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Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Are you Technically Literate?

Computers and cell phones are the two primary ways that teens share the most private parts of their lives. If you are a parent who suspects that your child is abusing drugs or alcohol, the quickest way to find out is to learn as much as you can about your teen’s social networking devices and monitor their activity on a regular basis. Being a technically literate parent will help you to pickup substance abuse red flags.

The number of teenagers who carry a wireless device has increased by 40% in the last six years according to a national survey from CTIA and Harris Interactive. The survey goes on to say that 47% of teens feel their social life would end or be not nearly as good without their cell phone.

“My Space” and “Facebook” have been called a “year book on-line.” It has become a “tell all” for teens through their social networking comments and images. This year 48% of Americans ages 12 and older have profiles on one or more social networking websites, according to a national survey from Arbitron and Edison Research.

If you are a parent paying the bills for cell phones and internet usage, you reserve the right to enforce strict guidelines. Make sure your parenting toolbox includes monitoring your kid’s use of them, so you do not miss substance abuse red flags. This is not rocket science…it is simply good parenting.

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

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Taking a Leap of Faith

Issac Watts once said , “hope thinks nothing is difficult; despair tells us that difficulty is insurmountable.” Hope is hard to find for parents who are living with the difficulty of teenage substance abuse. As my son battled between recovery and relapse, my emotions bounced like a yo-yo between hope and despair. Somewhere in the abyss of his drug and alcohol abuse, I needed to find hope.

I took my first steps towards spiritual surrender and hope when I realized that my faith needed to be an action rather than an option. Giving this crisis to God was a process that I didn’t learn overnight. There were some things about surrender that I needed to understand before I could successfully begin my journey. Here is what I learned:

  • Everyone struggles with surrendering…I am not alone.
  • We can’t surrender when we are in denial.
  • Surrender requires a personal relationship with God.
  • Surrender requires patience and trust in God’s timing…not our own.
  • When we are living a spiritually surrendered life, we are living a life that God can truly bless.

Once I had accepted these five basic principles, I was ready to take a giant leap of faith and begin my journey into this uncharted territory that promised hope.

Have you ever noticed how the flight attendant always instructs the parent to put the oxygen mask on themselves first before strapping it on their child? We can’t be of help to our children until we are parents with hope, equipped with the parenting tools to help them stay healthy and strong.

Join me next time when we take another step forward together and look at the roadblocks that prevent us from surrendering. If you are starring despair in the face, this will be a step of faith in the right direction.

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

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Drug Addiction Hope

All of my blogs have been devoted to giving drug addiction help but there is another aspect of this complicated issue called drug addiction hope. It is imperative that parents never loose hope when their teens are abusing drugs. But what happens when hope is gone? How do you find hope when your family is falling apart? The answer is found in a power much greater than ourselves.

Step three in The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous tells us that in order for our circumstances to improve, we must “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.” This applies to the family of substance abusers as well as the abuser himself. I can attest to the fact that this step works if you apply it but it requires willingness and action.

I am a Christian so my understanding of God is through Jesus Christ. But even with Christ on my side, I didn’t find hope until I had stubbornly exhausted everything else. My self-sufficiency was the driving force behind my need to try and fix and control my son’s drug and alcohol abuse. When I finally hit my rock bottom, I realized that I could not improve my circumstances by myself. I needed help. “When God is all you have …God is all you need.” I had heard this expression before, but now I understood exactly what it meant.

Have you lost all hope? Are you drowning in frustration, resentfulness, and self-pity because your teen is using drugs? There is drug addiction hope when we completely surrender our circumstances to God. Join me next week when I show you how this worked for me!

For information on this author and her award-winning book Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Hope and Help, please visit www.mitzirudderow.com.

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There is No Magic Formula

I always look forward to my blog comments. A recent reply has caused me to consider a new thought. Even when parents are married, parenting together, and doing everything right, their teens may still manage to fall into the trap of drug and alcohol abuse.

Case in point: Last week a mom shared with me that her son, who is an athlete, a leader in his school, and never had given his parents any trouble, recently came clean by confessing. He confessed to multiple drinking episodes over the course of several months. “We have done everything right” she explained “he has had the earliest curfew of any kid in the school, we have been diligent in setting rules and enforcing consequences.” Despite following all the right parenting tools, her son still had turned to alcohol abuse.

In my own experience (which did not include doing everything right), I finally had to hope and pray. What I found is that hope comes when I pray. But, if I was going to pray and ask God for help, I had to get out of his way and let go. This was difficult because it involved surrendering to God my most precious gift I have ever received in my life – my son.

In my next blog, I’m going to look closer at spiritual surrender but in the meantime…if you are using all the tools in your parenting toolbox, keeping plugging. If you teen still manages to fall through the cracks, chances are they won’t fall as far as they normally would because you are doing the right things. Keep hoping and praying. I know for a fact it works!

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

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The Big Black Hole

The first time I had ever heard the clinical term, “Big Black Hole”, was at a parent education class about drugs and substance abuse. This hole was described as a place deep inside where emotional pain is “stuffed.” When the pain becomes too great, substance abusers anesthetize it with alcohol and drugs so they don’t have to feel. The question I kept asking myself was “What could a teenager have to “stuff” that was so terrible, they had to consume drugs and alcohol to make it go away?” The answer was surprising.

Some teens experiment with drugs and alcohol out of peer pressure because they want to fit in. Then there are those, like my son, who are suppressing both conscious and subconscious emotional pain. In his case, adoption and divorce were the two contributors to his empty vacuum. Coupled with his genetic pre-disposition to the disease of addiction, he had all the makings of a perfect storm.

