Is My Child Hiding A Substance Abuse Disorder?
One of the most worrying times for any parent is when he or she is afraid his or her child is struggling with a substance abuse disorder. In some cases, it is immediately obvious that there is a problem. However, in many other cases, parents are often left trying to determine whether they should be concerned about the erratic behavior of their sons and/or daughters. While many young people go through times when they behave unusually, there are signs that trigger concerns in parents. Yet, because adolescents and teens can be very skilled at keeping their loved ones out of the darkest elements of their lives, getting them to open up about the issues that face them can be very difficult.
Signs to Look For
If you are worried your son or daughter is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are some signs to look out for that could indicate your suspicions are correct. Intervening early is vital for a positive outcome to recovery, especially in the case of young people who have a drug problem. Therefore, spotting those tell-tale signs is an essential step toward beginning the healing process.
Here are some physical symptoms that could indicate a substance abuse disorder:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Unusual odors on their clothing, in their car or on their breath
- Physical impairments, such as poor balance, slurred speech or shaking
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Unexplained bruises or injuries
- Lack of personal hygiene and/or care with appearance
- Seizures without a previous history of epileptic fits
The symptoms of addiction are not always physical. There are other lifestyle signs, too, that could indicate a problem, including:
- Sudden poor academic performance after having previously obtained good grades.
- Valuables or money goes missing from the home.
- Secretive, moody or withdrawn behavior.
- A new friendship group or abandonment of old friendships.
- Sudden mood swings.
- Unexplained behavior patterns or personality changes.
- Strained relationships with family members.
Sometimes, you just suspect your child isn’t behaving in his or her usual way, even if you can’t quite identify how he or she has changed. A parent’s instincts are often right, so always listen to your own concerns and try to find the source of the problem. Substance abuse disorders are worse for young people than for those who have already reached adulthood and getting help for your child at an early stage is essential to ensure he or she has the best chance of recovery.
How to Handle Your Child’s Addiction Problem
If you discover your child is struggling with addiction, it can be very difficult to know how to react. While you may feel angry, betrayed, and frightened, you must be very careful about which emotions you show to your child. The wrong reaction and response to his or her problem could very well push your child further into the addiction rather than encouraging him or her to seek recovery.
Another issue facing parents of addicted teens is young people are highly skilled at manipulating their parents and often are allowed to lead the way when their substance abuse is uncovered. It is important for parents to keep this from happening. Therefore, here are some tips that will help you to handle the revelation of a substance abuse disorder in the best possible way.
- Trust your own instincts – You are not being overprotective. Parents know their children best. So, if you’re worried you’re being paranoid, you shouldn’t be. Point out behaviors you’re concerned about to your son or daughter and ask what is going on. If you think he or she is lying, always trust your instincts.
- Research is the key – Look into the different types of substance abuse and the symptoms associated with each so you can be well-informed about the possibilities and potential treatments.
- Don’t overreact – Of course, it’s normal to feel betrayed and angry if you discover your child has been hiding a substance abuse disorder from you. But, rather than yelling and overreacting, it’s best to take some deep breaths instead and talk calmly to your son or daughter about the situation and explore the reasons why he or she has lied to you.
- Getting help – This is the key step to helping your child get on the path to recovery. Although some parents are afraid to seek out professional assistance for their child because they’re worried about their reputations and the impact admitting their child has a problem could have on their own lives, allowing fears about what the neighbors might think could get in the way of your son or daughter’s health. Allowing your child to continue down this path could end up with him or her facing legal problems or long-term health conditions that could affect his or her life all because of your own pride. Don’t allow that to happen.
Treating Addiction in Teens
Many teens turn to drug or alcohol abuse because they have mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. Getting help is vital so those co-occurring issues can be addressed and treated to give the best chance of success. It can only be by pinpointing the underlying issues that have led to an addiction that teens can stay on a sober path in the long term.
SOBA College Recovery Addiction Treatment Center is here to help your child to address the cause of his or her addiction disorder and to help the entire family through the challenges that addiction brings. Our team of skilled experts and qualified therapists know that substance abuse disorders have an impact, not only on the individual but also on his or her loved ones. Therefore, by including the family as much as possible in the recovery process, SOBA experts help everyone to find the best ways to address the issues facing him or her, as well as the challenges that will come up during long-term recovery. If you have concerns your child is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, contact us today to find out how we can help.