Drug Addicition: Meth (cont.)
The traditional 30-day treatment and back out into the community appears to be doing nothing more than adding to the relapse rate. Meth addicts need a significant amount of support and more integration of services than other addicts to remain drug free.
Your description points out how addictive this substance is, how unlike it is to other drugs we've seen so far and how intensive the treatment is.
What I've not seen effective thus far with meth addicts in treatment is the traditional outpatient. Residential treatment appears to be the best and most effective for meth addicts.
The best advice I can give is to talk to your kids about not only substance abuse, but their life in general.
Be an "askable" parent; if they can ask you questions at 3, they'll ask you at 9, 15, and 20. If you're an unapproachable parent and are unable to talk about issues and feelings, it raises the risk level of your adolescent to drug use. Keep in mind one of the initial first statements made at the beginning of this by a person saying they used so they didn't have to feel. That is the cornerstone of all addiction -- they don't have to feel the use, or to change the way they feel. So, by talking to kids as a parent about how they feel and helping them process their feelings it discourages and makes them less likely to abuse substances.
That and many other variables contribute to kids not using. Such as families that eat together two to three times per week have significantly less problem with substance abuse. Families where fathers are involved, both emotionally and physically, have a significantly less rate of substance abuse. And so on.
The only way to avoid some of the addiction is through abstinence. The most important thing families can do is part of what they're doing today -- get more information, become aware of the issues that are out there, getting help for affected family members and not waiting for them to come to you to say I need help. It's a myth addicts have to ask for help to stop using. Families can push addicts to want to get help through enforcing negative consequences and not enabling addictive behaviors.
Lastly, not only become aware of what the drugs are, what they do and how to intervene, but also be aware of the resources that are in your community for help and utilize them, because this is certainly, as with all the other drugs out there, not a drug we can combat and beat alone.
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