4 things to consider if your child is using drugs

 1. Get support

Don’t try to go this alone. Whether your child is addicted or not, if you suspect serious misuse, join a support group or find a therapist. Watching your child destroy him or herself and finding out you can’t wave a magic wand or pray your child’s way out of it can be agonizing and isolating.

These groups know where the resources are, the jobs when and if your child goes into recovery, so it’s not only for emotional support, it’s for practical support. Families Anonymous and Al-Anon have groups near you. Find one. Because there is no magic, one-size-fits-all formula.  Having been through it, all I can tell you is that enduring it is hard and I could not have done it without my support group.

2. Get educated

Getting resources, short or long term care, is difficult. Parents who are educated have a better chance at finding resources when it counts and have the opportunity to figure out the right options when the time comes. You learn how to love someone who’s lost in an illness, you learn how to react, you learn that screaming and yelling only makes things worse. And you learn that you need recovery, too.

3. Never use withdrawal of love for punishment

Your child is suffering from a disease. One that takes their brain hostage and hides the person you love. But make no mistake about it, those who are using suffer tremendous self loathing, and withdrawal of love makes that feeling even more intense. Let your child know that no matter what, you love them. And that can be hard when they are stealing from you, lying and manipulating you.

4. Never lose hope

There are times you’ll feel like you want to give up. Times you’ll give up temporarily. But never, ever let that pilot light of hope burn out. Have self care strategies that work for you in those situations and use them.

I am done! The refueling comment

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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