My son Alex shoplifted to support his addiction. Needless to say he got caught several times. The first few times, when he was a minor,
My son stopped using over two years ago. For seven years he was addicted to drugs and, by the end, was a heroin addict. Today he is drug free and working to put his life back together. These are just some realizations that seem to help me.
As a parent in recovery, I look at my children’s faces every day and I wonder and worry. I wonder, with everything I know and
Not that you are to blame, but there are certain ways to handle relapses so that this does not happen. While we as parents are not to blame when the sort of situation described above occurs, I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to learn ways to prevent it and even to use relapse as an opportunity to further strengthen our child’s recovery.
What kind of training has the staff had regarding adolescent addiction?
When my son was in a sober high school, the principal was a kind and knowledgeable educator, but he did not have a background in adolescent addiction and was easily manipulated into thinking the kids would voluntarily admit if they or fellow students were using. That didn’t happen. Like teenagers everywhere, not to mention teenage addicts, the kids lied about their own use and covered up for their friends. Staff needs to be educated and trained in adolescent addiction.
Here are seven tips for parents on how to begin a conversation about substance abuse in the family:
1) Pick an easy, comfortable time to chat with your kids. Maybe a picnic in the park or a meal at their favorite restaurant is a good backdrop.
It is easy to have high expectations for a teen coming home from some kind of treatment, but what they need to know, is how important they are to their recovery — that failure is not the end and success is up to them. Substance use disorder creates stress for a family and there is no guarantee of the outcome of recovery without diligence. You know who your teen is. What comes after treatment is more work.
Then we snap out of our dream and see our child addicted to a drug and wonder if the future is even possible. We mourn the loss of our dream. We experience suffering for our child because in our life and wisdom we know the hardship of life even without being saddled with addiction. We cry, become depressed and grieve this fading picture. Never really giving up the hope that all of the past will go away and we all get a “do over”.
Addiction affects many individuals and families. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. And it begins with sharing our stories, better public education and a broader sense of acceptance of addiction as a treatable disease (similar to diabetes, heart disease, etc.).
Certain parenting books help us feel less alone and provide hope that our child’s drug use can get better. They provide a treasure chest of advice, information and comfort through the ups and downs of raising a teen with a substance abuse problem.
If you’re a parent of a child struggling with drugs or alcohol, here are 11 noteworthy books that might help you take care of yourself during this difficult time.