Addiction is not a new phenomenon. It’s happening every day and the effects on our children are just awful. It’s high time we talk about it. It is the responsibility of every parent or guardian to ensure that they keep track of their children’s health. In this article, we are going to learn more about addiction in children, how it starts, the effects, treatment and everything else you need to know about the topic.
What Is Addiction In Children?
When we talk about addiction, whether in adults or children, we simply refer to the situation where the victim finds it hard to control their alcohol or drug use. Actually, they reach a point where they lack control on whether or not to use the drugs and they feel like the only thing they want is to have the drug.
How Does Addiction Start In Children?
It starts first when a child starts using drugs. This is what we call substance abuse. Children can be addicted to a wide variety of drugs. The more the child uses the drugs, the more they end up losing control over the substance use. Their whole body system gets used to drugs circulation in the blood stream and they reach a point where they can’t do without it.
Are You A Parent Or A Partner Who Is Addicted To Drugs?
If you are a parent or partner struggling with issues of addiction, are you aware of the severe impacts your addiction has on your children?
Not many parents or guardians know how their drugs or alcohol addiction affects their children. According to various research carried out, it is quite evident that children coming from families with drug addiction history become prone to addiction at a very early stage in life.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 8.3 million children aged 18 years and below live in families where either one or both parents are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addiction poses a major threat on the child’s emotional and mental health as well as their lifestyle and future developments.
Therefore, parents using drugs ought to be aware of how their choices affect their children since some of these effects are permanent and can mess the life of their children for good.
Addiction hurts everyone around and children are not spared either. The user and the family are all in agony because they all suffer in one way or the other. Little children who depend on their parents for every aspect of their lives –physical, emotional and social support are the ones who are greatly affected. Such children are most likely to indulge in substance abuse at an early stage.
Are You Troubled With Drug Addiction In Your Child?
If you have just found out that your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is quite normal for you to feel devastated and confused, just because you care and you never imagined your child in addiction.
Always know that you are not alone. Millions of parents across the world are also going through the same experience. It is actually not easy for you to help your child out of addiction on your own. The best thing you can do is to find help from medical professionals near you.
Which Substances Are Children Addicted To?
Children can become addicted to a wide variety of things. These includes drugs, whether legal or illegal or alcohol and tobacco smoking. Children can also become addicted to some medications and inhalants such as sniffing glue. All these substance can affects a child’s health badly.
Signs Of Addiction In Children
As a caring parent or guardian, it is good you know the signs to look at for you to tell when your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Whether you are addicted to such substances or not, your child can become a drug or alcohol addict without you knowing and the effects might bring some adverse effects on your child.
Remember, it might be a bit tricky for you to notice when your adolescent child is involved in drugs since the child will try the best to make sure that you do not notice their change in behaviors.
This therefore calls for vigilance and patience for you to learn your child’s behavior. The moment you notice that your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you need to act with a lot of love and patience and offer the child every support you can afford to help him/her come out of addiction.
The following are some of the common signs to show that your child is suffering from addiction.
- A child loses interest in something that they used to be greatly interested in
- A child shows some unusual ways of getting away from problems or relaxing
- Changes in eating habits – the child eats too much or too little or change eating times
- The child looks sickly or shaky
- Nausea, vomiting
- Slurred / inaudible speech
- Poor balance
- Redness of eyes or face
- The child get anxious, upset or looks greatly depressed
- The child starts isolating himself or herself from family members or friends
- The child starts complaining about workload whether school or home chores and often gets behind workload.
- He/she sells their stuff or steals from you or other members of the family or friends
- Rapid weight gain or weight loss
- The child becomes rude
- The child has problems with sleeping and at times gets out of bed
- The child spends most of the time on computer games to avoid spending time with other people
- Profuse sweating even in a cold season
- Blackouts or Loss of consciousness
- Withdrawal symptoms when the child fails to consume the drugs
What Should You Do When You Find Out That Your Child Is Addicted To Drugs?
The way a parent or a guardian reacts when they notice addiction in children greatly determines how fast or easily the child is likely to come out of addiction. It is therefore very important that every caring parent knows the best steps to follow immediately they notice addiction in children.
- Let your child know that you care about him and that his condition is worrying you
- Share your concerns with a person you can trust
- Take your time for personal research on addiction on children and let your child know what you have found out. This will help you become aware of the whole scenario and you can now handle it from a point of understanding.
