It is normal for parents who have young adult sons still living at home to want to help when they suspect their sons are addicted to drugs. However, it is crucial that you take the time to learn more about drug addiction to provide the help your son needs and not be an enabler.
What is an Enabler?
An enabler is essentially a parent that behaves or acts in ways that do nothing to hold their son accountable for their substance abuse problem. Enabling is counterproductive to getting your son to admit they are addicted to drugs. Some of the more common ways parents enable substance abuse in their sons include:
- They make excuses for their son
- They provide their son with money
- They deny their son has a substance abuse problem
- They cover up their son’s behaviors and substance abuse problems so their child does not have to face the consequences of their actions
Is There Anything I Should Do For Myself?
Parents need to remember to take care of themselves first and foremost. Before you can help your son, you need to be prepared for whatever may come your way when bringing up this topic to him.
There are support groups for parents of addicts, family counseling programs through addiction treatment centers, as well as other valuable resources to help you learn more about drug addiction and how difficult it can be to overcome.
How Can I Tell if My Son is Addicted to Drugs?
Drug addiction does not happen overnight, but rather over a period of time. So if you notice your son is staying out later or not coming home, for example, it should raise some concerns. Some other signs to pay attention to and watch for include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Hanging around new friends
- Cutting off ties with close friends
- Constantly asking to borrow money
- Frequently late to work or not going to work
- Frequently late to class or has stopped attending classes
- Isolating himself away from the family
- No longer participating in sports, activities, or hobbies he enjoys
- Getting into trouble with the law
- Problems with hygiene – not bathing, wearing the same dirty clothes, etc.
- Changes in eating habits
- Looks sickly, tired, and run down
In addition to these signs, other things that could indicate your son is addicted to drugs could include:
- Noticeable changes in energy levels that seem to fluctuate regularly
- Unexplained periods of euphoria followed by periods of sadness or depression
- Becoming more social and spending more time away from home than they used to
- Noticeable mood swings like quickly becoming agitated or angry
- Becoming aggressive and combative verbally or physically
- Unexplained chills, sweating, involuntary shaking, loss of muscle control, dizziness, and falling
- Problems thinking, concentrating, communicating, and remembering things
- Acting paranoid by things that seem trivial or unimportant
What Can I Do to Help My Drug-Addicted Son?
One of the most difficult aspects about a situation like this is realizing that you alone cannot save your son from addiction. Drug addiction is a disease that requires custom-tailored treatment. Many parents make the mistake of believing if they get rid of all drugs and alcohol in the house, their son will stop. Unfortunately, they will not and just become resentful and start hiding their drug abuse.
Establish healthy boundaries with your son so they are aware of where you stand. For instance, you could set a boundary where you will not continue to give them cash whenever they want it. Another significant limitation is informing your son that they will have to face any consequences of their drug abuse, like being fired, getting arrested, or even going to jail.
In addition, it can be beneficial to stage an intervention with help from an interventionist. The purpose of an intervention is to let your son know you love them and want them to get the help they need.
Most importantly, remember you cannot help your son face his drug addiction on your own. Even if your son wants to stop using drugs, his addiction can be so powerful and strong he simply cannot stop.
Furthermore, you never want your son to stop using drugs cold turkey. There are physical and chemical changes that occur in the body from drug abuse. Quitting cold turkey will force him into withdrawal and can produce dangers depending on the type of substances he was previously abusing. As such, the withdrawal symptoms could be so intense that he either returns to using drugs, or worse, experiences severe side-effects that could result in coma or death. This is why withdrawal should be a clinically supervised process to ensure the safety and well-being of your son.
Long-Term Drug Addiction Treatment in Dallas
If you are serious about wanting to help your son, long-term drug addiction treatment programs are best. Live-in residential treatment programs at sober living treatment facilities create the stable environment and living conditions your son needs to overcome his addiction.
At Casa Colina in Dallas, we provide custom-tailored residential drug addiction treatment programs for men of all ages, including your young adult son. We also provide you with assistance to stage an intervention and family support options and programs to help you learn more about addiction and how you can help your son.