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Posts Tagged ‘teens and drug abuse’

What a Difference Surrender Makes

I believe that spiritual surrender is one of the most important tools in a parenting tool box but as we have learned, it is not an easy tool to use. Surrender takes discipline and practice, requiring us to recognize our denial and trust in a God we cannot physically see. When we use this tool effectively and choose to live a totally surrendered life, we are living a life that God can bless.
 
When I handed God my son and all the issues regarding his substance abuse, I put both of us in a position to receive the blessings that God wanted to give. Suddenly my stress level was lower because my worries were fewer. The more I surrendered the more dependent I was on God and I came to realize that God’s will was far better than mine.
 
My life is noticeably different today because I made the conscious decision to get out of God’s way and give him my only child. My son’s life is different as well. At the age of 23, he is married and the father of two, thriving in a career that he loves. Today my son and his wife are taking full responsibility for their individual lives and the life of their family…..one day at a time. They have goals and dreams and they have purpose together.
 
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.” My decision to let God take over the care of the greatest gift he has ever given me is definitely making him smile and blessing our whole family.
 
This blog brought to you by the awarding-winning author of Coming Clean: Drug Addiction Hope and Help. www.mitzirudderow.com.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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