Contributed by Anoop Nain
It is true that no one wants to be addicted. People become the victim of addiction unknowingly. Addiction is developed due to the combination of bad choices and poor judgment by the people. And it is not that this disease occurs overnight. Any person takes time to become an addict. Generally, people use alcohol and drugs to relieve physical pain and mental stress. But after continuous usage, their body starts demanding those substances. When people want to stop using these substances, symptoms of withdrawal begin to occur. Then they are familiar with addiction. Because they cannot cope with withdrawal symptoms. They consider the dependence on these substances as the only way to get out of these symptoms.
Apart from this, depending on alcohol or drugs at the teenage stage, it is most dangerous. Children may have to face more problems of addiction than others for a long time. In 2016, National Institute on Drug Abuse has given some statistics about the addicted children:
· 61% of 12th class students used alcohol and 49% of students used drugs during their lifetime.
· 44% of 10th class students used alcohol and 33% of students used drugs.
· 24% of 8th class students used alcohol and 16% of students used drugs during their lifetime.
If a teenager starts misusing drugs, then he or she may soon abuse the faster substances. Living with addicted children is not easy for parents. There are some special tips for those who are parents of addicted children.
How can you help your Child?
The first thing parents should try to avoid confrontation. The confrontational interventions shown on TV cannot work much. And sometimes they can also cause violence in the family. Your forcible intervention can make your child a victim of addiction. Or your child may be trapped in the clutches of the peer group.
As the parent of the addicted child, stay calm. Then encourage the child to face the reality of his situation so that he could choose the path of sobriety himself. If the child takes action himself to get rid of the addiction, he definitely succeeds in obtaining sobriety.
So you should talk about their addiction. Show help videos to get them out of the clutches of addiction. Encourage them to go to a rehabilitation center or drug counselor. Apart from this, you should involve in counseling which is only for parents of a drug addict. This is a shared journey. So along with the child, parents also need to pay attention to themselves.
The main thing here is that if you want to change them, you should change yourself to embrace them. Only then, they can be able to deal with this problem.
Understand the difference between protection and enabling
It is usually found that parents try to protect their children from negative thoughts. Still understanding the difference between protection and enabling is very important for them because there is a fine line between the two. Enabling addiction includes many things. Such as giving money to the addict or paying bills, and covering up the addict’s mistakes. By doing this, parents think that they are helping the addict. But often it has negative consequences. When it comes to protection, parents make children aware of addiction. They help the child in reducing the craving. They encourage the child to treatment. only then the child can overcome the addiction. So to protect the child from addiction, focus on protection against enabling.
Am I to blame for my child’s addiction?
Parents should never blame themselves if their child becomes addicted. There may be many reasons if the child becomes addicted. Such as peer pressure, depression, anxiety, poor performance at school, physical and mental disorders and many more. So the thing here is that you should try to do the right things. Try to help the child in every way. Encourage the addicted child to move towards recovery effectively. Apart from this, parents should get help for the whole family rather than to blame themselves.
Parents may have to face the reality of a child who has become the victim of addiction. This situation can be very heartbreaking for them. At that time, parents should not be upset and should do only right things. Thus, getting immediate help as the parent of an addict is very significant. Usually, parents want to help an addicted child but by doing so, the relationship between parent and child can be interrupted. It has found that when a child gets trapped in the addiction, he may hurt himself or others. If parents put pressure on the child to quit the addiction, the child does not accept the pressure. And many times, the addicted children do not even respect the parents. So, getting help for parents is as essential as the addicted children.
All these things prove that addiction is a family disease. It affects parents as much as the addicted children. And parents play an important role in protecting their children from addiction. If unfortunately, their child becomes addicted, then parents should encourage them for recovery and get help for themselves as well.