Helping a Loved One With Addiction
There is an unspoken and unbreakable bond between parents and their daughter – one that begins the very moment she is born and continues for the remainder of their lives. While it might seem like nothing can compromise this emotional bond, the truth is that active addiction is more powerful than even the purest forms of love and adoration. Watching your daughter suffer at the hands of a substance abuse disorder is undeniably the most difficult experience you will ever have. If you suspect that your daughter is on a path of relentless self-destruction, you are likely wondering what you can do to help. You might be feeling broken, helpless and alone, wondering where you went wrong and what you could’ve done to prevent this from happening.
First of all, it is important to know that as parents you likely played no role in the development of her substance abuse disorder (outside of potential genetic predisposition). Addiction can strike anyone at any time, regardless of age, upbringing or socioeconomic background. The important thing is that you avoid dwelling on “what you could have done differently” and take action in the present moment. How can you help? First of all, it is important to educate yourself and seek support (maybe in the form of therapy) for yourself. You cannot help your daughter if you are in a state of emotional disarray. Next, determine whether or not treatment is necessary. Finally, do what you can to ensure that your daughter receives the professional help she deserves.
At CuraWest we are available to help in any way that we can. If you are ready to take the next step we are ready to offer you the guidance you need – simply call us today.
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Is My Daughter An Addict?
Youth and Addiction – Facts & Statistics
Adolescent drug abuse has been on the rise in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 12th grade roughly two-thirds of all students have tried alcohol, and roughly one half of all adolescents between 9th and 12th grade have experimented with marijuana. There are many risks involved in adolescent substance abuse, including the following:
- Adolescents who use chemical substances tend to have more health concerns in adulthood, including high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
- Teenagers and young adults who use drugs and alcohol partake in riskier activities, such as driving while intoxicated or engaging in unprotected sex
- Adolescents and young adults who use chemical substances are at risk of seriously stunting their brain development, and compromising healthy development overall
While adolescent and teenage drug abuse is a major problem throughout the country, many parents overlook warning signs of substance abuse, chalking them up to hormonal changes or typical teenage moodiness. If you believe that your daughter might be abusing chemical substances of any kind, there are several telltale signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for.
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What Steps Can You Take?
The first step you can take as the parent of an addicted child is educate yourself on the ins and outs of addiction. In addition to learning about the disease model of addiction, you can learn about the ways in which the experience differs based on sex and gender. Girls and women tend to have a very different experience with substance abuse than their male counterparts. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, women turn to chemical substances for a variety of reasons including poor body image, attempts at self-medicating underlying mental health concerns, coping with high stress levels and navigating hormonal changes due to menstruation. If you would like to learn more about women and substance abuse, reach out to CuraWest today.
The next step you can take is getting yourself support – typically in one-on-one therapy with a licensed addiction counselor. Speaking with a professional in the field of substance abuse and mental health is going to help you better navigate addressing the problem at hand. If you feel like having a one-on-one conversation with your daughter would be productive and beneficial, address her during a time when she is completely sober and seems receptive to what you have to say. Keep in mind that conversations typically do not go the way that you want them to, even if you come from a place of compassion, understanding and empathy. For this reason staging a professionally facilitated intervention is never a bad idea – especially if the substance abuse disorder has become life-threatening and your daughter is not willing to seek the professional treatment she needs. At CuraWest we work closely with several licensed and highly experienced interventionists who we are happy to put you into contact with the moment you give us a call. We understand how helpless you are feeling as you watch someone you care about deeply seemingly throw her life away in front of your eyes. There are ways to help your daughter successfully overcome substance abuse long-term, and we are available to help her begin her personal journey of lifelong recovery.
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Signs That Your Daughter is Addicted
There are numerous warning signs and addiction-related symptoms that indicate your daughter is struggling with substance abuse or dependence.
The more common symptoms include (but are not limited to):
- She has been spending more time alone and seems to have a greater need for privacy/she has been isolating from friends and family.
- Your daughter has been experiencing a decline in grades and is otherwise getting into trouble at school (maybe showing up late or skipping class altogether).
- She is paying less attention to her appearance and personal hygiene routine.
- She begins spending time with a different peer group – maybe a group of people that you have never before met.
- Your daughter is not engaged in extracurricular activities that she previously enjoyed.
- You notice that her sleep schedule is disrupted – maybe she stays up exceedingly late or has trouble staying awake throughout the day.
- She has an increased appetite or a loss of appetite, which can lead to weight gain or weight loss.
- Your daughter experiences swift and unexplainable changes to mood – one moment she is happy and sociable, the next she is angry and agitated.
To learn more about potential signs that your daughter is addicted contact us today.
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Medically monitored detox is often a necessary first step on the journey of recovery. At CuraWest we offer gender and age-specific detox options in order to make the first phase of recovery as focused and individualized as possible. We have also developed an admissions process that is both simple and straightforward in order to get your daughter the help she needs as efficiently as possible. The moment you give us a call we begin by conducting a brief pre-assessment geared towards helping our clinical and medical team determine which detox methods are going to be the most effective. We ask your daughter a series of simple, non-invasive questions like, “How long have you been using your drug of choice?” “As far as you know, do you have any history of addiction in your immediate family?” “Have you ever been put on medication for a mental health condition, something like depression, anxiety or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder?” The pre-assessment can be completed over the phone in a matter of minutes. Next we help you determine the best course of action as far as coverage goes. At CuraWest we work closely with most major regional and national providers, meaning that if your daughter is currently insured there is a good chance that some or all of our detox services are covered either partially or in full. Finally we set a date and a time for her intake and help you arrange travel plans if necessary.
We understand how heart-wrenching it can be to watch your daughter struggle with something that is completely beyond her control. The good news is that there are ways in which you can help – and at CuraWest we are available 24/7 for your support and guidance every step of the way.
Reviewed for accuracy by:
Jasmine has worked in the mental health field for over 18 years. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Child and Family Relations from North Carolina Central University, and her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. Jasmine is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and has specialized in addiction for over 10 years.