It’s so tempting to blame our child’s initial drug-seeking behavior on “hanging out with the wrong crowd.” It’s the number one go-to reason parents tell me is the reason for their child’s drug use.
Kids start using to:
- Ease their pain and feel better
- Feel good
- Relieve boredom
In my opinion, “to belong” is rarely the reason these days. We think our child chooses some friend group that just happens to all start using about the same time and our kid gets innocently sucked into the vortex of substance misuse.
The truth is, those who are struggling tend seek each other out. They are struggling with a loss, their depression or social anxiety, and they start using drugs because at first they make them feel better. Once they start, they want a group of people with whom they have a lot in common. Heavy drug use is a common ground so the friend groups start to shift. It’s a toxic environment. It was obvious to me that Charles’ childhood group of buddies was the same and the only defector was Charles.
I understand that to resolve all this in our minds, the parent minds, we want to believe our kid was better than the others. I sure did. Not my kid.
I wanted to believe Charles had been influenced by “the wrong crowd” but spyware indicated he also swiped medications from friends’ medicine cabinets as often as they raided ours.
I thought their kids looked sketchy and suspect. And they thought the same about mine. Eventually I could see there was a lot of finger pointing behind the scenes fueled by our frustration not to be able to stop what had become a really bad habit.