Childhood is the most beautiful part of one’s life, but all of us realize its importance only after it has passed. Our excessive ignorance or we can say innocence during this phase of life sometimes lead to some serious consequences. One of the serious problems that child or their parents may face during this stage is child drug abuse. When does the child’s drug abuse turn into an addiction, no one knows! But mostly, the drug abuse that starts from the adolescence turns into addiction when one becomes an adult.
Do you know that half of the new drug users start using these drugs under the age of 18?
Actually, at this stage, it is the temptation to experiment with drugs which drags a child in the mesh of drug abuse. But remember, if a child has tried a drug or alcohol just a few times, he/she is not a drug abuser. But if he/she is repeatedly doing this, then they might become drug abusers and later an addict.
To assure that their experimentation does not turn into an addiction, parents need to be very vigilant. It is their vigilance, which might decide the future of their child. But the most difficult question for the parents is, how to predict and identify if their child is trying or taking the drug or not?
How to Know Your Child is Suffering from Drug Abuse
Well, there are surely some major indications for the same, which can only be identified by sheer vigilance. I am enlisting a few signs, a combination of 4-5 signs or most of them is surely an indicator that there is some trouble in the water.
1. Child avoiding eye contact.
2. Sudden downgrade in the class performance.
3. Laughing continuously for no reason.
4. Lack of interest in the activities of those kinds in which the child was previously very interested.
5. Bad breath and bad smelling clothes.
6. A sudden disinterest or decline in the personal appearance.
7. Continuous tiresomeness.
8. Munchies or continuous feeling of hunger.
9. Child ending up in juvenile justice.
10. Any continuous physical health problem.
What should a parent do if they find that their child is abusing drug?
Once child drug abuse is confirmed, parents should not panic instantly, as it may worsen the situation further for both the parent and the child. The first thing that you can try is to openly talk with your child. Motivate him to open up in front of you without hesitation.
Using judgmental or harsh words at this stage may disrupt the situation and in some cases, your relationship with the child. You need to have the utmost patience at this time. If you don’t feel that you can keep up with your patience, take help from any pediatrician or psychiatrist.
Treatment of Child Drug Abuse
Mostly the treatment for child drug abuse use depends on the type and level of substance abuse. If the problem is in the initial stage, talking openly about the problem and motivating the child to leave these habits by making them aware about the ill effects and life-threatening effects of the drug abuse might help. But if the child drug use has turned into child drug abuse, then it is the time to see a doctor or a counselor or both.
Types of the treatment meted out to the child to overcome drug addiction are:
3. Sending a child to child rehabilitation centers.
4. Family counseling.
5. Combination of all the above stated treatments.
To overcome drug addiction parents take all these measures, but then also the chances are that the efforts will relapse and the child may return to drug abuse. It is very common after the treatment. Remember, it is not a failure of the treatment program or your child. Child drug abuse is not something very simple, and its recovery is very hard and it takes a lot of time. All the setbacks need to be overcome one at a time.
Personally, I will suggest sending your child to a child rehabilitation center , as these centers follow a specific procedure to help your child leave the addiction permanently.
In the rehabilitation process, they first assess the intake or level of addiction and then accordingly devise the treatment plan. The time to be spent in Rehab may vary from 90 days to 180 days or in some critical cases to a year or so. Longer treatments are said to be the most effective in such cases.
How to Prevent Child Drug Abuse?
Well, there is no sure shot way of this. But there are some directives that might help you in long run:
1. Make early clarifications about what you expect from the child about his or her response towards drugs, tobacco or alcohol. Give the child a hint that you are least interested to allow him/her to use them on account of your love and care for them, and for their better and healthy life.
2. Always keep your child busy in meaningful and fruitful activities.
3. Keep some household rules and make them aware of what could be the consequences of not following them. Don’t be harsh.
4. Be vigilant about the type of companions he/she is always surrounded by. Keeping good friends around helps a lot.
5. Give time to your kids. Praise them of the good things they do. A child brought up in an atmosphere of insecurity or loneliness is found to be caught more in the mesh of child drug abuse.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Try to follow the guidelines stated above and be vigilant about your kids all the time. By vigilance, I don’t mean that you must always see them with suspected eyes, but taking care and keeping an eye on their behavior is what saves parents from any fatal damage at any later stage. We wish you luck with your kids and happy life ahead.