5 Things You Can do When You Think Your Child is Using Drugs

Have you been concerned your child will start or already is using drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or others like prescription drugs? If you have, rubble edited for websiteyou’re not alone. Have you been confused about how to respond in such a situation? You’re not alone in that either. Here are five things you can do. Much of this information is from The Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention. You can find more helpful information on their website: www.talbotpartership.org

1. Be proactive. If you drink or use substances (including your prescription medication), lock them up. Or better yet, get them completely out of the house (except for your medication, of course).  Don’t assume that just because your teen is using one substance, he’s not open to getting high in a different way.

2. Be aware. Watch for a decline in school work or less involvement with youth activities, blood-shot eyes, changing their group of friends, having friends who use drugs (or look like they do), listening to certain types of music, withdrawing and spending a lot of time alone in their bedroom, losing interest in activities they previously enjoyed – a sport, playing an instrument, dance, etc.

3. Make time to talk with and listen to your child. If you think they’re behaving oddly and you’re worried about the possibility of drug use, tell them. Listen carefully to what they have to say. Communication is the key. It will help them open up and feel less on the spot if you can plan to do this while you’re doing an activity they enjoy together, even if it’s a project they’re helping you with (i.e. working on the car, doing a home fix-it job,  etc.) Be creative. It will make a difference.

4. Talk to a counselor. This is bigger than you can handle on your own. You need professional assistance from someone who knows more than you do – for yourself and for your son or daughter. Your child may not open up to you and probably won’t listen to you, but they may open up to and even listen to someone else. It’s worth a try.

5. Breathe and take action. If you discover they’re using drugs try not to freak out. While it feels like you’ve just been hit by a ton of bricks, you need to regain your equilibrium. Relax and take some deep breaths. Discuss what you’ve found with your spouse or a trusted friend and decide what action to take. A counselor offer help. Your response should include  immediate confiscation and disposal of the drug. If it’s alcohol pour it out. Find out if your community has a Drug Drop Box for the collection and disposal of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as vitamins and pet medicines. Call your local hospital to inquire about these.

A word about privacy – your child’s – if you find drugs in your home. Parents often wonder where to draw the line with privacy when a teen may be using substances. Remember, this is your home. Privacy is a privilege. If you suspect your teen is using substances, privacy goes out the window. They lost that privilege when they brought illegal drugs into the house. It’s your home, and it’s your right and responsibility to make sure illegal substances are not on your property, because you will be held responsible. Don’t ignore it or let it go.

I hope you find something helpful here. I know it’s hard. But you can be strong. You can do it.

This Scripture verse gives me courage: “Great is the Lord, and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit (he knows everything about everything and what to do in every situation).”  When you don’t know what to do, ask Him –  He will help you.

Remedy for A Parent’s Insanity

Insanity – “doing something the same way over and over again and expecting different results.” According to this, I must be insane. I’ve tried to distresscontrol, fix, and change my daughter many times but it doesn’t work. I simply can’t do it. Living with the pain and stress of having a child who abuses alcohol and drugs, engages in self-harm, struggles with mental illness and has suicidal tendencies can make you a little crazy. No matter how hard I try I get the same results. As desperate parents we often try to control things, believing our way is the right way for our child. Usually our way doesn’t work, yet we keep trying. Al-Anon says it’s insanity to live this way.

In AA and Al-Anon’s 12 Step Recovery Program, Step 3 says: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God . . .”  I made a decision to do this when I was a young adult. I relinquished control of my life to God. Now I must do the same with all other areas of my life, including with my difficult child.

When Father’s Day Hurts

Have you been dreading Father’s Day this year? Do you wish it would just go away? If your child is in rebellion, making destructive choices, estranged fromDSCN2313 you, or is suffering with a mental illness, then this is not a day you look forward to. It only elevates the pain and sadness you already feel. I posted a similar message to moms for Mother’s Day.This is for dad’s.

Dad, are you expecting to not hear from your child, much less get a card? They’re too self-focused and oblivious for that. They might not even know what day it is. They’re clueless. 

Where does that leave you? Set up for a lot of hurt and pain, anger and resentment.

Encouragement for Parents with Broken Hearts from Guest Blogger

Today I welcome guest blogger, Sandra Auer. She ‘s the mom of a former prodigal.  I believe you will gain invaluable wisdom and insights from her that will help you navigate on your difficult journey with your son or daughter.

why My husband and I raised our sons in Africa. The two older ones attended high school at a large missionary boarding school where we visited them several times each semester.

As he began his senior year, our oldest son was in a particularly rebellious phase. We had just returned from home leave. School authorities advised us to remove him from school and return to the States. We responded that this son was one member of our family of six. We would support them in whatever they had to do regarding his schooling but it was important for him to experience relevant consequences.

