As a parent, there are things that you can look for, and look forward to, if your child becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol.
It may take years for a parent to become fully aware that their child is abusing drugs, maybe not until they begin noticing changes in their child's behavior. They may not catch on until money or other valuables starts disappearing, of if someone tells them, or if they find drugs or drug paraphernalia in the child's room.
In many instances, parents are more in denial than their child. Parents sometimes see the problem long before they are willing to admit it. They just don't want to believe that their child is a drug abuser, even when it becomes obvious. Denial by a parent does more harm in the long run than if a parent makes the decision to confront the issue as soon as it is apparent.
Why does a child take drugs in the first place? It's not always the neighborhood drug dealer who is responsible for getting a child hooked on drugs. In other words, drug dealers are a source but the child usually begins somewhere else. They usually start taking drugs with friends from school, at parties, or drugs that are readily available in the home.
Your medicine cabinet, at this very moment, probably has one or more drugs in it that are addictive, and if your cabinet isn't properly secured, your children has access and can experiment with whatever medications are in there. It is a fact that many children get hooked on prescription medications and then move on to illegal drugs.
Many of the problems associated with teenage drug and/or alcohol abuse are not relegated just to the child. Parents are affected in ways that cause heartache and pain on many levels. As a parent, having a child who is addicted to drugs will eventually have a chilling affect on your lifestyle and more importantly, the relationship you have with the addicted child and their siblings, your home life, and your own mental and physical well being.
Some of the things you, as a parent, can look forward to if your child becomes addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.
(1) You notice your child looking wide eyed and dazed. They become withdrawn and start acting strange.
(2) Your child stops taking baths, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, and generally don't seem to care about his or her personal appearance.
(3) You find drugs and drug paraphernalia in their bedroom, pants pockets, or purse. You find beer and liquor bottles and cans under their bed or in their closet.
(4) Your child begins stealing money, jewelry, and other valuables from you and other family members to pay for drugs and alcohol.
(5) Your child starts becoming physically abusive with their siblings, and in many cases, with you, the parent.
(6) Your child drops out of school and starts hanging out with other teens who are also on drugs.
(7) Your child starts staying out all night or disappearing for days at a time and you don't have a clue where he or she is.
(8) You learn that your child actively robbing people, stealing cars, breaking into homes or businesses in the neighborhood.
(9) You get a call in the middle of the night from the police telling you that your child has been arrested and you need to bail him or her out.
(10) The worst case and most dreaded scenario is that you get a call saying that your child has overdosed, is in the hospital, or maybe dead.
It hurts to discover that your child is an addict, but if your child is abusing drugs, it automatically becomes your problem. It also becomes your responsibility to find ways to help your child overcome the abuse. The longer your child abuses drugs and/or alcohol, the harder it becomes to find solutions that will help them.
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