by Laraine Stumpf
At first, I did not give it much thought until the grades were declining and a “new” group of friends were coming and going. The person in this scenario was my son, the youngest of three children; however, my daughters could not pass anything over on me. Thinking back, I thought I knew all the sneaky moves that work on parents because I myself have done them all. Still, the free time, slipping grades, and now arriving after curfew coupled with his friends meeting me at my request with a friendly, “nice to meet you mamma” always got the best of me. We as parents do not want to believe that our kids are getting into trouble. It is important that parents keep an open line of communication—this is where as parent we slip and fall.
The changes in my son’s behavior gave me reasons to search his bedroom when he was away. I was utterly shocked and disappointed to discover foils that has been burned on the bottom, spoons, and a bong. I would certainly have a frank discussion with him, and grounding never was successful because his addiction transformed his personality into a “I don’t care about a damn thing” attitude.
When my son was in Arizona for rehabilitation and before he returned home, I found syringes, heroin, pills, and Q-Tips. This begs the question, is this action an invasion of privacy? You decide. If I had not inspected and looked around in his bedroom, he would have returned from rehabilitation and his stash would be missing, he more than likely would assume that his drugs and drug paraphernalia would be in the spot where he concealed them, right? Wrong. I flushed it all down the toilet and carefully disposed of the syringes. Thankfully, I am quite certain that he did not look for his drug inventory! The take away from what I described is that without snooping, it could have cost him his life.
Drug use, evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia heighten your senses. Be vigilant and inspect the house thoroughly: look inside socks, pants pockets, shoes, and boots. Most importantly, exercise caution because you could be poked by a syringe. Confiscate anything you see, especially items that look suspicious and test the waters to determine if your son or daughter seems to be looking for something that has gone missing. If you observe this behavior and you notice something is not right, there is a strong probability that something covert and questionable is happening.
As parents we always want to trust, and I wish I was able to do so. Recovery in general is a process, and this is true of my son. He lives on his own, pays his own bills, and takes care of a dog. Keep in mind during the recovery process, baby steps need to be taken as too much responsibility at one time can lead to a relapse. Start with the basics, your son or daughter needs time to reprogram their brain and get back into the normal mainstream of life. Recognize them when they are doing well and provide positive reinforcement whenever possible. Above all, emphasize and give your unconditional love and support.
I love my son to death and no matter what challenges, hardships or victories he faces in life, he can always count on me to help if needed.
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