It can be incredibly difficult for any parent to acknowledge that their son or daughter is suffering from drug addiction and needs help. Whether their child’s initial drug use was a result of curiosity, a desire to fit in, peer pressure, or an innocent effort to improve health issues, handle stress or some other thing, the fact is that it has led to a point where the individual is no longer in control of their drug use habits and routines and is actively destroying their health, relationships and life. If a child hides their drug use, abuse and addiction problems successfully, their parents may not even recognize the problem until it is fairly advanced and placing their child’s life in grave danger. Once a parent does identify their child’s drug problems and extend them some help in the form of enrolling them in addiction treatment, they may experience some relief knowing their child is receiving help. On the other hand, they may continue to worry about their child’s health and future, and for good reason.
Struggling in Addiction Treatment
When an individual is struggling with drug addiction, one of the biggest and most important steps they can take toward full and lasting recovery is to admit that they have a problem and they need help. Unfortunately, enrolling in addiction treatment does not automatically guarantee an individual’s full and lasting recovery. Their persistence and dedication to their recovery can help them overcome many challenges along the way, but they can still struggle in addiction treatment. If these struggles are observed by others, the individual can be properly supported through them and into the full recovery they truly desire. So how can you tell if your son or daughter is struggling in their addiction treatment program? Look for the following five signs:
1. They start talking fondly about when they used drug substances. An individual who is firmly on the road to recovery recognizes how dangerous their past drug use was as well as how thoroughly drug use took over and destroyed their life. An individual who is struggling with addiction treatment may actually be considering a return to drug use, and this means that they may romanticize their past drug use and the “good times” they had while using drugs. Forgetting what damages drugs caused them in their life and only remembering the “good times” is a clear indication that they need further help and support.
2. They start acting selfish and moody, like they did when they were using drugs. Essentially, the individual will begin demonstrating some of the side effects of drug use even without having taken drugs. They will start to take things more personally and overreact to all sorts of situations, becoming frustrated about even little things. This is a clear indication that they are struggling with their addiction treatment and need help.
3. They begin to connect up with old friends from their drug-use days. Most individuals who experience some separation from their drug use patterns and environments quickly recognize that their “friends” were actually just fellow drug-users who encouraged or condoned their own drug use habits. This means that if they begin to reach out for these old “friends”, they are likely experiencing relapse triggers and need help and encouragement to overcome them.
4. They stop doing those things that were helping them to recover. Whatever patterns they have established in their efforts to achieve and maintain their recovery, the individual who is struggling in addiction treatment is likely to abandon them. They may stop keeping their sobriety journal, stop calling their sober friends, quit exercising and much more. They may start slipping back into old, familiar patterns–such as lying around lazily and being dishonest with family members and friends.
5. They become very defensive when anyone mentions the behavioral changes they have noticed. An individual who is struggling with drug use, abuse or addiction is often very defensive of their behavioral changes, and an individual who is struggling with addiction treatment is no different. They are uncomfortable with others “prying” into their personal business, probably because they feel guilty that they are even considering a return to drug use. This is a clear sign that they need additional help and support.
Just because your son or daughter is struggling in addiction treatment does not mean that it cannot or will not work to help them recover. They may simply need further support, further treatment, or a different treatment approach. You should stay in close communication with your son and daughter, as well as the treatment facility staff. It may be that they are just working through a challenging part of their program and can make it through with additional support and encouragement, or it may be that they will benefit from switching to a different program altogether. No matter which way it goes, your unfailing support is always absolutely essential to their recovery.