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How To Get My Kid Off Drugs

November 2012---How To Get My Kid Off Drugs

I have been asked this question, or some variation of it, more times than I know. 

Overall, I believe drug users can be divided into two broad categories. Some may argue this is too simplistic, but I find the vast majority of drug users fall into one of these two categories.

Type 1

The first type of drug user is the one who is relatively new to using drugs. They dabble occasionally, are weekend warriors, just started experimenting with drugs and are generally not using "hard" drugs, or at least not using them often. They mostly stick to smoking marijuana, are usually young (10-18) and still living at home. Does marijuana lead to other drugs? For my thoughts on that click here

These types of drug users can many times be persuaded to stop using drugs through a number of traditional methods. The "interventionist" (mom, dad, teacher, coach, cop etc.) may be able to get them to stop by making them aware of, or imposing, penalties such as taking away prized possessions, getting kicked off the team, losing a job or not getting the job in the first place, being shunned by non drug using friends, fear that someone the user respects or loves will 'think bad of them", criminal prosecution etc. etc.

The key here is getting involved as early as possible and then stay involved. Many parents don't want to admit their kid may be involved in this type of activity. Admit it and then confront it head on. You don't necessarily have to be a "raging bull" but you must be heavily involved in your child's life. Know what they are doing and who they are hanging out with. I understand the desire to be your child's best friend, but ultimately it is more important to be a parent.

I hear parents say they feel it is to "intrusive" to look through their child's belongings, read their private writings, monitor their computer activities, listen to phone calls etc. I say that's incorrect. In this regard I feel the old school is much better than the new school. I agree that kids deserve respect and certain levels of privacy, but if you suspect there may be drugs in their room, search their room. If you think they are texting drug related messages, read their text messages or take their phone. If you think they are writing drug related details in their computer conversations, then read those conversations if possible. So on and so forth. Who cares if they are mad at you.

I am not saying that you must be the Gestapo, but ultimately it is your house and you are the boss. I feel that many parents have allowed their children to slowly slip into drug related lifestyles because they don't want to "offend" the child. I offend my kids all the time. Sometimes they need to be offended. For a related article concerning parenting styles click here

Type 2

This is the true drug addict. Usually addicted to a "hard" drug like heroin, pain pills, cocaine, meth etc.

I will make this one very simple. There is no way you can "fix" this type of person unless they want to fix themselves. 

All the counselors, cops, parents and priests in the world will not make a difference until this person truly wants the change to occur. Even then, they may have extensive and repeated periods of relapse/difficult times. The true drug addict can be one of the most profoundly frustrating types of people to deal with on the planet.

I have watched people spend years in prison (forced rehab) and truly get clean. They did not want to get clean, but were forced into it. Within days of leaving prison they are back on drugs because they themselves never truly wanted to stop.

The key to helping this type of person get off drugs is finding out what their "bottom" is. What buttons must be pressed for that person to truly decide, from deep within themselves, that they want to get off drugs. Is it losing their kids to children's services? Is it prison? Is it divorce? Is it near death overdose(s)? Is it losing a job? Is it homelessness? Is it watching their friends die from drug overdose? Is it all of the above?  

This can be very difficult and take extraordinary amounts of patience, time and tolerance, but in many cases it can be done. These people can usually be saved. Once the person has crashed, burned, hit their personal bottom and decided it's time to stop is when rehab can help, faith can help, family can help, replacement drug therapy can help etc.

But you must understand that in the end........the only person that can save them........is them. Period.

Another topic when it comes to getting people off drugs, is how to get off anti-depressants, if medical advice from your prescribing doctor is to do so. For a piece of the puzzle the doctor may not tell you click here.

To understand why heroin is so popular now click here.

Chief Kyle J. Fittro

If you are seeing this page as a single blog post, and would like to read more posts about drugs on the chiefteach website, simply click the blog tab at the top right of this page.

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