Thursday, May 23, 2013

How to Help Your Daughter With a Drug Addiction

By Megan Smith

Drug addiction is a disease not unlike a cancer. It is impossible to take most drugs regularly without becoming addicted to them, and some individuals happen to be predisposed to addictive behaviors. Drug addiction usually refers to illegal drugs, but can also manifest itself in legal and over-the-counter drugs, including cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, and amphetamines, which are found in prescription drugs like Adderall and Dexedrine. If your daughter has a drug addiction, it is important that you act quickly in order to determine the right course of action for her, which usually involves detox and a rehabilitation clinic.


    • 1
      Bring things into the open. It may be difficult, but you must address your daughter directly. Tell her that you know she is addicted to drugs. Let her know that her behavior is unacceptable. The first step to her recovery is to make her realize that you know exactly what is going on. According to Dr. Andrew Byrne, "do offer sympathy and support," but "do not panic and pity."
    • 2
      If your daughter still continues to act out, contact her friends. Ask her friends what is going on. If they are not honest with you, tell them that you will be calling the police if this behavior continues. This will most likely cause your daughter to lose her drug connections.
    • 3
      Practice tough love. Don't be an enabler. If your daughter asks you for money and you give in--or you give her a free place to stay--you are the reason why she is getting drugs so easily. Refuse to give her money, no matter how much she begs, and do not let her do drugs in your home. Dr. Byrne suggests to "not give cash to the addict."
    • 4
      Tell her other family members. If your daughter has nowhere to turn, she will most likely hit rock bottom and decide she needs help. If she asks for help, be there for her and do anything she needs in order to get her from doing drugs. Make it clear that your family will not help her get drugs, but they will only help her get off of drugs. However, make sure you are the leader of the conversation, and distant family members do not get too involved with the process. According to Dr. Byrne, "it is best for relatives and others who are close to the addict not to offer advice, however tempting it may be."
    • 5
      If your daughter is under 18, place her in a rehabilitation clinic. Unfortunately, most clinics allow patients over 18 to sign themselves out. However, if she is under 18, this may be a solution. A drug addict must want to get off of drugs, however, so the stay may be unsuccessful. Tell her not to be discouraged. According to the Mayo Clinic, "it takes about three months before significant improvement occurs, so don't give up on your treatment program too soon." According to Dr. Byrne, "An old aphorism called the 'ten year rule' holds that most addicts consume drugs for a period of ten years before giving up." Although this is not a hard and fast rule, it is true that many addicts will need time to recover, and this is not an instantaneous process.

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