Why was my child abusing drugs?
Was it because we didn’t punish enough, take away enough privileges or otherwise let our child know who was boss?
Maybe we coddled him too much, let him hang out with the “wrong friends,” or worked too much when we should have stayed home.
Or perhaps we didn’t go to church enough, get Charles more involved with activities, or do enough random drug tests.
The truth is, drug abuse and addiction happens to good parents, bad parents, happily married parents, divorced parents. It happens to working moms, stay-at-home moms, dad’s who are involved, dad’s who travel all the time. It cuts across all socioeconomic, religious, and ethnic groups. It is an equal opportunity destroyer.
I think of it as a feeling of inadequacy meets an environment of availability whether that’s triggered by trauma, mental illness, grief, divorce or some inherited illness. In our case, Charles’ depression drove his drug use and he had the genetic tendency.
The truth is, drugs have a different effect on people and ten percent of the population are predisposed to addiction. That’s why some can try a drug and feel like a king (or queen) and some of us try them and get sick. It triggers something in the brain’s of those vulnerable to the disease.
Your child’s problem with drugs is not the result of not punishing enough.
That doesn’t mean “you can’t do anything.” It just means you didn’t cause it and you can’t cure it. The first step is to find support.