There are few things as painful as witnessing your child succumb to addiction. The disease is characterized by incessant, intense cravings that can turn your child into a person you no longer recognize. They may lie to your face or go through terrifying mood changes. If your child is addicted to cocaine, they’ll do or say nearly anything for their next fix. Your son or daughter may even try to quit, only to turn back to the drug when faced with painful withdrawal symptoms.
Cocaine addiction does not have to be the end of your child’s story. You may feel scared and confused, but your child can recover with your support and effective addiction treatment.
How to Tell if Your Child Is Using Drugs
Look out for signs that could indicate your son or daughter is struggling with addiction. Using crack or cocaine causes intense alertness and energy. Most users binge use the drug, taking large amounts of cocaine — sometimes for days on end. You may notice your child is overexcited, nervous or has tons of extra energy. They may also talk fast or sweat profusely. These signs are usually followed by a crash, where your child may seem sad or depressed.
Other signs someone is using coke include:
- White powder residue around their nose or mouth
- Drug paraphernalia, including tubes, small mirrors and razor blades
- Frequent runny nose or nosebleeds
- Unusual overconfidence
- Loss of appetite and noticeable weight loss
- Mood swings
- Withdrawal symptoms, such as fatigue, restlessness and agitation
What to Do if Your Son or Daughter Is Doing Cocaine
You may be desperate to help your child overcome addiction, but you cannot force them to get the help they need to recover. However, your support and encouragement can be a powerful force for change in their life. If your daughteror son is a cocaine addict, here are some steps you can take to aid their recovery.
1. Strengthen Your Relationship
Your child probably hates disappointing you. As a result, they’ll most likely use deceit to hide the depth of their cocaine addiction. This breach of trust can significantly damage your bond with your child. Combat those feelings by actively working to strengthen and rebuild your relationship. Try to:
- Encourage open, assertive communication.
- Be kind and respectful.
- Ask nonjudgmental, open-ended questions.
- Actively listen and stay engaged and focused.
- Allow them to express their concerns, struggles and hopes.
- Display a sense of acceptance and understanding.
- Focus on the good.
- Keep negative reactions in check.
If you find yourself feeling upset or struggling with highly charged emotions, leave the conversation and pick it back up another time.
2. Create and Enforce Consistent Guidelines
Do not ignore the problem and hope it will go away. Instead, establish clear, consistent expectations of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. These rules will show your child where you stand and help you determine how to handle situations as they arise.
Your guidelines could be expressed as cause and effect statements — if this happens, then this will be the consequence. You’ll need to back up strong rules with consistency, or they’ll be rendered ineffective.
3. Encourage Treatment and Positive Change
Focus on sending a positive message to your child. Many people view rehab or addiction treatment as admitting defeat. However, getting professional treatment will allow your child to get the help they need so that they can continue to develop to their full potential. For many, addiction treatment is a necessary step for recovery.
Besides researching effective cocaine addiction treatment programs, you can continue your support and encouragement throughout their recovery process. Attending appointments, family therapy and joining a support group for others who have an addicted loved one will show your child you want to be a part of their growth and change.
Partner With Gateway Foundation for Your Child’s Addiction Treatment
At Gateway Foundation, we take a personalized approach to addiction treatment. We understand that different substances have different impacts on a person’s mental, physical and emotional health. Also, every client we see has a distinct background and set of circumstances. You can count on our team to take the time to understand your child’s individual needs and design a customized cocaine addiction treatment program.