What to do if you find drugs in your child’s room?
It’s one of every parent’s nightmares. During a routine cleaning of your child’s room you accidentally come across a benign little baggie. Curiosity gets the best of you, and you open it up only to be shocked to find your teen’s stash of drugs. At first, you think your eyes must be playing a trick on you. After all, your child would never do drugs, especially after so many candid discussions about the pitfalls of addiction and the dangers of drugs. Right!?
The truth is that you are not alone, and you if come across your child’s stash of drugs, you can count yourself as one of the lucky parents. At least you know.
The trick is knowing what to do once you find the drugs. Of course, you are angry, and most parents’ FIRST reaction is to get angry and take away all freedoms that their teen has. While experts agree that consequences are necessary and should be immediate when parents realize their child is experimenting. It is also important for parents to keep the lines of communication necessary so they can ascertain the extent of their teens drug use.
Important questions that you need answered.
Is your teen just experimenting, or are they on the road to addiction?
Where did they obtain the drugs?
How long have they been doing drugs?
Why does your child feel the “need” to do drugs?
So what should you do now?
First, sit down and have an open, clear-headed conversation with your child. This is a time to build trust, to encourage your child to open up to you, to find out what is going on in their head and in their life. If you are too accusatory-your teen will think that you just don’t understand and will clam up – only hindering a positive ending.
The next step, regardless of the admitted level of drug use – is to seek some sort of drug and alcohol counseling from a professional experienced in the field.
Additionally, expose them in some manner – to the life that is ahead of them should they continue to use drugs.
Kids all over the country are becoming addicted to multiple different substances from every kind of background imaginable from the poorest of the poor to the very wealthy.
Don’t ever underestimate the role that peer pressure plays in a child’s drug use and do not give in to the guilt trip, because your child will not be helped by a parent who is feeling guilty and thus too immobilized to do anything.
If you suspect drug abuse is taking place, however, it is your responsibility as a parent to try to get help for your child. Drug abuse ruins lives, tears families apart and sometimes kills. It is nothing to be ignored!!!!!
Juliet Stiebeck is the Program Director of Recovery Services, a State-certified addictions recovery program at MHA Rockland.
Contact her at 845-267-2172, x225.
For information on programs offered at MHA Rockland and throughout the County, call our Client/Family Advocate at 845-267-2172, x296.