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Posts Tagged ‘courage in facing substance abuse’

Pro-Active Packing

Parents, when you go out of town without your teens, are you leaving your home vulnerable for parties that provide opportunities for underage alcohol consumption and illegal drug use?

I was in my deepest level of denial the weekend I attended an out of town wedding. It never occurred to me that my son would take advantage of my absence and violate my trust by using our home as the gathering place for all his friends. When I returned home earlier than expected, I discovered in my kitchen a quart of vodka that had been partially consumed. This incriminating evidence snapped me out of my denial and left no question that teenagers had been partying in my home. Later, my son came clean and confessed that he had used our home for a place to abuse drugs and alcohol while I was away.

Here are some ways that you can prevent this risky behavior from happening to you.

  • Make responsible arrangements for your child to stay in a home that enforces the same rules as yours when you leave town.
  • Collect and keep the copy of your teen’s house key while you are away.
  • Change the code on your alarm system while you are gone.
  • Ask your local police to make periodic drive-bys until you return.
  • Prior to your trip, tell your teenager that the house will be patrolled.

No matter what takes you out of town, make these pro-active parenting tools a part of your plan so you don’t return to a disaster. Parents, you can potentially be held liable for accidents that occur as a result of underage drinking in your home!

Your time away will be better spent, if you know your teen has supervision while you are away and you have taken precautions against teenage parties occurring in your home.

This blog brought to you by award winning author www.mitzirudderow.com and her book Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope.

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Crime and Punishment

Do you know whether your teen has been sending sexually charged messages or nude/partially nude photographs via text messaging or through social networking sites? This is the latest teenage craze. Parents, you need to know the legal ramifications of engaging in this unhealthy and risky behavior so you can talk with your kids.

If your teen is caught taking cell phone photographs that are sexual in nature, they can be charged with Production of Child Pornography. The punishment on a state and federal level in all 50 states is jail time along with having to register as a Sex Offender for up to 25 years. Pretty stiff penalty and long lasting consequences, don’t you think? The State of Pennsylvania thinks so! They have proposed a new bill that will make sexting a second degree misdemeanor.

Sexting can also effect whether or not your teen gets accepted into school, gets a job, or finds a place to live. Don’t allow this electronic device to be used as a game changer in your child’s future. Know your states laws, be pro-active and take the law into your own hands by monitoring your teen’s usage, before you are forced to play by the rules of the courts.

This blog brought to you by the Eric Hoffer Award winning author  www.mitzirudderow.com and her award winning book “Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope.”

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Getting Over Our Roadblocks

Trust involves letting go and knowing that God will catch you.” ~ James Dobson

James Dobson’s statement makes something I found so difficult, sound so easy. It was not until I had exhausted every option, could I successfully surrender my son’s addiction to God. The effects of my denial were causing me to rationalize, control, doubt and fear. The more I tried to manipulate my circumstances, the worse they got. I fought God for control, convincing myself that I couldn’t trust in someone I could not physically see…especially when his ways were not mine.

There were two giant roadblocks in my path that needed to be removed before I could successfully surrender my son’s addiction to God. They were denial and lack of trust. I needed to learn to trust in God and his ability to catch me as I fell. Once these two roadblocks were removed, and I realized that I didn’t have the strength to fix the problem alone, the beginnings of hope for my son’s addiction recovery began to appear.

One of the most notable verses about faith in the Bible is found in Hebrews ll:l. “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” What does your faith look like today? If you are a parent struggling with a teenager abusing drugs, you may be sure of what you hope for, but not 100% certain of what you do not see. God can remove the roadblocks on your path if you put your faith into action and choose to take the journey with him.

This blog brought to you by www.mitzirudderow.com, the Eric Hoffer award-winning author of Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Hope and Help.

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Call ‘Em Up and Call ‘Em Out

Last week, I shared my perspective on parents who serve alcohol to their teens and their friends. I have received so many great responses to this aspect of parents enabling kids, I am going to continue the conversation from another angle. Has your teen been served alcohol in someone else’s home? If so, was it a parent who served them? Did you pick up the phone, call ‘em up and call ‘em out?

I recently had a conversation with a parent on this very issue. The mother exclaimed “my daughter would have been horrified if I had called and told them how I really felt.” It takes courage to make that call to other parents to express disapproval of serving alcohol to underage kids – especially if the other parents are good friends. But failing to do so, becomes a sign of denial. Unfortunately, it is so much easier to avoid conflict than risk our teens feelings or loss of a friend. But, last time I checked, being a parent is not a popularity contest, and if you really come clean about that friendship, it probably wasn’t that great to begin with.

