Isolation. Lack of communication. Withdrawal from friends and family. Personality changes. Physical changes. Dramatic mood changes. Not only are these side effects of growing up and going through puberty, they may also be signs your child may be doing drugs. Before you begin to panic and accuse your child of doing something they may not be doing, make sure you know your facts beforehand.
Don’t ignore your suspicions. While it may be human nature to ignore a problem in hopes that it goes away, being in denial can actually make the problem worse. Don’t be afraid to search your child’s room, bags, car, wherever you think they could hide drugs or paraphenilia. As a parent, invading their privacy is sometimes necessary. If your child is using drugs, they also likely won’t admit it to you. Even though it’s less invasive to just ask, you can never be too sure. Best case scenario, nothing is going on, and worst case scenario they will be angry, or feel betrayed, but you’ll be able to get them the help they need.
Talk to your child in a calm and respectful manner. You may be feeling angry or scared, but starting the conversation with a fight wont get you anywhere.
- Approach them at a good time for all of you. Set up a time to sit down with your child, and let them know this is serious so you have their full attention.
- Show them that you love them and are genuinely concerned for their wellbeing
- Ask them if they know how severe the consequences can be. Many times kids have no idea, they just want to seem cool in front of their peers. Discuss how this can effect them both now and later in life.
- . Be gentle, yet firm with them. Let them know that this behavior has to stop, and all actions have consequences, but this is in their best interest.
- Talk to them about what options they have. By researching different treatment methods, you can all work together to find out what is best for everyone. Many treatment centers have accredited schooling, so if you feel outpatient is the right choice for your family, your child won’t be behind in school once they are finished.
Waterford is an outpatient treatment center for teens. With our licensed therapists and teachers, we can work with your child to teach them new coping mechanisms and healthy behaviors. Don’t hesitate to call our office at 855-203-7240 for a free assessment today. If we aren’t able to help you, we will refer you to someone who can. We can help open up the honest dialogue regarding your child’s substance abuse, in order to give them the treatment they need and the peace of mind you deserve.