Miller’s congenial nature masked over the abandonment feeling he had from his adoption and there was obvious emotional pain from my divorce when he was only six years old. I was so naive and consumed with surviving as a single mom, my son managed to numb his pain with alcohol and drugs without me even knowing.

What is the pulse of your household? Is there an issue that could cause your teen to be filling a big black hole with emotional pain. It may not be adoption or divorce. It might involve something else such as abuse, depression or low self-esteem.

No matter what your family environment looks like, take constant inventory of your teenagers emotions. Don’t hesitate to seek professional counseling if you don’t like what you find. This is the most pro-active tool in your parenting toolbox.

This blog brought to you by the Eric Hoffer Award winning author of Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope, Mitzi Rudderow.

www.MitziRudderow.com.

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A Disease of the Brain

One of the most misunderstood hman behaviors is addiction. In 1956, the American Medical Association recognized alcoholism as an official disease. Addiction is a progressive disease with no known or guaranteed cure, affecting all ages, races, socio-economic groups and religions. People have genetic predispositions to the disease, just like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

A common misconception is that teenage substance abuse can be avoided if parents are loving, stable and not permissive. Teenage substance abuse can occur in the most loving, stable, best intentioned environments. If addiction appears anywhere in the gene pool, there is an increased chance that substance abuse can become an issue. All it can take is that first drink or first drug and the addiction genes are set into motion.

My son was diagnosed with this genetic pre-disposition, and because he was adopted and I was unaware of his genetic history, I was clueless that this could be the reasons for his behaviors. My heart aches when I think back on the times that I had judged him so harshly, not realizing that his brain andd body chemistry was the reason for his behaviors. Never once did I think that our brain and body chemistries were different.

I personally believe that there is no perfect formula to ensure a substance free family. But, being aware and informed can make a huge difference in how critical this crisis becomes for you. There may not be a foolproof cure for addiction but there is always help and hope. My son and I are living proof.

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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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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Coming Clean and Becoming Aware

Lethargic behavior, angry mood swings, excessive time alone, inability to sleep at night, and difficulty in getting out of bed in the morning. These are all major red flags of substance abuse and recognizing these signs can help parents know if they need to seek help for their troubled teen. Let’s take a brief look at each one:

 

  • Angry mood swings – this is recognized by extreme outbursts that can end in violence unlike the “temper tantrums” that are birthed from normal adolescent drama.
  • Excessive time alone – on those rare occasions when my son was at home, he isolated himself in his room playing video games or watching TV. I later learned that he was actually high on drugs or using them in his room. Isolation is often times the only option for a drug user.
  • Unable to sleep at night – a teen who consistently doesn’t sleep is more often than not artificially stimulated. Many drugs are stimulants and speed up the central nervous system, causing increased heart rate and blood pressure.Hard to get up in the morning – drugs taken the night before can wear off in the early morning hours causing someone to “crash” leaving them almost incoherent and impossible to wake up.

Parents, have you noticed any of these red flags in your teen? If you are living in denial, come clean now and make it your business to know what these signs could mean. It might save a life!

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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Change in Friends

One of the quickest ways to recognize teenage substance abuse is a dramatic change in your teen’s friends. Parents need to always be aware of this red flag. If you look up one day and suddenly realize that all the faces and names of your teens friends are new, I recommend that you be a quiet observer and take note. This could be a sign that your teen is participating in some risky behaviors that more often than not result in experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

Parents, keep a watchful eye on the company your teen keeps. Observe their behaviors and heighten your awareness for a change in their attitude. If your teen suddenly transforms into someone you don’t know anymore, take action immediately. You are looking at a red flag. It is your right and responsibility to reject any friend that you sense is a bad influence.

The need to be accepted is the most common reason why adolescents suddenly switch gears and run with a different crowd. Usually when the old faithful friends of the past disappear that is a sure indicator that your teen is being negatively influenced and heading down a dangerous road. They cave to peer-pressure and are willing to do anything to fit in.

Looking back on my own experience as a parent, I did not understand the long term consequences when my son made a dramatic change in friendships. I needed to be a pro-active parent who was aware of this red flag but instead, I was a mother who didn’t pay attention and missed this critical indicator of substance abuse. I am willingly share my mistake so that other parents won’t travel as far down that dangerous road with their teen as I did with mine.

 This blog brought to you by the award-winning author www.mitzirudderow.com.

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What a Difference Surrender Makes

I believe that spiritual surrender is one of the most important principles in a parenting toolbox that a parent can use. It requires us to first overcome our denial, and trust in a God that we can not see. Once we have surrendered, it takes discipline and practice so that we do not lapse back into our ways of trying to be in control.

When I handed God my life and asked him to take over, I positioned myself to receive all that things that he wanted to give. Suddenly my worries were fewer and my stress level was reduced. The more I surrendered myself, the more dependent I was on God to exercise his will. I had finally concluded his will was much better than mine.

My life is noticably different today because I made the decision to let go. My 21 year old son is drug free, thriving in a career that he loves. He is the father of an 18 month old son that if I do say so myself, is the cutest toddler on earth! Today, my son is taking full responsibility for his life and the life of his family. He has goals and dreams and he has purpose.

Someone once said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. If you want to make him smile, ask him for his. Today he and I are both smiling at this picture of genuine surrender. It can make a real difference when you try it. When we are living a totally surrendered life, we are living a life that God can bless.

This blog brought to you by www.mitzirudderow.com and the Eric Hoffer award winning book

“Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Help and Hope.

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