Monday, November 7, 2011


As a parent, I think chemical addiction is one of the more painful issues we have to deal with frequently.  Many of our kids have mental health issues which lead to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.  Even if they have been using medications from a psychiatrist, they often turn to self-medicating.  This is a cycle we had hoped to break as foster/adoptive parents.  Sometimes we have been successful.  We have also experienced the ugly side of chemical dependency.

Most of the time our "high" kids hide from us.  They do not come home until mostly sober.  Then they try to hide their high by immediately going to bed.  If they are high at home, their behaviors are often violent.  Unfortunately, we tease that 911 is on speed dial at our house.  Thankfully, we have had very rare occasions to call in a kid that is violently high.  Actually, we've only had one arrest in all of our years of parenting.

We really try to ignore them when high.  We allow them to crash.  We do not confront.  We do not argue.  It will not help anything, so why stress ourselves.

More often they simply do not come home.  They steal from us to buy their drug of choice.

When the kid is sober and capable of listening, we talk.  We don't talk a lot though.  We truly have never had a kid use just to experiment or have fun with others.  Yes, they join in when the drugs are available.  No, they are not just having fun.  They truly all have a mental health issue which drives the use.  It could just simply be living in foster care.  More often than that, their families use, and it is the norm.  Or they are close to adulthood and have no clue what to do with themselves.  Many have very severe mental health issues that they try to "get rid of" by using.

We are always on the look out for new drugs.  It is very difficult to stay ahead of the synthetics.  They are so easy to get and do not show up in UAs.  Seems our kids use alcohol way less than marijuana.  Almost all prefer marijuana.  It calms the ADHD in some.  It helps them focus.  At least that's what we are told.

Another day I will write about treatment and AA and NA.

Today, I mourn for my addicts.  It is difficult to see them struggle in so many ways with no homes, jobs or ability to function responsibly in society.  Some are in recovery.  Most are on the brink of relapse at all times.

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