It’s painful seeing someone you love self-destruct due to addiction. When your child is addicted to methamphetamine, you’re forced to witness them say and do things you never thought possible. Even if your child appears healthy, meth addiction can send them down a road of financial ruin, severe psychotic side effects and serious health complications.
Whether they’re an adult on their own or still living under your roof, your love and support could be the key to helping your child break free from meth addiction.
What to Do When Your Child Is on Drugs — Recognizing the Signs of Meth Use
Recognizing the signs of meth use or addiction in your child is a critical first step. The sooner your son or daughter can get meth addiction treatment, the better.
Meth addiction doesn’t always look how you imagine. While some meth addicts are thin, sickly and incapable of holding down a job or relationship, not all meth users fall into this category of dysfunction. However, your child might be headed in that direction if they don’t get help.
Symptoms of meth use vary, but here are some red flags that could indicate your child is using methamphetamines:
- Dilated pupils
- Skin that feels overly warm
- Unusually high energy
- Fast and confusing speech
- Excessive joyfulness or self-confidence
- Irritability or irrational aggression
- Psychotic side effects, such as hallucinations or delusions
- Depressive mood
- Feeling sick or vomiting
How to Handle a Child with Drug Addiction
Even if your son or daughter is a teenager still living in your home, helping them can be a challenge. Your actions can show compassionate support, or they may be counterproductive, provoking your child to withdraw further. Your child needs professional treatment to safely detox from meth and learn lasting skills that will help them manage addiction down the road.
If you know that your child is using meth, take a moment and get ready for the conversation ahead. Preparation now can lay a foundation for a more positive outcome. You might try the following steps:
- Gather any evidence you’ve found, as they might deny responsibility or attempt to lie.
- Resolve to remain calm.
- Be prepared for anger or for them to say things that shock or trouble you.
- Keep expectations low, especially if this is your first conversation. The first step could be letting them know that you know about their drug use and want them to get help.
- Establish rules and consequences and be prepared to enforce them.
- Research addiction treatment programs that specialize in working with teenagers addicted to meth.
What Can I Say to My Adult Child Addicted to Meth?
If your child is an adult addicted to meth, your situation is even more confusing. Now that they are out of your home and on their own, what can you do when you find out your child is using drugs? While it may be heartbreaking to watch your child’s life destroyed by this insidious drug, here are some suggestions that could help relieve some of the stress you are currently experiencing:
- Stop enabling. Enabling is any action or inaction that encourages your child to keep using. This behavior could include supporting them financially or bailing them out of trouble.
- Get support. Addiction is a traumatic event for the whole family, even when your child is not home. Meeting with others who understand what you’re going through can provide a great deal of relief for you. You might want to see a counselor who specializes in addiction or join a support group for family members of people with addiction. You’ll find practical suggestions for your situation and emotional support.
- Keep in communication. Your child may be particularly sensitive and resistant to your watchfulness and advice. However, attempt to reach out every once in a while. Remind them that you love them. Let them know that it’s the addiction you dislike, not them. Tell them that you’ll support them when they’re ready to make a change.
Help for Methamphetamine Addicts at Gateway Foundation
When your child is ready, Gateway Foundation is here to help. Our methamphetamine addiction treatment program specializes in helping adults and teenagers get off this powerful drug and learn the skills they need to forge a better path. If you would like to learn more about our customized approach to your child’s care, please contact us today.