If your child needs alcohol or drug abuse help, it's up to you as a parent to ensure that he gets the treatment that he needs. This is not a task to be taken lightly, as children oftentimes do not realize the limits and risks of using drugs and alcohol. They put themselves, their friends and others at risk by doing these things, and stopping them can be the key not only to helping them sort out other issues in their lives, but to saving their lives in general. Read on for a brief guide on how to get help for kids with drug problems.
Step 1: Know Your Options
There are a wide variety of options for parents who have children going through a substance abuse problem. Familiarize yourself with the choices in your area, keeping in mind that there are treatment programs which are in-patient and those which are out-patient as well. Avoid considering consequences with a school, the police or any other ramifications at this point; your primary goal initially is to ensure that your child is safe and healthy.
Step 2: Have Your Child Tested
One of the most difficult things for a parent to do is to confront her child about a potential problem. Most parents find that this process is most successful when it is done in the least confrontational way possible. However, if your child does have a problem, it's crucial that you do what is necessary to ensure that he is cured.
Before you can be sure of what to do, you'll need to have your child screened or tested for drugs and alcohol in his system. There are a variety of health services throughout the country which can do that. This will ensure that you know exactly what the issue is. Consult with your child's school or with local health services for more information for your area.
Step 3: Get Support
Battling substance abuse of any kind is an incredibly difficult project for any individual or family to take on. You'll be stronger and your child will have more support if you are able to enlist the help of others in the process of seeking treatment. Do this at your discretion and be careful about the information that you share. Potential sources of support and information include your child's administration at his school, friends, parents of your child's friends and local health services representatives.
Step 4: Stay Strong
Take time throughout the treatment process to ensure that you are remaining strong. Be sure to analyze your financial situation to be sure that you are able to cover any costs of treatment. Keep in mind that it can be helpful for all other members of the family to go through certain types of treatment as well; consider whether family counseling or other therapy may help you as a group to overcome the issue of drug or alcohol abuse as well.