Taking action with a child’s drug problem

One Dad shares his response to his son’s drug use.

I doubt I’d take identical measures, but every family needs to decide upon a course of action that makes sense for them. The important thing is that he took action and that he continues after the crisis ends.

It’s been nearly a year since we first discovered our son was taking drugs and drinking, and except for the one time he broke curfew, every drug test we’ve since given him has come up negative.  I’ve talked to him a lot about my own addiction and where it took me, and how, given our genetic link, he’s right in line to follow in my footsteps if he isn’t extremely careful.  Now, since he’s been clean for nearly nine months, Paula and I feel he’s earned back our trust, at least enough to let him return to the public school (for a number of reasons, he’s not happy at the Christian Academy) and compete again in wrestling.  He’s also well aware that from here on out our eyes will always be wide open.



3 thoughts on “Taking action with a child’s drug problem

    1. First, I’m not a believer that there is one right way to respond. Clearly, there are some wrong ways to respond, but there is a spectrum of options that might make sense with different kids, communities and families. And, I can imagine circumstances where I might do everything he outlines.

      That said, I’m not an advocate of parents drug testing kids. I’d rather see parents get their kid into a counselor or program that does testing.

      If there’s not a lot of reason to believe that the kid is an addict, I don’t think I’d take my kid to 12 step meetings.

      I’d also be very careful when considering the school change. My biggest concern that parents (understandably) sometimes have a tendency to panic and respond in a way that may not be commensurate to the problem and end up more estranged from their kid and with a plan that they are not going to sustain because doubts start creeping in. Once you start moving the lines backwards, it makes it that much harder to establish lines and maintain them in the future.

  1. Thanks for the reply. You are right about different options for different families. I have seen instances where school change worked, and other times when it did not.

    Good point to have an “outsider” drug test. The parent is not put in the position of drug test police. Another problem with drug testing at home, many parents have no plan in place if the test comes up positive.

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