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Archive for March, 2010
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Teen Drug Addiction: When Parents Blame Themselves
Friday, March 26th, 2010

How should one deal with the anger that accompanies drug addiction? I mean your anger as a parent, not your child’s.

I feel that there has been much focus on confronting the child’s anger that parents fail to address their own – that’s dangerous. The illness of substance abuse requires two parties: the parent(s) and the child.  Unfortunately, all too often the addict is MIA.  And as hard as parents might try, forcing their child to have an epiphany is awfully difficult. Especially as teenagers when they are often unprepared to accept the responsibility that an epiphany requires.

It’s maddening. Feeling frustrated at their failings mixed with the natural parental instinct to spare your child usually leads to anger at oneself.

To a parent, if your child is failing, that means you failed. Few people will be rude enough to actually say that. Our society merely implies it, like when a friend’s child graduates from college and they ask, So when is your kid going to college?

Self-anger becomes self-loathing, eroding your self-esteem. Sounds like the playbook to becoming

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Posted by Gary Morgenstein  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child  /  Comments: more

My Son’s Addiction: What Is vs. What Ought To Be
Monday, March 15th, 2010

Most of us live in two worlds: the world of what is and the world of ought to be. This is not an issue that only parents of addicts face — this is a reality of most everyone. For many, residing in two worlds at the same time causes great frustration and anger. There are some that fail to even recognize that there is a difference, they spend their lives trying to mold their existing reality into a life of what ought to be.

The problem as a parent of an addict is living in the world of ought to be disrupts your perspective to what is happening with your son or daughter that is an addict. The world of ought to be continually puts us in a place where it is impossible to help our addict. It causes frustration and anger with the addict, the world and ourselves. Ought to be causes us to lose our grasp on the reality of our situation. We are the parents of an addict; this is the reality we cannot avoid. All of the what ifs, and should haves mean nothing when you are trying to help a child who is addicted.

An addict lives their life in the world of what is minute to minute. The pain of addiction, the worry of getting their next fix, a life without purpose, this is the world of reality for an addict – the world of what is.

As parents of an addict, living in the world of ought to be gives us permission to do things that hurt our addict and perpetuate their addiction. Ought to be allows us to enable our addict. Ought to be allows us to excuse our addict’s behavior. Ought to be distorts our thinking and our reality. Inside my child is a good kid they just have this addiction problem, so we ought to be treating them as a good kid and everything will work its way through. If we do that then they ought to see the problem and they will stop. I have fallen into that trap so many times.

Living in the world of what is forces me to see the situation as it is and not the way I wish it to be. When I am living in the world of what is I am an effective helper for my addict. Recognizing the truths of what is helps me to stop enabling and forces me to deal not just with my son as I want him to be, but to recognize what truly is the reality of my addicted child’s life. Without that perspective, I cannot relate to my addict’s pain and I cannot help myself.

Posted by Ron Grover  /  Filed under Addiction, Dealing with an Addicted Child, Denial, Enabling, Taking Care of Yourself  /  Comments: more

If You Suspect or Know Your Child Is Using Drugs or Alcohol, How Do You Know When It Is Time to Take Action?
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

If you are reading this blog, it is time.

What’s the big rush, you ask? It is a developmental given that some kids experiment with alcohol and drugs. However, the latest annual Partnership for a Drug-Free America/MetLife Foundation Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) of almost 3,300 teens and 800 parents shows that after a decade of declines in teen drug and alcohol use, rates are climbing for Ecstasy, marijuana and alcohol. We already know that prescription drug abuse by youth is a national problem and binge drinking on college campuses is a growing issue. Parents, this is no time to procrastinate.

The new PATS data indicate that 75 percent of teens say their friends usually get high at parties. Do the math.  All of us can’t have kids who don’t get high at parties.

I am upset that cultural cues to use drug and alcohol are rampant, and that we’ve seen budget cuts in federal drug prevention and treatment programs. But what is most troubling to me is

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Posted by Judy Kirkwood  /  Filed under Alcohol, Confronting Teens, Marijuana  /  Comments: more


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