If we want to see teenage substance abuse subside, parents need to take a stand and make their opinions known. Good parenting is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job. Each stage is challenging enough, but the teenage years are equivalent to all the high school and college advance placement courses combined. Teenagers stretch and test us in areas we didn’t know existed until we are abruptly confronted with a new situation.

If the truth were known, the parent who is gently reprimanded for their inappropriate behavior of serving alcohol to minors will respect you more in the end. So will your teen, in time. Do you have the courage to step up and make positive role modeling the highest priority in your life? Or will you pay any price for the peace that comes through silence?

This blog brought to you by “Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope” . For more information on the award winning author of this book, visit www.MitziRudderow.com.

 

 

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Perception is Reality

Perception is a funny thing, there is no right or wrong. To each of us, what we perceive is true, and is for the most part, gained from personal experience. My parenting perspective changed dramatically when I experienced teenage substance abuse. It arrived with the force of a tsunami, almost destroying an entire family.

This issue has multiple layers and I want to examine all of them so that perhaps a parent will not go as far down the road into the ravages of drug addiction as I did with my teen. There is alot of ground to cover, and the good news is…this blogsite will provide a forum for covering it.

A blog reader commented that substance abuse begins in the home. The reader suggested that if a child is brought up in a loving, nurturing environment with parents who are united, then perhaps this issue can be avoided. In the weeks to come, let’s take a closer look into this perspective and much more.

Does family dynamic and environment really matter? Is substance abuse more common in homes where the parents are divorced? Are there certain factors than can contribute to teenage substance abuse? Is addiction a disease or is it just a bad habit that can be broken with willpower and discipline? Does teenage substance abuse come with any warning signs?

These are just a few of the many questions that I will attempt to answer from my personal perspective, as a Mom who lived it. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. What is your perception of the questions posed above, as it relates to your experience or the perception of someone you know? Inquiring minds want to know…so do parents in crisis!

This blog brought to you by www.mitzirudderow.com and her award winning book “Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope.”

 

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Addicted to Spiritual Surrender

There is no time like the present to ponder how we survive the painful episodes in our lives, especially when it involves our children and parenting. Has a good dose of strong will and determination gotten you through the difficulties of living with a teen addicted to drugs? Or has your strength come from somewhere else? We have two choices. We can travel that tunnel alone or we can surrender and ask God to help us, and guide us, through the difficulties of living with drug addiction.

I was raised in a Christian home and I knew that God loved me. After loosing three babies, in the final trimester of each pregnancy, I began to question God’s love. It became apparent that for me, adoption would be my answer to becoming a Mom. The happiest moment of my life came when the adoption agency called to tell us our baby boy had arrived.

From the moment I became a Mom, the self sufficiency that God endowed me with was the only thing I relied on when it came to parenting. It never occurred to me to rely on anything else. It was not until my son was in the middle school years that I finally turned to God for help in parenting. Because I had not recognized all the red flags of substance abuse and had not come clean with myself regarding my son’s involvement with drugs, our lives were spiraling out of control. My emotional exhaustion forced me to seek help outside of myself. I finally surrendered myself and my child, and put my trust in God to help me find the strength I needed in my darkest moments. It was then that I became addicted to spiritual surrender and experienced the hope and joy that surrendering can bring.

If life places you in a dark tunnel, remember there is light at the end… but you have to keep walking to find it. You need not make this journey alone. Instead, call on the guide who knows the best way and surrender your steps to him. Your life will be transformed when you do.

This blog brought to  you by the award winning author www.mitzirudderow.com and her book  “Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope.”

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Never Say Never

I would see teens out on the street, in cars, in stores, hanging around places where they ought not to be, looking as if they had been making some bad choices in their lives. I used to think “my son will never make poor choices, and thank goodness he doesn’t mess around with drugs and alcohol. Drug addiction will never be an issue with my child.”

Before I had even fully come to terms with what I would face, I found myself attending a family weekend at a substance abuse rehab where my teenage son was a patient. Suddenly, I was living the harsh reality of addiction and had to admit that I was wrong! My denial of my son’s activities hit me head on, as I sat in the substance abuse rehab center. My son was addicted! No longer could I deny that my son had made some bad choices too!

Last week, on the Dr. Phil Show, the topic of the prescription drug crisis was addressed. From high schools to Hollywood, prescription drugs are killing our youth. One in five teens has used prescription drugs, strictly for the purpose of getting high! The most shocking truth of all is that teens are getting the drugs from their parent’s drug cabinet, from the internet and from doctors who are freely prescribing them! One teen interviewed on the show came clean about her reason for abusing prescription drugs. She said “you don’t have to have a cute figure or great hair, just take a pill and you fit in.” Not only are teens taking these prescription drugs for the wrong reasons, they are selling prescription drugs they have taken from their parent’s medicine cabinet at school and on the streets!

