I have been working with people addicted to OxyContin and their parents for some time now. I have some wisdom through experience I'd like to share with the community.
Secure your home. Know who and what comes in, what goes on inside your home and what leaves your home. Many parents have been surprised to find people have been using drugs in their home and were shocked to find that thousands of dollars were stolen. If your kid brings someone home and you don't know them, ask them who they are. If you find odd bits of aluminum foil around or smudge marks that look like soot, or broken pens that could be used as straws - ask questions. If money and valuables are missing - ask questions. After all, it is your home.
Don't keep secrets. Addiction is built on secrecy. Not only the addicts themselves, but those around them often feel compelled to keep secrets. It is OK to speak the truth to grandparents, aunts, uncles, coaches, neighbors, pastors or teachers. Keeping secrets about drug addiction usually leads to a feeling of being held hostage in your own home. There's a relief in speaking the truth.
Build support. If you try to deal with their addiction by yourself, you're going to lose every time. The more support you can build, the greater chance you will be able to bring about meaningful change in your loved one's life. Churches, schools, workplace, AA, NA, treatment centers, counselors, neighbors, coaches, friends, and even your spouse and kids, can be very valuable support.
Deal with stress. One thing I find common among all Oxy users I work with is a very poor ability to calm themselves down without drugs. (Actually, that goes for our entire culture.) How do people calm themselves down without Oxy, pot, alcohol or a Benzo? How about take a deep breath, get a good night's sleep, turn off the cell phone, get some exercise, eat breakfast, avoid energy drinks, pray, finish a task that's undone, avoid people who bring out the worst in you, laugh or just gaze at the mountains.
Looking for a treatment center? Try this website: http://dasis3/samhsa.gov
Don't hate people for being addicted. They already hate themselves. And don't pity them. Instead, set firm and clear boundaries for yourself and your household. Speak the truth, enlist the support of others and remember to breath.
Licensed professional counselor and certified addiction counselor
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