As a woman who works in the medical field as a physician or nurse, it is part of your training, education, and experience to be able to examine a patient and properly diagnosis them. While you may excel at this in a clinical environment, it doesn’t mean you can use that same objective viewpoint when examining your own children. Learning to recognize the signs of addiction in your own child can be a very tough thing to do. Often you don’t see the signs, or maybe you don’t piece them together, which results in your child not getting the help they need.
Here are some tips that may help you to better recognize the signs of alcohol or drug addiction in your child.
Engage with Your Child on a Regular Basis
For kids who become addicted to drugs or alcohol, one of the biggest warning signs is a change in their personality and attitude. Well, it's pretty hard to notice these changes if you aren't engaging with them on a regular basis. Make a point of asking your child how their day was, how the school is going, and make conversation with them on a daily basis.
Sure, teens aren’t always happy to sit down and chat with their mom, and no you don’t necessarily have the free time to sit down and talk, but you need to make it happen. Not only will this give you a glimpse of an early warning to changes in their attitude, but this is also important as a bonding experience.
Some changes you'll want to watch for are a sudden combative attitude, acting standoffish, emotionally volatile, and an avoidance of answering your questions and possibly becoming defensive.
Are You Catching Them in a Lot of Lies?
Sure kids, especially teens, may tell a lie here and there but they tend to be harmless and not on a regular basis. If you're catching your child in an increasing amount of lies lately, then it's time to look a little closer.
Focus on Their Outward Appearance
The final tip is to take a look at their outward appearance. Have they suddenly lost or gained a significant amount of weight, do their pupils seem larger or smaller than normal, are they suddenly getting a lot of nosebleeds, has their personal grooming taken a nose dive? All of these can be warning signs of addiction.
Getting Them Help Needs to be a Priority
If you do suspect your child has an addiction, then getting them help needs to be a priority. Help can come in all shapes and sizes from an all-encompassing drug and alcohol treatment center such as Beachway Therapy Center, to joining a local support group, or even working with a family counsellor.
Unfortunately convincing your child to admit they have a problem can be difficult if not impossible, which means they won’t be open to help. If this is the case, then it’s often a good idea for you to speak to someone such as your own doctor or a family counsellor to help you figure out the best steps forward.