definitely never try again. His dad would threaten to put his foot down, and I’d say “don’t be so cruel to him.” I wasn’t consistent about how I’d punish him, “says Michelle.” This was a big burden on our marriage, and I’m still curious about how it survived john’s addiction.”
Some years later, John suffered a knee fracture when he was almost 19. The doctors prescribed pain relievers for the pain. His addiction to substance quickly worsened after that. “Since the doctors wouldn’t give him enough of the pain killers, he bought some on the streets,” says Michelle.
“John was working in our family business then. We heard from one of the staff that he was showing up looking wasted.” “When we learned that he was buying it in the street, he actually came clean to us that he enjoyed taking those pain pills. We took him to a doctor who is a friend to his father, and he gave him several pain killers to relieve him from the opioids. It has been a disaster. He was placed on suboxone the following day.
We believed John was clean for eighteen weeks, though he just contradicted what we taught of him. And when we found out he was not, his father eventually said to him, ”I’m going to sack you unless you visit the rehab clinic.” John had been admitted to a rehab center in the city for several months. Michelle and Rick were so optimistic, but John wasn’t ready or even prepared to recover. “He went back to the joint and his drug addict gang. At the moment he got home, he was right back on track,” says Michelle.
How do we treat drug abuse child?
Drug abuse has become a major problem among today’s child. Most youth (including teens, adults and adolescents) practice it which adversely affects our society. Although some parents may never think (like John’s parent) that their child might end up been engaged in drug abuse, this is a serious issue as much attention is shifted away from them.
In other to find a way to help the child stop abusing drugs or being addicted, the parents has a major role to play. Child struggling with addiction will often use deceitful strategies just as John manipulated his mom to get and use more of the drugs he/she is addicted to regardless of the negative impact it has on themselves or others while being a drug addict. The parents must ensure in strengthening the relationship between them and the child at this critical time. In some cases where there’s no smooth connection between them, they must also ensure in fixing the relationship if they’re willing to help the child of being drug addict.
A strong communication which include a balance of asking questions and actively listening to what the child have to say to drive a more productive discussion. You should be able to ask non-judgmental or open-ended questions while the discussion is ongoing. Questions like:
- When did you begin to use drugs?
- How may I help you today?
- Why did you decide to engage in drugs?
- What can make you want to quit using?
- What do you like and dislike about the idea of treatment?
- What do you like and dislike about continuing to use the substance?
- What activities would help you stay sober?
- What are some ways to develop healthy friendships?
Had it been John’s parent noticed earlier and persuaded him this way, this could be the turning point for him where he might change for better.
The main reason why you must choose to ask open-minded questions is to avoid the child answering with one word. Open minded questions allow for increased communication and a better exchange of ideas. These questions have the goal of learning more information about your child and allowing them to express their concerns, struggles, and hopes. As a parent doing all these for the child and constantly encouraging on his / her positive behaviors will surely help reduce if not permanently stop at the moment. You must also set some clear boundaries too with consistent treatment.
As a parent you are one of the biggest influencers in the world. Giving parental support and monitoring the child is your responsibility. Parents can reduce the amount of time that teenagers spend with their buddies on school nights, always or occasionally reviewing assignments, helping with their homework, telling them that they had done a good job or you were proud of them, and restricting time spent on social media.
Leaving the child jobless will make the child think about several things that might lead him/her to engage in illegal activities. Make sure you engage them in any good activity to keep them busy as to prevent them from thinking about a drug or any other thing that can harm them or make them drug addict. You can prevent them from it before they eventually start. Lastly, if you find that any of your kids or family members are drug users, do not hesitate to help them out!!!!
Also read “5 Steps To Control Your Habits“.