- Talk to your child and find out if he will open up and tell you about their addiction problems. Be careful to notice any positive changes to tell whether the situation is changing or whether you need to find more help for your child.
- Encourage your child to join other children in play and other social activities.
- Find help from a professional doctor immediately
What You Should Not Do When You Find Out That Your Child Is Addicted To Drugs
As a caring parent or partner, I know you can do everything possible to help your child come out of addiction. True? It is therefore very important to be cautious as you go about this issue for your personal safety and well being. This is especially if you are dealing with a grown up child.
- If the child is smoking, advise him/her not to smoke near you
- Be careful being around an alcohol addicted child because he might not react normally as they used to. The child might become violent and hurt you.
- Do not try whatever drugs your child is taking
- Be in company of another person if you feel unsafe staying along an addicted child
- Ask your other children not to hang out with the addicted child and his friends
Need Help With Addiction In Children?
Drugs and alcohol abuse in children can be treated. If you are struggling with your addicted child, seek intervention from a professional doctor. This is the safest and fastest way to bring your child back to sobriety and live a drug – free life.
How To Help Your Child Come Out Of Addiction
In most cases, children in addiction are in denial and won’t easily give in to the fact that they are in addiction. For your plans to help your child out of addiction to be successful, the child must be willing to be helped. He must admit that he is in a big mess and declare that he needs help to come out of the nasty addiction. With this, the rest part of recovery process becomes far much simpler and faster.
At times, it might be hard for an addicted child to open up to the parents and talk about their addiction story due to fear and shame. You can therefore find a mature friend that you can trust and have him or her talk to your child about the substance abuse concerns you have noticed.
The child needs to be taken through several counseling sessions but in a very loving and understanding manner. Avoid becoming mad about your child’s addiction since the child might become more rebellious and it might be hard for you to get his attention back.
The early you notice of your child’s drug abuse the better. This is because you can help him come out of the mess before the substance abuse reaches extreme levels that might be a bit difficult to recover.
Therefore, parents, teachers and guardians need to be very keen and act with speed immediately they notice unusual change of behaviors in their teenage children.
Drug Addiction Treatment In Children Below 18 Years
Drug addiction in children is a chronic mental illness that calls for immediate treatment. This treatment should only be handled by a professional practitioner who is highly experienced in treating addiction in children.
Drug addiction recovery in children is a medical process that usually involves three medical stages. These are the detoxification, rehabilitation and maintenance.
This is the most difficult drug or alcohol addiction treatment stage due to the serious withdrawal symptoms witnessed. Since the withdrawal symptoms might be life-threatening, the child should be kept under medical supervision throughout the process.
This stage involves flushing out all the toxic drug and alcohol substances in the body. The processes puts the victim in great pain. It is at this stage where most people give up in addiction treatment if they are not put under proper medication or do not get the right support from family and friends.
After a successful detoxification process, the child is then taken through the rehabilitation process. This involves scheduled counseling sessions and support group. Depending on the nature and extent of the addiction, the doctor decides whether to put the child into a rehab center or the child to receive treatment while still at home and only see the doctor on scheduled appointment.
Gaining sobriety cannot be achieved in a day or two. It is a process. Upon a successful detoxification and rehabilitation process, the child is then put into a maintenance stage to help him gain sobriety and bring his life back on track.
What Is The Role Of The Parent In Addiction Treatment In Children?
Your child’s health is your number one priority. No matter how worse your child’s addiction case is, just own up the mess and be ready to offer your child all the mental, physical and financial support required in drug recovery. Never mind what your friends talk about your child’s addiction case. Just handle your child with a lot of love and patience, coupled with a lot of understanding.
Stop! Did You Find The Root Cause Of Addiction In Your Child?
There has been some recurring cases whereby a teenager goes through the entire drug recovery process and gets back into addiction again. Why? Nothing was done about the root cause.
It is therefore of great importance that parents and teachers identify the root causes of addiction in children and thoroughly address the situation. Drug and alcohol use and addiction awareness should be done to sensitize the society about the dangers of drug addiction in children. At school, there should be scheduled guidance and counseling sessions to create awareness on substance abuse among students.
Are You A Teenager Fighting Addiction?
If you are a teenager reading this content and you are troubled with your addiction problem and could be you have had several attempts to stop drug abuse with no success, do not give up. There is help for you and know that you are not alone in this.
