Talking with Your Family MemberIs your child or family member addicted to drugs? If you suspect, but you don’t exactly know, you may need to seek help from professionals. Changes in behavior, skipping school, missing classes, deteriorating relationships with friends and family, trouble with the law, poor academic performance, looking disheveled, and other changes may signal a drug problem.A doctor can screen for drug use and other health conditions that are related. If your child’s doctor is uncomfortable with screening, you can ask for a referral.
Finding an Addiction SpecialistThe American Society of Addiction Medicine can help you find an addiction specialist. Once you find an addiction specialist, you can talk with your son or daughter and provide incentives to at least speak to a professional.When dealing with a family member who has an addiction, you need to understand that you must be supportive in terms of that family members getting help. Treatment is often twofold: both psychological and medication.
Psychological TreatmentPart of drug rehabilitation requires psychological treatment. Drug addiction is a disease of the brain where the mind becomes used to the state it’s in when on drugs and craves more. As the user continues to use, the effects of the drug diminishes and the addict continues to take more of the substance to get a greater high.Many addicts use addictive substances as a way to cope with problems in their lives. Through talk therapy and other psychological therapies, the addict learns how they got addicted and what drives them to continue to use their substance of choice.Through psychological treatment, loved ones can learn coping mechanisms for every day stresses and strains in their lives. In some cases, it’s important for family members to become involved in counseling so that you can learn to recognize the signs of when your child needs help and help you gain a better understanding of problems that led up to your child using drugs.
MedicationsAnother part of drug rehab treatment is to use a medications. When your loved one goes through detox, he or she is likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms. Medications can help alleviate a good portion of the withdrawal symptoms and can help keep your child from getting sicker. He or she may be diagnosed with other illnesses, such as depression or anxiety, which may cause him or her to seek out addictive drugs.These illnesses are not anything to be ashamed of. They are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Using antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication may help curb your child’s urge to use addictive substances.
- What to Do If Your Teen or Young Adult Has a Problem with Drugs, National Institute On Drug Abuse, 6/2014, http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/treatment-research/if-teen-or-young-adult-has-drug-abuse-problem
- Mental health, National Institute On Drug Abuse, http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/mental-health
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, MentalHealth.gov, http://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/substance-abuse/
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