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.

My Son Is Using Heroin and Says He Will Detox with Suboxone. But, He Tells Me This Every Weekend. We’ve Told Him, if He Needs Help, We Will Get It for Him. I Don’t Know What to Do. Any Suggestions?

Even if your son truly wants to stop using heroin, it sounds like he needs more help. Actions speak louder than words. How much leverage do you have with your son? Can you demand that he gets evaluated now, not tomorrow or next weekend? Often people come into treatment somewhat unwillingly, but they become grateful when they start to lead a clean and sober life.

Some heroin addicts do well using only a substitution therapy, like Suboxone replacement. Others need the additional help and time that a treatment center can provide.

Local treatment centers and regional treatment centers like Rosecrance in Rockford may be able to provide you with additional guidance on how to approach your son. In addition the anonymous SAMHSA National Helpline at 800.662.4357 can be a good resource to contact.

I would also suggest that you get help for yourself through an organization like Nar-Anon that offers peer support from others who are in similar situations with their loved ones.

It is not uncommon for addicts to make and break promises, but every time your son uses heroin, he runs the real risk of death.

You also asked if you should tell his girl friend’s parents that she is using heroin. First, it is very unlikely that one person will remain clean from heroin if their partner is actively using. Second, if you were unaware of your son’s use would you want a concerned person to let you know or would you rather have them keep it a secret? This is something you have to decide.

Michael Kuna, M.D.
Psychiatrist/Addictionologist
Genesis Clinical Services
Wheaton, IL
630.653.6441

DISCLAIMER:
Conversations with experts are intended for general information only, and are not meant to provide specific advice, diagnosis, and does not constitute professional care. If this is an emergency, please dial 911 immediately.