During the last anecdote, we discussed the importance of good relationship with your child and family love, we also discussed the sandwich approach to criticism. We will now turn to an evaluation of the drug use itself.
Evaluate and Act
Casual user: If you suspect that your child is a casual user of drugs AND NOT AN ADDICT, then you may care to do nothing more than express your concerns and set a regular discussion times with your child. These discussion times should be welcomed and not painful for your child. A time during which your child will look forward to talking with you, a time during which you are not judgmental, negative, insulting or punitive. These discussions do not always have to be about drugs. Try to learn from your child as much as you teach your child. Keep in mind that these discussions are not meant to make you feel good about yourself, they are designed for you to learn more about your child.
I have one word of caution for you: The thought that your child is using drugs, especially Heroin, is so painful so terrifying that you may minimize or exaggerate your child’s habit. You need to investigate what your child tells you, but in a way that does not harm your relationship with your child. You may care to pay close attention to your child’s behavior.
If the use of drugs is truly casual, then you may care to invest in reading the book: High Price by Carl Hart (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/high-price-carl-hart/1114195547?ean=9780062015891). Carl Hart describes drugs and their use in an honest way, where casual use may not be as devastating as we are led to believe by the authorities.
Frequent user: If, on the other hand, you believe that your child is using drugs frequently, as frequently as daily or close to it, then you may consider a different course of action. The rest of our discussion will concentrate on this topic of the frequent user.
A child that is a frequent user of drugs is more than likely an addict, this includes daily use of Marijuana. Addiction is a difficult concept to wrap your head and emotions around and at this point you may feel that your child is not an addict. I ask that you make sure that you are not in denial.
If the concept of “addiction” is revolting, then I ask that you overcome the negative connotations of the word “addiction” and consider the fact that if your child cannot stop the behavior that hurts her/his life then discussing if it is addition or not is a moot point.
For alcoholism, there are tests that will allow one to better evaluate the likelihood of one being an alcoholic. For example, https://www.verywell.com/could-you-have-an-alcohol-abuse-problem-3894213 is such a test. A good starting point is to evaluate, for yourself, as if the questionnaire was about Heroin, or your child’s drug of choice and take the test for your child. (Unfortunately, the test does not provide the arithmetic to reveal the likelihood of alcoholism based on the questionnaire.)
Next anecdote: we will delve into the symptoms of the frequent user.
You are not invincible—Stew Birbrower
Together we march towards a destiny