That summer, we had met with a Christian counselor who advised:

Where Does a Parent Go to Quit?

strengthAre you a mom or dad who is so frustrated, angry, and fed up with your son or daughter you wish you could quit being their parent? You don’t want the job any more. You want to runaway like they have, or have threatened to do. You want to wave a white flag, throw in the towel, and say “I give up!”  “I quit!”

I have. Some days were so hard with my daughter when she was struggling with addictions, cutting, and mental health issues I wanted to run away.

But we can’t quit . . . I suppose we could. Some parents have. You may know a few.

A Special Message to Paris Jackson’s Family

The media is reporting that Paris Jackson cut herself and made a suicide attempt last night. Cutting is a hot topic. Are you a parent who has experienced this? Have yourest been tormented wondering why in the world your child would want to hurt themselves? What do those suspicious cuts or burn marks on their arms mean? Why do they keep punching things, injuring their hands? What is this really about?

Did it throw you into a panic? It did me. I had never heard of cutting before (also called self-injury or self-mutilation) and had no idea what it meant, much less what to do to help my daughter. Today’s headlines stated that Paris cut herself with a meat clever and may have taken a handful of over the counter pain pills after having an argument with her family. The family said, “No, you can’t go to the Marilyn Manson concert.” She flew into a rage, ran into her bedroom, slammed the door and the rest is history. Sound familiar? It does to me. I’ve been there – and it’s an awful place to be. So frightening and alarming. Words fail to describe the experience.

My heart goes out to Paris and her family. Cutting is becoming more and more common today but is still very scary for parents. Did you know the late Princess Diana was a cutter? Reasons behind why people hurt themselves are profoundly complex and largely misunderstood. The link below is to an excellent article that helps parents understand. If I could sit down with Paris’ family members I would share it with them along with these things:

1. Learn all you can about self-injury. Ignorance only causes more fear and reactions that aren’t helpful. For example, it’s impossible to hide every sharp object in your home.

2. Join a support group for the encouragement and comfort of  knowing you are not alone.

3. Be available to listen without judgement – encourage her to talk and be open with her feelings; let her know you care, even when you have to say “No”.

4. Find a way to connect with her heart – do things with her she enjoys (even if you don’t); spend time together having fun – teens open up much more easily when engaged in an enjoyable activity.

5. Seek professional help – counseling and sometimes residential treatment is needed; parents tend to drag their feet to pursue this, not wanting to admit something is wrong with their child.

6. Hold on to Hope – it may be a long journey, inner healing may be slow to come, but there is plenty of help for Paris and the thousands who suffer just like she is.

HopeHold On Pain Ends!


Books – Cut and Beyond Cut by Nancy Alcorn, founder of Mercy Ministries

A more in depth book  – A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong

SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends)  Residential programs for teens and adults. Website has many resources, including articles, webinars and blogs .

SAFE’s Toll free hotline 1-800-DONT CUT

Non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms.  They exist to encouragement, inform, inspire hope and invest directly into treatment and recovery for self-injury, depression, addiction and suicide. Their Facebook page has over one million likes. It all began with my daughter, Renee’s, story.for website

Please join me in praying for Paris, that she will accept help and overcome these challenges. There is Hope. Healing is real. Maybe one day she can have her photo taken holding a sign like the girl above.

This Bible verse is for all self-injurers:

“He (God) heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  (Psalms 147:3)

Click on the link below to read the article: Helping Parents Understand Cutting.


Inspiration for Parents with Broken Hearts

Are you a mom or dad who has had your heart crushed by your child’s choices and behaviors? Have you wondered if your sacrifices made any difference? Encouraging Words Have you felt taken advantage of, mistreated, rejected or wounded? Has this left you feeling emotionally paralyzed at times – disheartened? 
If this describes you, then I urge you to make the time to watch this video. It moved my heart in a powerful way. I think it will surprise you. Two sisters made it to honor their mom on Mother’s Day, but their message can be for dads, too. Another struggling parent shared it with me. I don’t watch many videos posted on youtube, but I’m so glad I watched this one. If you watch it, I think you’ll agree.

When a Parent Needs Hope and Prayer

Are you a parent in need of hope? Are you close to giving up on your child? Tonight I’m letting you know about two free eBooks from Judy raised armsDouglass (wife of the president of Cru – formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) and informing you about the Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals which is today, Sunday, June 2nd. This is an annual event in which people will  pray throughout the day – on their own or in groups –  for our loved ones who are walking away from God. The following link to my friend, Sus’ blog which explains more.


This year’s theme is Time. This Scripture verse reminds us that God does all things in His timing:

“I am the Lord. In its time I will do this swiftly.”  Isaiah 60:22b

Judy is a friend of mine whose heart beats for brokenhearted parents. Her eBooks were written for weary parents of prodigal children but the content will bless anyone. Get your copy today and feel free to share them with your friends.