Is my child a drug addict?
It’s a tough question parents across Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region are asking every day. With Tennessee young adults using heroin and hard drugs at a rate double the national average, this nightmare scenario is a reality for countless families. But it’s not just heroin, meth and other street drugs. An estimated one in five Tennessee young adults pop pills for recreational use, and nineteen percent have used prescription medication without medical authorization.
If you suspect your family member is abusing drugs and alcohol, then you understand how scary, frustrating and difficult this situation truly is. However, it’s important to take action. The worst response is inaction or to go into denial without investigating the situation. It’s never too early to act, even if you think your child is just “experimenting.”
As a parent, it’s normal to be concerned. So how do you know if your young adult child is a drug addict or experimenting with illegal substances?
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse in Tennessee Teenagers
If your family member begins behaving differently for no apparent reason, it’s potentially a sign that he or she is developing a drug-dependency problem. Unfortunately, many parents mistake these warning signs as a “normal part of puberty.” By ignoring the strange behavior, parents are unintentionally enabling the drug addiction.
Here are some of the telltale signs of drug abuse in Tennessee young adults:
- Frequent nosebleeds (typically related to snorting drugs)
- Declining grades, skipped classes and causing trouble in college
- Notable change in friend groups
- Sudden carelessness in grooming and personal appearance
- Loss of interest in hobbies and once-favorite activities
- Deteriorating relationships with family, friends, and mentors
- Change in appetite, sleep pattern, and weight
- Bloodshot eyes, pupils are larger or smaller than normal
- Paranoid about privacy, locking doors, and avoiding eye contact
Have you noticed any of these changes in your loved one? If so, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is struggling with substance abuse, but it does validate it as a legitimate possibility. It’s important to take action today. Help & Hope Recovery Solutions is here to help families in Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region. Contact us today.
Time to Act: What to Do if Your Young Adult Child is Drinking or Using Drugs
Now that you’re familiar with the signs and symptoms of drug abuse, it’s time to prepare for action. You may feel scared or angry or even guilty. While these are normal feelings to have, it’s important to stay calm. Using your emotions to fuel a confrontation can backfire, so it’s important to reign in and keep a level head.
Intuition is one of the most powerful tools a parent has. If you think your family member is drinking or doing drugs, be sure to:
- Keep track. Every time your loved one does something suspicious, keep note of it so you have evidence to discuss later one. For example, is your child is suddenly coming home past curfew with unusual behavior or a haggard appearance? If so, write it down. Not sure if your loved one is taking your prescription medication? Then count how many pills you have so you know if one (or more) go missing. Keeping track of behavior is key to prepping for an intervention.
- Intervene. When you think of an “intervention,” you might think of a big, dramatic scenario. However, an intervention can be something as simple as a conversation. Don’t expect for everything to resolve after your first conversation. It’s likely you will have a series of conversations until the issue is resolved. So important to set a goal—a desired outcome—for every talk you have. Do you want your teenager to see a therapist? To obey the rules at home? To admit drug use? By having a clear goal, you can better measure and track progress.
- Remember, it’s important to prepare for the intervention and not to set your expectations to high. Your child might deny drug use or accuse you of snooping through his or her stuff. If this happens, you should remain calm but do what you can to keep the conversation going. (This is why it’s so important to keep track of your teenager’s behaviors).
- Seek professional help. If you confirm that your teenager is addicted drugs or drinking alcohol, it’s important to realize that you should seek professional help. Attempting to detox from hard drugs, for example, can be deadly. It requires professional and medical supervision. Many families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee don’t know where to turn. At Help & Hope Recovery Solutions, we help you explore the drug rehab centers that are available to you. Your situation is unique, and you deserve treatment that works.
No matter what happens, it’s important to maintain a strong, loving relationship with your family member—and one that is without judgment. In many cases, Tennessee teens with substance abuse disorders are also suffering from a co-occurring issue such as depression, anxiety or mental illness. Further, be sure to lock your liquor cabinet and keep any prescription medications out of reach.
For more information about what you can do, contact Help & Hope Recovery Solutions today. You don’t have to fight this battle alone. If your child need’s outside help, we can help you find the drug and alcohol abuse treatment center that specializes in recovery for teens.