I know you really want to bring your life back on track. Healing begins with you. First, you must admit that you are in a mess and you need help to get out of the mess. Do not fight this battle alone. Do not feel ashamed about your condition. Speak out and seek help.
Talk to your parent(s) or a close person to whom you can confide in and share your problems with them for you to find help.
Child, drugs are bad. Taking drugs is wrong and drugs will only make you glad for a short while and regret follows soon after. So, if you want a happy life, stay a drugs-free life.
Looking For The Best Rehab Centers For Teens?
For you to get help with your teenager addiction treatment, find a youth friendly rehab center near you. Don’t wait until it’s too late. The best time to find the best rehabilitation center for your child is immediately you notice that your child is on drugs. The more your child stays on drugs, the longer the recovery process and treatment might be a bit expensive for you.
How Long Is Addiction Recovery In Children?
Addiction is a chronic mental disorder where teenagers and adolescents find it difficult to control their substance use. Treatment duration varies depending on the extent of the addiction in children. Parents who notice addiction in early stages in their children and finds immediate treatment helps their children go through a shorter drug recovery process.
How Expensive Is Addiction Recovery Treatment In Teenagers And Adolescents?
It all depends of the addiction recovery facility you take your child to. There is no standard amount that is charged on addiction recovery. If your child has been on drugs for many years, the treatment process might be more expensive. Talk to your insurance providers to find out if they cover addiction treatment to help you cut out on medication cost.
Effects Of Addiction In Children
Every parent wishes that their children grow up in the right manner and enjoy a bright future. On the same note, every child has his/her unique dreams and aspirations in life and they all look forward to living a better life in days to come. The issue of drugs addiction at an early stage in life greatly affects brain development in children, affecting their studies and therefore a child might fail to achieve their career goals.
Addiction in children also exposes teenagers to severe health conditions like heart problems, liver diseases, stroke, stomach disorders and many more. In most severe cases of addiction, death might result.
Drug and alcohol addiction also exposes children to premature sex which might result to sexual assault, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Children under drugs influence might engage themselves in violence and this might result to bad injuries. Also, teenagers who drink while driving might cause bad accidents both to themselves and other drivers as well as the pedestrians.
The issue of drug addiction brings a great urge for the child to drink more, since young people who are mostly schooling do not have a stable source of income do not have money to buy enough drugs to sustain their urge, they end up stealing. There have been many reported cases where children steal assets from parents and friends, they sell the items at a throw a way price to get quick money to buy more drugs. This actually destroys a child’s morals and the stealing habit might become uncontrollable putting the child at risk of being put to the juvenile.
How To Deal With Smoking Or Alcohol Addiction In Children
Cigarette, tobacco and marijuana are very common among teenagers. There are many reasons why teenagers get involved in substance abuse. It could be due to family addiction history, peer influence, fun, rebellion or even the fear to face a certain reality in life.
What begins just as a single puff becomes a life’s threatening problem in children and adults alike. The rate of cigarette smoking among high school students is increasing a very alarming rate. Regardless of the continued drug awareness campaigns in schools, the issue of illegal drugs and alcohol use among students still leaves a lot to be deserved.
It is therefore the role of the parents to keep track on their children behaviors and notice when their children start substance abuse at the early stages.
Why Wait Till It’s Too Late? Seek Help Today
Cigarette smoking puts children into serious medical problems like gum diseases, respiratory problems, lung diseases and general poor health and fitness. The early you notice your child’s smoking habits the better. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Call a professional doctor now and talk about your child’s addiction situation for help.
Your Child’s Life Is Important. Guard It!
Addiction in children affects the way your child looks, smells and behaves. Alcohol and cigarette smoking produces bad breath, stains in both teeth and fingers and the general outlook of your teenage child is affected. Friends and members of the family might abandon your child. The child feels rejected and isolated.
Therefore. Your constant assurance of love and care to your child is what brings hope to the child when all others fail. Be patient, it might take longer than you expect to bring your child’s life back on track but don’t lose hope. Your child’s life is important and a caring parent should guard it at all cost.
Addiction in children can be very stressful. You don’t have to walk through it all alone when you can find help. Call a professional doctor now. This could be the beginning of your great relief if you never knew. Someone is waiting to help your child come out of that nasty addiction. Do not feel ashamed about it. Speak up.