“I think my kid might be using drugs. How do I know for sure?”
My Afflicted by Addiction guest, recovering addict Brittany Horigan, spoke candidly with me about the signs and symptoms of drug use. She confirmed much of what you’ll find in my book, How to Prevent, Detect, Treat & Live with The Addict Among Us.
For Brittany, who is 28 years old, 2 ½ years clean, the ages 22-25 were the height of her drug use. She said, “My family couldn’t believe a word that came out of my mouth, but they were helpless and didn’t know how to help me.”
She shares these signs and symptoms:
Mood swings- not normal teenager.
Down on self; real self loathing.
Avoidance of all family activities.
Little lies told all the time.
If you caught them, they probably have done it a hundred times. Parents want to think it was “normal” experimentation, the first time they’re trying it: Addict gives the parents a little something. “Yes,” they’ll say, “I did X, but not Y.”
“If you love your kids, you’re going to push them for the truth.” Brittany
Brittany remembers feeling this way: “This is going to kill me, and I don’t know how to stop it. I am going to die from this and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change that…I didn’t care if I lived or died. Death probably would have been an upgrade from the life I was leading at that time.”
She seriously tried to get clean 7 or 8 times before it finally stuck. Some 30 day programs, lock down-psych hospitals, 60 days, 90 days, and, “I couldn’t stay clean for more than 1 hour when I graduated.” And the most recent time, the one that stuck, it was a year and a half. “It was an 18-month long stay in treatment before I was able to go out on my own and be clean.”
You heard it from the person you need to hear it from: the addict.
And you only get the truth from an addict when they are truly clean.