Where Did We Go Wrong?
Candid Parenting Tips from a Former Drug Addict Who Had Loving Parents and a Proper Upbringing
I hope this story helps parents spot unhealthy signs in the event their child is moving towards addiction. If my story could change one life or prevent one addiction, that will be more than enough of a reward.
I grew up in the suburbs with two loving parents and three older, loving siblings. I had tons of opportunities. I could have gone to a University for free. My parents made sure I had access to whatever I needed. If you looked at my upbringing on paper, there would be no chance I would grow up to be an addict.
I did though and by the time I was 20, I was a full-blown heroin addict. My parents did a good job raising me and there is no way to know for sure that if they had done the following things, things would have been different.
My first piece of advice would be to keep your kid busy. Don’t let them sit at home after school every day or just run around town. This is when I got into drugs—it was the time I was free to run around and do as I pleased.
Push your kid into extracurricular activities. One of the biggest thing that makes people happy and doing well in life overall is having a purpose. In high school, it is really a time when most are trying to find this. After school activities and clubs are a good source of purpose in life even if it is temporary.
Help your kid figure out what they want to do with their life. I know this is one thing that I and many of my friends who became addicts had in common. We either didn’t know what we wanted to do with our lives or had no plan. Many just expected to float through life and have their goals happen. Help your kid find this out. Side note, don’t make them feel dumb for any ideas of what they want to do. This could cause them to shut down and not reach for your help again.
Parenting is never easy and dealing with an addict is just as difficult. If your loved one or kid is already an addict, get them into treatment. I hope this helps. Please send a message and add on to this if you have spotted some things that would have changed your life away from drugs or alcohol. If I could leave you with one last piece of advice it is this, don’t shy away from being strict and putting your kid on the right path when they wander.