Parents love their adult children and want the best for them. That’s why many parents are afraid to bring up the topic of drug abuse with their adult child. They don’t want to believe that their kid is abusing drugs and might not be ready to hear about it, or they worry that bringing it up may end the relationship.
Whatever your reasons are, you have to face the facts: Your adult child has a substance abuse problem. How can you tell? Well, there are lots of signs that point towards an opioid addiction, but before you read on, understand that this is an extremely sensitive subject. If you haven’t confronted your child yet about their drug habit, we recommend doing so sooner than later and with a trusted adviser such as a therapist or family member by your side for support. Here are some ways how you can tell if your adult child has an opioid addiction.
What is an opioid addiction?
An opioid addiction is a recurrent compulsion or obsession to use opioid drugs. Opioids are a class of drugs that include both prescription and illegal drugs like heroin, morphine, and fentanyl. Opioid abuse is a public health crisis and a growing epidemic, with an estimated 10.1 million people abusing opioids in 2019 alone. Opioid addiction can be treated with psychotherapy and medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, but unfortunately, opioid addiction is often under-recognized, undertreated, and misunderstood by the public.
How to recognize the signs of opiate abuse
If your child is abusing opiates, there are some classic signs that you can watch out for. Be aware of any sudden changes in your child’s behavior, sleeping patterns, and hygiene. If they are taking opiates on a regular basis, they will likely experience some weight loss, have less energy, and appear lethargic. They may have track marks or needle marks on their arms, legs or other parts of the body. They may have a heightened focus on getting money, or may go through a drastic change in their personality and become aggressive. They might have mood swings, or experience mood swings that are more extreme than normal. Additionally, if your child is taking opiates, you will likely notice that their finances are either strained or non-existent. Opiates are very expensive to buy on the street, and most people who have opioid addictions do not have the financial means to support their habit.
Confirm with a Drug Test
One of the most accurate ways to tell if your child has a substance abuse problem is to administer a drug test. By administering a drug test, you can confirm whether or not your child has an opioid addiction. The best way to do this is to get your child to sign a consent form for the test, and then have it administered in your home by a licensed professional. If you are forced to do it without their consent, you’ll have some explaining to do. By administering a drug test in your home, you can make the environment as stress-free as possible. After the test, get the results as quickly as possible so you know what you are dealing with.
Your child continues to use even after they have serious consequences
If your child has had multiple car accidents, lost their job, or has been admitted to the hospital, and they continue to use, this is a big sign that they have an opioid addiction. While the severity of the consequences your child faces due to their opioid use doesn’t matter, the fact that they continue to use even after they have had these consequences is a red flag. By this point, they should have been able to see their addiction for what it is. However, many addicts aren’t ready to face the truth until someone else points it out to them. If your child has lost their job and their car and has been admitted to the hospital for opioid use, but they still continue to use, this is a sign that your child needs help.
Feeling hopeless? Don’t be.
If you have noticed the signs of addiction in your child, don’t despair. You can still help your child get the help they need, even if they don’t want it. Parents, in particular, are often nervous to confront their child about their drug use because they are concerned that their child will get angry with them. If your child is addicted to opioids, they will not be happy with you confronting them. This is because they are likely in denial about their addiction and are likely doing whatever they can to hide it from you. However, their anger towards you is not a reflection of how much they love you. Instead, it is a sign that they are likely in deep denial. Your child may be frustrated with you because they know you are trying to help and are trying to confront them about the issue. They may be scared because they know the help and support that you are trying to give them is for the best.
Recovering from Opioid Addiction at Sober Living East
If you have gone through the above-mentioned signs and have concluded that your child is addicted to opioids, you will want to get them help as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you can’t just tell your child to go get help. They have to want to go themselves. If you find out that your child is addicted to opioids, you will want to keep an eye on them and their behavior. Try to get them to go to counseling with a professional therapist to at least talk about their issues. Sober living homes are ideal because they reduce the risk of relapse by providing a safe and trigger-free living environment.
Sober Living East is a perfect place for your child to get the help they need. Our staff members work diligently to ensure that residents get the services and resources they need. At the same time, our residents work daily to build new lives for themselves in sobriety so that they never have a reason to turn to opiates again. If you are ready to help your adult child who has an opioid addiction, contact our staff at Sober Living East today!