An introduction to Drug Hotline for Parents
Finding out that your son or daughter is using drugs is one of the scariest moments of any parent. The thought of just how much is on the line can even become too heavy a burden for some to bear. Once this happens, you can’t help but start seeing their life flashing before your eyes. You start imagining how they can easily get kicked out of school. How they could very soon begin stealing and land in jail. How they could end up in the streets. How they could overdose. All kind of scary thoughts rush through your brain, leaving you confused and feeling helpless.
For most parents who are already living with kids addicted to drugs, life feels like a nightmare. Quarrels never seem to end in the house. You cannot even bring yourself to trust the kid with their younger siblings due to fear of what they could end up doing. Are you in that situation at the moment?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one out of every four kids aged between 18 to 20 years are using illicit substances. This means that a lot of parents are in the same predicament as you. This should give you some hope and confidence that you are not the only one struggling with an addicted child. It should also challenge you to go ahead and get the best help possible for them. One of the best ways of doing so is by calling the drug hotline for parents.
What’s a Drug Hotline for Parents?
Drug hotlines for parents are special hotlines dedicated to parents of kids living with substance use disorder. A lot of parents usually suspect that their kids are using drugs. However, most of them barely have any knowledge of how they can approach their kids about the subject. In other instances, the overprotective nature of parents leads them to approach the entire situation inappropriately. As a result, instead of helping the kid, they only end up pushing them away.
Being an overprotective parent is okay, but you should remember that kids who are abusing drugs are already on a volatile spot. Any wrong moves can only serve to worsen the situation.
Through the drug hotline for parents, you will finally get a professional’s guidance on how you can help your kid. These hotlines will get you in touch with counselors who have handled thousands of situations such as yours. They are fully trained on what to do in every possible scenario, and they are willing to pass this information to you if you could just pick up your phone and make the call.
We also know that you probably have dozens of questions regarding your child’s safety, and so on. The drug hotlines will also help you get all the answers to these questions. In fact, we’ll advise you to take a pen and paper, get your seat and make the call. You can then proceed to note down all the vital information to make sure that nothing skips your mind. It’s in the fine details that you will finally get to fully understand what your child is going through and what you can do to help.
Like any other condition, drug abuse is better handled when it’s detected and treated in its earliest stage. Don’t assume or excuse your kid’s state. Also, if you suspect that your kid is using drugs, but you haven’t seen any evidence to support the same, we’ll recommend that you contact the hotline. The counselors will give you tips on how you can approach the kid to find out whether they are actually using drugs, or it’s something else. The last thing you’d want is to make the wrong initial approach which will push the kid away, making it even more difficult for you to identify what the problem is.
When Should I Call the Drug Hotline for Parent?
Generally, we’d advise you to call the drug hotline as soon as you suspect that your kid is using drugs. In the end, your kid could be going through another problem and not necessarily drugs, but it is good to rule out the possibility.
You can also call the hotline in case you notice any of the following drug abuse symptoms:
- Sudden changes in habits
- Increased irritability and aggression
- Changes in attitude
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Loss of interests in hobbies and social activities
- Bloodshot eyes
- Skin changes
- Constricted pupils
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Dental issues
- Sleep-related issues. Either they sleep too much or not at all
- Ignoring self-care responsibilities
What Should I Expect Calling a Drug Abuse Hotline for Parents?
The specialists will rely on your information to diagnose and recommend the appropriate treatment for your child. They’ll ask quite several questions which you should answer honestly for an accurate diagnosis. Remember that different drugs have different effects on the body. Some drugs are also life-threatening, which means that they require prompt attention. It’s hence upon you to provide as much information as possible to help the kid back on their feet in the shortest time possible.
You can expect questions on:
- Addiction history
- What drugs are used?
- Are they in an immediate life-threatening state?
- Mental health history
- Medical history
- Willingness to start treatment
The phone representative will then answer your questions and provide you some of the treatment options you have. You’ll get information on each treatment, and they’ll also give you some recommendation just in case you are unsure of what is best for your kid.
While discussing treatment options, you’ll also learn of some of the treatment centers available. Since you’re dealing with a kid, it may be advisable to opt for facilities that are nearby, especially if you’ll be going for outpatient treatment care.
How Can I Help My Kid Struggling with Addiction?
The counselors behind the drug abuse hotline for parents will give you detailed information on how you can help your kid recover. Here are some of the tips that you can expect:
Encourage Desirable Behaviors
Instead of focusing on everything wrong that your kid is doing, you need to try and encourage them to practice positive behaviors. Constantly reminding them of the wrong decisions they’ve made and their addiction problem never helps. In fact, you could end up stimulating their urge for substance abuse. Meanwhile, encouraging them to focus on the positive will help them feel understood. This will encourage them to seek and continue with treatment.
Rebuild and Strengthen Your Relationship
The relationship between parents and kids using drugs is usually in shambles. Unfortunately, such a relationship cannot help a recovering addict. Recovering addicts are likely to withdraw from family members and society if they feel like they are being judged or hated.
To expedite your kid’s recovery, you must fix your relationship and work on ways of strengthening it. You need to make your kid feel like they can talk to you about their condition and life in general. This creates the ideal environment not just for successful treatment but also for maintaining sobriety.
It can be achieved by improving your communication, encouraging positive behaviors, avoiding adverse reactions, and remaining respectful.
Proper guidelines will help your kid understand what’s acceptable and unacceptable. This is likely to improve their positive actions and avoid activities that will lead to quarrels in the house.
However, for the guidelines to be effective, you need to pay attention to two key factors. First, you must ensure that you are consistently reinforcing the guidelines. Consistency helps in making sure that your kid doesn’t fall back to their old habits. It also maintains mutual respect in the relationship between you and your kid. Secondly, you need to involve them in coming up with the guidelines. People are likely to respect rules if they are involved in the process of making them.
Don’t Forget Self-Care
We understand that taking care of a kid with substance use disorder can result in serious burnout. It’s very easy to get carried away and forget that self-care also matters. You must understand that it’s impossible to support and take care of your child if you are not in a stable state yourself. For that reason, never forget to take care of yourself. Don’t forget your responsibilities, and you should definitely never ignore taking some personal time now and then.
No one would want to see their kids consumed by drug addiction. It’s one of the worst nightmares for every parent. But with these hotlines, you no longer have to sit there helpless. Make that call today to learn of how you can turn your kid’s life around and give them the bright future they deserve.