For Parents: The Drug Abuse Facts and What to Do

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family interventionHaving a child that you think may be using drugs, is scary. You may be trying to employ different rules in your house, different ways of gaining control or doing everything you can to help your child. But all in all, it isn’t working. It is out of control. You may feel helpless. You may feel as if you are unable to help your child, to save your child, or to stop your child from the pain, danger, and overall devastation of drug abuse. And that is because while you can help them, in some ways, you definitely can’t stop them. Addiction is a disease that needs the correct care and solution oriented program in order to be overcome. It takes more than rules, more than family, more than threats, more than love, and more than willpower for your child to get their life back. And this isn’t because your child is a bad person, it is because they are a person who is in the grips of an illness that has control over their mind and body. They are in the depths of a disease that runs so deep, it even tells them they don’t have it. 

But you know they do. And it is important that you know the drug abuse facts as well as the statistics; not so you can stop them, because you can’t. But so you can help them in the best way possible. So you can give them the opportunity to find what so many before them have already found; a way to stop using drugs. 

Here are the drug abuse “statistics”:

1. More teens die from prescription drugs than heroin/cocaine combined.

2. In 2013, more high school seniors regularly used marijuana than cigarettes as 22.7% smoked pot in the last month, compared to 16.3% who smoked cigarettes.

3. 60% of seniors don’t see regular marijana use as harmful, but THC (the active ingredient in the drug that causes addiction) is nearly 5 times stronger than it was 20 years ago.

4. 1/3 of teenagers who live in states with medical marijuana laws get their pot from other people’s prescriptions.

5. The United States represents 5% of the world’s population and 75% of prescription drugs taken. 60% of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them free from friends and relatives.

6. Adderall use (often prescribed to treat ADHD) has increased among high school seniors from 5.4% in 2009 to 7.5% this year.

7. 54% of high school seniors do not think regular steroid use is harmful, the lowest number since 1980, when the National Institute on Drug Abuse started asking about perception on steroids.

8. By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana.

9. Teens who consistently learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t.

10. 6.5% of high school seniors smoke pot daily, up from 5.1% five years ago. Meanwhile, less than 20% of 12th graders think occasional use is harmful, while less than 40% see regular use as harmful (lowest numbers since 1983).

11. About 50% of high school seniors do not think it’s harmful to try crack or cocaine once or twice and 40% believe it’s not harmful to use heroin once or twice.

And here are the drug abuse facts, not from science, but from the perspective of someone who has been there:

Drug Abuse Fact #1: Your child will not be able to stop on their own.

Drug abuse, when it becomes or is addiction (a disease), will be nearly impossible to overcome. It literally takes the act of a higher power to help most addicts stop using. Most addicts find this higher power through a 12 step program and most addicts who find this higher power stay sober. This isn’t the only route to get sober but it is one of the most effective ones and it is one that has worked for us we should say. It is important that treatment and detox are a part of this process though. Taking care of emotional or mental trauma, as well as physically detoxing are steps towards the solution of recovery. An addict can recover from addiction. Your child doesn’t have to be in the negative cycle that is addiction for their whole life. Your best shot at giving them a shot, is to get them into detox where they will begin to not only stop using drugs for the time being, but also begin to learn of the permanent solution that has worked for thousands. 

2. Drug Abuse Fact #2: Your child most likely won’t want to get help.

As a kid, you have the invincibility thing going on. Nothing can happen to you; “that can’t happen to me.” Oh and you also think you know it all. And when it comes to addiction, you definitely believe it isn’t as bad as it really is and that you can stop at anytime. This is the addict in denial. They are in denial about whether they can stop and they are in denial about what could happen to them if they don’t.

A little fact: Chances are your child can’t stop, even though they think they can; even though they tell you they can. Look at the facts. Have they stopped yet? And if they have, have they stayed stopped?

If your child could stop, don’t you think they would? Why would they continue using, throwing their life away, stealing, and hurting you if they could just stop? It isn’t that they are choosing to do those things to get high as much as they like to believe it is. It is because they are suffering from a mental obsession and a physical allergy. Both things that keep them plummeting in a downward spiral believing that they have some kind of control. When really, they have none at all. Interventions or intervening is best when your child is in complete denial. Interventions are specifically meant to break through the lie that nothing can happen or that it isn’t that bad. Interventions are very successful in getting addicts the help they need.

3. Drug Abuse Fact #3: There is an amazing life waiting for your child on the other side of addiction.

Yes, addiction is one hell of a disease. But there is a solution for it. A solution we vaguely went over in fact number one. And when your child finds it they will get their life back and so much more. We have seen people who have gone from nothing to having it all and more; to finding peace and happiness again. We have watched families become families again. We have watched people recover. And the solution is here, it is everywhere. And it works. It works if your child really wants to get better. They might not want to get better initially but if you get them the help they need, usually they will begin to realize how good life can be and want to do what it takes to find the permanent solution to addiction. 

Remember your child’s drug use and drinking won’t get better. Get help now. Before it is too late.