It is essential at this stage that you seek professional support. The DAISY service is funded by the Public Health Agency and offers a range of therapeutic interventions for young people ages 8-21 and also provides support for parents and other family members.
This is a very difficult time for your child and for others in the family who may be affected by the drug misuse. At this stage you must also consider how your young person’s substance misuse is impacting on yourself and other children in the home. Drug abuse doesn’t just affect the person who is using. Parents and other family members can experience anger, guilt, helplessness, betrayal, fear and isolation. Remember, you have to take care of yourself and other family members. There are support services available to support family member through this difficult time. Research also shows outcomes for your people improve when their family is behind them.
For more information about how drug and alcohol use impacts on families click here.
A parent’s natural response is often to ‘make’ their child get help, but he only person who can make the decision to stop taking drugs is the young person themselves. Nobody can force them to change their behaviour against their will. Most services will assess how motivated the young person is to change their behaviour when they start the treatment process. Drug treatment services are voluntary, meaning that they cannot force people to accept treatment. Young people can withdraw from treatment at any time.
If your young person does not want to get help or change their behaviour, you should seriously consider the impact that their behaviour is having on yourself and other family members. If you have tried everything in your power to help your child and to encourage him/her to seek help, you may have come to a stage when you are considering a ‘tough love’ approach, such as asking your son or daughter for move out. These can be very difficult decisions to make and we recommend you talk these issues over with someone who you trust and can rely on, or you could contact DAISY or other services to help you weigh up some of these difficult decisions.