With recovery and addiction there are no quick fixes, and usually the family suffers just as much as the addict.
Having a child addicted to drugs has to be the worst feeling in the world. The powerlessness and hopelessness, the lack of control and constant fear that something is going to happen. Staying up late at night and waiting for your child to come home, hoping that you won’t get that phone call that spells catastrophe. It can be a nerve-wracking predicament, but one that many parents have been through.
The fact of the matter is, kids on drugs don’t care. They’ll disappear for days with no concern about their parents or families or anyone. They’ll steal money or belongings from the family home. Because when you’re in the throes of addiction, the only thing that matters is that next hit. With heroin being pumped into our country by the Mexican cartels at an unprecedented rate, more and more teenagers are experimenting with the drug and becoming addicted to it. Or even worse, overdosing and dying, throwing their families’ very existences into turmoil.
“When a teenager starts using, we call it substance use. They are experimenting, they are trying alcohol, trying marijuana, but they don’t really have any negative consequences at that point,” Kelly Lowry, a 44-year-old recovery coach and alumni specialist at Preferred Family Healthcare, a St. Louis treatment facility that focuses on decreasing harmful drug involvement with teens, tells The Fix. “Usually when they start experiencing negative consequences is when they come to us.
“Our goal is to slow down the progression from regular use to abuse. The kids that are transitioning from substance use to abuse to dependency, we educate them that the only way to get better is through recovery.”
With recovery and addiction there are no quick fixes, and usually the family suffers just as much as the addict. But at the end of the day, substance abuse is treatable. If your kid gets the help they need, the whole family can recover together.
When you’re dealing with a teenager, it may not have progressed to the level where it’s affecting areas of their life negatively. But drug use is progressive, and the first stage is identifying that your child is on drugs.
FIRST INDICATOR—PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
“The first major thing is their physical appearance,” Kelly tells The Fix. “That doesn’t necessary mean they start wearing all black. It means they might stop bathing. They’re not brushing their teeth. They’re not worried about their physical appearance as most teenagers are.” It could be a change from wearing nice, preppy clothes to walking around in sweats all the time. Read more “the fix”…