What to Do When You Find Out Your Kid is an Addict

Teen and alcohol

You just found out something that is every parent's nightmare…your kid is strung out on drugs. Every second counts and moving forward you must make some very big decisions. Are you sending them to treatment? If so where? And how will you get them into drug treatment? This will help to guide you to make the right decisions to handle this situation.

First, stay calm. There will be a time to deal with your own emotions but for now, you need to stay composed and focused on handling your son or daughter.

Next, do not let them out of your sight. The last thing you want is for them to disappear and leave you worrying for several days. Keep them close, even if that means you have to go with them somewhere else. Ideally, you would keep them at home where you can have full control of the situation.

Then, find a treatment center. You might think the next step is asking them if they are willing to go to treatment. Here is the difficulty in doing so at this point. They are likely high and will not make good decisions, such as making the decision to get help. Professionals from treatment centers will be able to tell you the best steps to take. Many centers even work with interventionists. Get treatment lined up quickly is key, so at the point that they are willing to get treatment, you have a place already chosen and can send them straight away, before they start fighting back or wander off.

Get all the information you will need to choose a center. This includes health insurance info, whether they have a valid ID (in the event they are flying to a treatment center), and what they will need to go to treatment; i.e. bathing suit, shampoo, clothes. Also, find out if you can send it to them once they have arrived in addiction treatment, so you don't have to leave them alone or bring them out in public, both of which could give them an opportunity to disappear for a few days.

This last point is key. Keep in mind that from the point you have decided to do something effective and get them into treatment, you must keep them with you always. Do not leave them alone until they are either in treatment or on a plane going to treatment. Do not think if they are agreeing to go to treatment, you can leave them for any amount of time, even for as little as a few minutes. Someone struggling with substance abuse will get nervous about withdrawing and try to sneak out to get high.

Follow all these rules and you will have a better chance of getting your loved one into treatment and keeping the worse from happening. Need more help? Give us a call today.



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.