How to Help Your Child Become Drug Free was written specifically for parents and caregivers by David Gust, Sheila Walker, and Jon Daily. The book brings parents to an understanding that would directly help them support the treatment of their children. The book lays out the stages of drug use and its rapid progression in young people from experimentation to addiction. It explores parental, as well as societal, denial and enabling.
Parents will learn practical tools of setting limits to give their child the best opportunity to become drug free. Finally, the book explores the child and the family in recovery, and how to make that change last.
Chapter 1: A Look at the Problem
An overview for the parent or caregiver on how to respond if you suspect your child is using drugs. Also covers how a young person’s drug use affects family dynamics, the young person’s possible response to intervention, and how you can take care of yourself through this process of recovery.
Chapter 2: The Stages of Drug Use and Their Rapid Progression
This chapter addresses the factors that contribute to the rapid progression of drug use in young peoples. How a child’s genetic make up may make him or her more susceptible to chemical dependency. There is an in-depth discussion of the four stages of chemical dependency (contemplation; experimentation; misuse; and substance abuse). Discussion of characteristics prevalent for a young person abusing drugs.
Chapter 3: Community Enabling
How institutions that come in contact with young people can enable, or give power to continue, your child’s drug use. How parents can be vigilant in protecting their children. The chapter further explores how the behaviors associated with drug use are the result of the drug use and not cause.
Chapter 4: Parental Denial and Enabling
How parents can achieve the goal of helping their child to accept his or her actions and accept the consequences for those actions. Ways in which parents can deny and enable include minimizing; avoidance; blaming oneself or others; accepting the “con”; ignoring advice; rescuing; bargaining; “stuffing” feelings; and increasing tolerance for intolerable behavior.
Chapter 5: Setting Limits for Your Child
Four important steps for your child’s recovery: recognition that a problem exists; a thorough understanding of the progression of drug use and how enabling serves to undermine recovery; enlisting proper support; and intervention. This chapter explores in detail how a parent or caregiver goes about establishing a written contract with the young person that lists “Expectations” and “Consequences.”
Chapter 6: Your Child in Recovery
This chapter explores the unique characteristics of recovering from a drug problem. How to work a program of recovery with continued professional counseling; attendance at a twelve-step program where your child feels comfortable; recognition of positive accomplishments achieved through sobriety; and what to do if there is a relapse.
Chapter 7: Your Family in Recovery
It is important to include yourself and your family in your child’s path to full recovery from chemical dependency. Becoming a more effective parent means being receptive to change, seeking new ways of relating to your child and being vigilant about not reverting back to old behaviors.
Chapter 8: Encouragement
If there is a drug problem within your family or close to you, we, the authors, encourage you to seek resolution; accept that there will be setbacks, but maintain your commitment and become witness to the possibility of incredible outcomes for yourself, your child and your family.