Drugs and Alcohol
From casual use of marijuana to the heroin and opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse, parents have a lot to worry about. Substance abuse can alter your child’s personality and brain chemistry and can derail their future. You might be wondering: How do I know if my child is using drugs? How do I talk to my teen about heroin? How can I help my child overcome prescription drug abuse?
These videos offer parental support and information on topics such as how to recognize the signs of substance abuse, how to handle heroin or opioid use, how to keep your child from abusing prescription drugs, what to say to your child who thinks marijuana is “no big deal”, and other ways in which you can help your child grow up with a healthy attitude toward drugs and alcohol.
How do I Know if My Child has an Addiction or is Just Using Drugs/Alcohol?
I am going to speak about this distinction through the lens of alcoholism, as I believe it is most simply understood and easiest to locate with alcohol. With that said, all addictions pretty much follow the same pattern. Alcoholism has both internal and external symptoms. Unfortunately, the exterior symptoms are not nearly as decisive, in terms of proper diagnosis, as the internal ones. This is why addiction must be, at the end of the day, a “self-diagnosed” disease. Therefore, rather than taking on the task of figuring out if your child is suffering from the illness, which you are ultimately powerless over, unless they offer up some level of cooperation, I would offer that you’d be best served, and prepared to best serve them, by having an understanding, of how to assist them in making the distinction, should they come to a point where they are ready to ask that question. Alcoholism, at its core is driven far less by how often or how much the person uses than it does with why they use and what effect it is having on them. Daily use, blackouts, overdoses, D.U.I.’s, relationship and/or work problems are all elements we find in addicts; but they are also elements sometimes found in non-addicts. There are two significant components that we only find in true alcoholics and the pairing of these two elements comprise the motor that drives the illness. The first element shows up physically, not showing up until the individual puts the substance into their system. Whereas, with a normal user who, when taking their first drink, hit etc., immediately begins to feel a sense of satisfaction; the first one in the alcoholic not only fails to begin satisfying their desire; it does the opposite; it amplifies it. An alcoholic, once they’ve taken their first one, is unable, at all times, to determine how many will follow that first one. Experiencing this a few times would probably be enough to convince most people that, for them, using is not a good idea. For the alcoholic, in spite of often having such thoughts, will be unable to stay away from that first drink; as a result of the mental component of the illness. They will find themselves restless, irritable and discontent- unable to live inside their own skin- until they can feel the ease and comfort which comes with a drink or two; which then triggers the physical piece once again. Therefore, the alcoholic is caught in a cycle- once they start they cannot stop and once they stop they cannot keep from starting again. While they do not have a monopoly on a solution, The 12-Steps are, by the far, the most effective and time tested solution for this deadly problem.