Finding out that your child is on drugs is often very distressing and scary. Most parents are unsure on the right course of action to take. There is in fact no one specific right path to follow but there are some options and decisions parents can make on a case by case basis. The first decision parents must make when they find out their child is using drugs is to decide how to approach your child, if you wish to at all.
How to Confront Your Child About Drugs
Dealing with the situation by taking action is by far the best way but some feel it may be beneficial to ignore it and wait for your child to come to you. However, it is highly unlikely for a child, on drugs, to come forward until use has progressed to a severe level of dependency and there’s no way of hiding it. Some parents choose to approach and confront the child directly. This will often lead to the child to deny or downplay their drug use. When confronting your child about drug use the will either come clean or feel they must be aggressive and defensive and become entirely hostile and rebellious. If your child is abusing drugs you must decide on the right way to go about treating the problem.
A good and most advisable option in deciding how to approach the situation is to speak to or hire a professional for advice tailored to your specific case situation. An
interventionist is often a successful and respected way to go. An interventionist will come over and help mediate and stage an intervention with your child with advice on exactly what to say and how to proceed. Interventionists are useful as they are emotionally removed from the situation and will be able to prevent the child from manipulating the situation as they could without a professional present.
Steps for Child Treatment
The next stage is to decide what to do after the confrontation has been made and how treatment will occur. Treatment comes in a variety of ways and options.
Outpatient rehab centers are common and prominent around the country. At an out-patient facility the patient will attend therapy and groups throughout the week and return home every night. These facilities produce good results but have certain flaws when it comes to primary treatment; The child will still return each day to the same atmosphere and will most likely, unless strictly monitored outside of therapy, be able to relapse and continue in the same behavior patterns. There is usually not as much scope or incentive for the child to change when they are surrounded by the same environment as they were when they were using.
Inpatient treatment centers are very successful and many have programs tailored to teenagers using drugs. In-patient rehabs are able to closely monitor patients on a 24/7 basis thereby decreasing any potential for relapse. In-patient provides a complete change in environment on which the child can build a base for change.
Sober living homes are houses that help recovering drug addicts and alcoholics transition from treatment back into their regular lives. Residents will typically attend therapy in the day and go to 12 Step Meetings at night. On top of this regular drug testing is conducted on a weekly basis. Sober living is a viable option for your child but, as with out-patient, there is a higher chance and potential for relapse than there is with in-patient facilities; the clients are often given more unstructured and un-monitored time. Sober living’s are typically a good option once someone has completed an inpatient treatment program.
Hiring a sober companion, either as a sole option or in conjunction with the other options, is often a good idea, depending on the particular situation. A sober companion will take your child to therapy, meetings and spend all day with them in order to maintain close monitoring to prevent a relapse. A sober companion also acts as someone the child can confide in and come to if they are struggling with their sobriety or recovery program.
All of these are viable options and all produce good results. When choosing a treatment plan for your child it is a good idea to seek professional advice before making any big decisions that could shape the rest of your child’s life.