Parents, lock your medicine cabinet! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you child has been issued a prescription drug from your family doctor, administer the dosage to your child yourself. Don’t let that bottle out of your sight. No parent deliberately sets out to be their teen’s drug dealer, but neglecting this simple parenting tool can make you as guilty as any dealer on the street.

My prescription is to be pro-active when it comes to raising a teen and NEVER SAY NEVER! Drug addiction can be as close as your family’s medicine cabinet.

This blog brought to you by the award winning author www.mitzirudderow.com and her award winning book Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope.

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Tough Love….How Tough?

One of the toughest things I have ever had to do in my life was to ask my 17 year old son to pack his bag and leave our home. After many chances and attempts, he could not or would not come clean and continued to use drugs. I was at the end of my rope with nowhere else to turn and the only option left was to impose the toughest level of tough love a parent can dish out – asking my son to leave!

If you do the right things to begin with, such as setting rules and boundaries and ENFORCING the consequences, this may be the toughest love you will ever have to impose. Actions of tougher love may not be necessary at all. One of the most fundamental parenting tools for families is setting limits and enforcing expectations.

I talk to frantic parents all the time who fear that their teen is abusing drugs and alcohol. In almost every case, the root of the problem lies with the parent’s inability to enforce consequences. Why do families find it so difficult to use tough love and enforce consequences? Cars and cell phones aren’t taken away, money continues to exchange hands, and “giving in” seems to be the easier route in order to just keep the peace.

A parent who follows through with consequences sends a clear message that the adult is in control. By not following through with tough love, it enables and hands control to your teen, every time.

Parent’s lets all come clean together. The importance of tough love can not be understated when dealing with substance abuse with your teen. Do not back yourself into a corner like I did. Let your teen know who is boss and don’t try to be their friend. They’ll respect and love you more when you set boundaries and stick to them.

This blog brought to you by www.mitzirudderow.com. The award-winning author of “Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope.”

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Denial or Aware….Where are You?

How many parents know what their teenager was really doing last weekend? Did your child really come clean with you about what they are doing or where they were going? Most likely, your teen told you about what they were doing or where they were going and you took it for face value and chose not to question it. Do you have your suspicions that perhaps your teen was not coming clean with you about what was really going on in his or her world?

I ran across a Washington Post article that was written back in 2006. The article reported the results of a survey on a teen’s attitudes and parent awareness. It revealed that a third of American teens have gone to parties where the parents were at home and alcohol and drugs were being used. The parents in these homes were not even coming clean with themselves as to what was going on in their own house! They were clueless. The survey quoted that only 12% of parents saw drugs and alcohol as a problem for their children. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of them felt that social pressure was the biggest concern. Now go figure! Do I see some denial going on here? I see parents and kids clearly not coming clean about an issue that so many teens struggle with. If this survey was taken four years ago…I can only imagine how staggering the statistics are today.

It is so much easier to stay in denial and think that teenage substance abuse will never come knocking on your door. I know that was my attitude and it was a mistake. If you are wondering about whether you are facing denial issues or whether your teen is not being truthful and coming clean with you about their activities, my advice to you would be – never assume, never avoid, never deny, always be aware! Drugs and alcohol know no boundaries. They are all around our kids.

Where are you right now? Are you coming clean with yourself? Are your kids coming clean with you?

This blog brought to you by www.MitziRudderow.com and “Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope.”

 

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Unmistakeable Red Flags

A red flag that I could not ignore was my son’s drop in attendance when he was in high school. It was what convinced me that my son was experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Being absent, skipping classes and a drop in grades are all unmistakable red flags of substance abuse. This is a parenting tip that every pro-active parent needs to know.

A drop in grades alone is not necessarily a warning sign of teenage substance abuse. But, if you do begin to receive progress reports indicating that your teen is failing a course, seek immediate help from the teacher or the school counselor. Early intervention could be all that is needed to get your child back on track.

Does your child’s school alert you when there is an unexcused absence? This might be something you want to find out. By law, all schools must take attendance and most of them alert parents when their child is not in class.

Calls from the attendance office became a routine occurrence in our home and was the concrete evidence I needed to confront my son with my suspicions of his substance abuse. I was a parent in denial but I could not ignore these two red flags when they appeared together. The most valuable tools in my parenting toolbox were the relationships I formed with the attendance office and social counselor at school. They helped me unveil the ugly truth about my son’s substance abuse and showed me where to seek help.

This blog brought to you by the Eric Hoffer Award Winning author of  “Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope” and www.mitzirudderow.com.

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