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April 29th, 2013

Drug Abuse – Parent Guide – My Kid Is Using Now What


• Maintain your composure. Do not lose your temper.


• Sit down and have a conversation with your child in a private, distraction-free environment. Make sure that phones are put away, and that TVs and other devices are turned off.


• Be aware of your volume, tone, body language, and facial expressions. While you want to express disapproval, it is important to not yell or lose control.


• Be clear with your child that you do not approve of any drug or alcohol use.


• Ask your child why they chose to use drugs. Find out the underlying motivations so that they can be addressed in more positive ways. Kids use drugs for a wide variety of reasons including stress, peer pressure, self-medication, escape, and curiosity. Depending on your child’s reason, you may want to find a positive equivalent, outlet, hobby, or coping skill to replace the drug use.


• Insist that your child give you any drugs they may have remaining so that you can dispose of them. Inspect the child’s room, backpack/purse, bathroom, and vehicle to ensure they don’t have additional drugs hidden.


• Enforce an age-appropriate consequence that is likely to be effective. Restrict or eliminate use of a car, phone, computer, credit card, or spending money. Restrict free time until the behavior changes.


• Maintain ongoing communication with your child. Stay involved in their life. Let them know that they can come to you at any time if they are feeling stressed, scared, overwhelmed, confused, or in need of advice.


• Consider having your child attend a diversion or early intervention program, AA/CA/NA or other 12-step meetings, or local support groups offered through your child’s school, a community group, or your house of worship.


• Connect with local professional behavioral health resources. Depending on the type(s) of drugs your child is using, the quantity and length of time they have been using, and other factors, the correct resources may include individual counseling, family counseling, group therapy, outpatient treatment programs, detox, or inpatient treatment programs.


• Contact notMYkid’s Resource Director at (602) 652-0163 x120


• Use SAMHSA’s Treatment Locator to find resources near you.

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