Let's be honest, some kids are just really good at hiding things and drugs and alcohol can be hidden well, but that doesn't mean you can't be aware and know what to look for. So let's start with the two most common alcohol and marijuana. We talked earlier about locking up your alcohol. But if you're like me, or if you forget, that's normal. However, if you notice that clear alcohol is tasting a little watered down, or if you're missing beers, chances are if you have teens in the house, they're stealing it. Now, if you confront them, they will deny it as its human nature to do so.
Or they'll blame it on their friends. But there are two ways that you can handle this. You can lock it up so it never happens again and let it be or you can put a camera somewhere in the area if you really want to catch them doing it. One thing you should not do though is confront them, especially if you don't have proof. And I say this because you won't win the argument and it's not worth getting into an argument over something that you can't prove. So proving it is important to you, then you'll need to do something about it.
However, in my experience, it's better for the parent to lock up their liquor and not confront their child. With that being said, You'll then know to be an extra high alert. If they have friends spend the night check the Trash Room, two bottles of alcohol, other things to keep an eye out for in regards to symptoms of using alcohol or glossy eyes, loss of balance, slurred speech, when your kid watch them when they come home from friends houses, and if they go straight to their room or straight to the bathroom to brush their teeth, then that's a red flag. I always have this rule when my kids come home before doing anything, they come straight into the living room and they talk to me. They say hi, they tell me what they've been up to. And then off they go.
Start this habit before Any suspecting behavior, and then they won't feel like suddenly they're under the radar. It'll feel normal to them. Another thing about this approach is that if they know that they have to face you, when they're when they get home, and there's no way of getting around that it may deter them from from drinking or trying anything. I promise you that there are kids out there that would say, No, I can't. If I go home, and I'm drunk, my mom would kill me or my dad would be livid. Let that be your kid.
We talked earlier in this course, on how to approach the situation if they do come home drunk, but for this lecture, I want you to be aware on how to spot it early so that if it is something you can address, you can address it before it does become a major problem. So as far as marijuana goes, it's the same thing similar, right? You want to look at the eyes. If your kid has bloodshot eyes, that's a red flag. Notice things like if they're coming home with eyedrops to help them clear their eyes, if they're overly snacky. And I know this is a tricky one because all kids love to snack.
So if they do rate the fridge after school, it's not necessarily a sign of the being high. It's just important to watch out for abnormal snacking behavior. Another one to look out for is if they fall asleep at a non normal hour. So self disclosure, when I was 15, I took a hit from a bong at a friend's house. They were like, Oh, come on, just do it. You'll be fine.
One hit. Well, that one hit made me high as a kite. I remember going home and reading the snacks. My mom wasn't home at the time. But after I got done snacking, I went to my room and I fell asleep. I didn't wake up again until after dinner.
My mom checked on me and said I was passed out. Those were her words passed out. I just told her I was really tired. But looking back, what I can remember is That was abnormal for me. I didn't usually sleep after school and I had never been one to pass out or sleep heavy. That should have been a warning sign.
Again, not saying these are absolutes, but just thing to look for changes and behaviors, sudden drops in grades hanging out with different friends and so on. Now, there are other drugs obviously and things to look for like crystal meth. For example, you'd notice an unusual amount of energy no sleeping no eating changes in appearance. Similar with cocaine, or opioids, you'd notice a dazed or lazy look random nodding off lack of energies zoning out, because there are so many drugs out there. It's important to educate yourself on the different drugs and what they do. You can go to sites like drug abuse.gov and read up on the effects different drugs have, the more you know, the better.
Okay, so now that you know what to look for What are you gonna do about it if your kid does come home drunk or high? Well, we talked earlier about how not to approach the situation when they're drunk or high as it becomes ineffective to confront them head on, or counterproductive even when they are drunk and high. So no matter how hard it is, try to hold back and wait until the morning Unless, of course, you feel like your kid did too much. And then in that case, if you feel like they're an immediate dangerous, especially if they're incoherence, call 911. Remember, they can die from drugs or alcohol, so always be cognizant of that. But you don't want to address the consequences until you know that you can get their undivided attention.
Earlier, we talked about the five W's who, what, when, where, why, and also how so stick to that and revisit that lecture if needed. However, even the most involved parents can still get unlucky and have a kid who may struggle with an addiction. If you feel like you've exhausted all options and done and have done everything you can, it might be time to seek outside help. But I want to empower you first to really think about whether or not your child actually needs professional help. Or if this is more something that you can try. First, let me give you an example.
I had a client once who son was struggling with marijuana and alcohol, she felt like she had tried everything. We talked about all the main things that we've talked about here in this course communication, physical health, mental health and so on. We then talked about money, and she said that they weren't getting any money from her but his friends had no problem giving him money when needed. It turns out, he was selling weed, and was using that money to buy more weed and alcohol. So I asked her to Walk me through and what he does on the weekends. And she said that he will go out on Friday and Saturday nights and would just come home whenever usually way past curfew with excuses.
And then he'd fall asleep and sleep all day Sunday. I asked her what her consequences were for him when he was late for curfew. And she said she didn't have any because on one hand, she was thankful that he was just coming home. But on the other hand, he would just get really mad and angry when she would try to implement anything, so she was feeling completely lost. I then asked about the one thing that kids just can't go without, and that's their phone, and she said she wanted him to have the phone so that she could get ahold of him. Fair enough.
So here's the plan that we came up with together. And this is what she implemented. He misses curfew. One more time. He's grounded from his phone for a whole week. I know it's hard and the week will be Hell, but you have to implement these consequences or the behavior will continue.
So he missed curfew Saturday night, she took the phone away until Friday. The week was horrible as suspected. Every single day without his phone. He was moaning complaining, but that's okay. You have to think of the bigger picture here. Your adult child isn't going to hold anything against you.
Because you just took their phone away for a week. Okay, so they're gonna get over it. So come Friday, he was surprisingly on time for curfew. And that was a great start, but it certainly didn't address the drug and alcohol issue. Other than him not having a phone for a week to make deals, but it was a start. by her taking away the phone.
She was able to find out that he was dealing. She didn't know this until You know, she didn't know the extent of it really until she took the phone away. Okay. But she didn't address that in the moment. The curfew was step one. Okay.
So curfew is always gonna be step one. So step two, was him coming home drunk or high and having a consequence for that. Okay, so that happened once he came home drunk, and the consequence for that wasn't taking away the phone, but being grounded the follow the following weekend, okay. And she followed through. So now, eventually he started coming home on time because he didn't want to get his phone taken away. And he stopped coming home drunk or high because he didn't want to be grounded.
Okay, so step three, she did finally confront him about his dealing and lo and behold, while implementing even more things like signing him up for a winter ski trip, taking him out more than went to the movies, they went shopping The selling started to dwindle. People who buy weed don't want to buy from dealers who aren't available every second. And that's what she was able to accomplish. Okay, so he wasn't available to go make wheat deals because she was spending time with him. She was putting him in things like a ski trips, and they were at the movies so that he couldn't just get up and go make a deal. So, eventually his grades did start to improve and gradually their relationship started to be more open and honest.
The entire process though, it wasn't a quick fix. All this happened over about a span of a year. Okay, so the next year, which was his senior year, he started to focus on school and college. And to my knowledge, he's on track and ready to graduate this year. Okay. It's not easy.
It's messy. It's hard. And I'm telling you the story because I don't want you to feel like That you always have to go down that rehab train that you've done. You want to, we want to make sure that you've done everything in your power first. Okay, so when kids go to rehab, well, yes, that may be needed. It does expose them to other kids who also struggle with drugs and alcohol.
And oftentimes, they become friends after, and then they get caught up all over again. If you can solve the problem at home first, the outcome will be that much better. But with that being said, addiction is a very real thing and some kids do you need rehab. So let's talk about whether or not your child may need rehab and how to go about that.