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                        Signs of Trouble

                        The previous posts in this series have been designed to establish not only the widespread scope of drug abuse, regardless of where you live, but the very high levels of risk that your child or loved ones are subjected to in their daily lives, and how addicts and dealers become addicts and dealers. And again, regardless of how good or risk immune you feel your loved ones may be, do not ever think that drug use and abuse is not possible. Many of the most successful people, both by positional status and/or financially, have drug abuse problems that ruin their lives. Mayors, Senators, Congressmen, business leaders, athletes, actors/actresses etc! Rich or poor? It doesn’t matter! No one is immune! So again, WATCH YOUR LOVED ONES!

                        So what are we looking for? What types of things should be cause for sleep loss? There are many lists out there of general symptoms that are extremely important. In fact, in just a minute I am going to give you "a list". Beyond that, however, its critical that really understand what you are seeing. Like I said in my last post, addicts are professional liars and highly convincing. This combined with the fact that your nature will be to "yearn" to believe that they "would never do such things", or that "you are over-reacting to nothing", or they are "just stressed out or tired", because you will not want to face the reality of a loved ones addiction. Its easy, relieving and soothing to hear, from them, that everything is ok.

                        And as we teach in every one of our seminars, you have to know and understand your enemy to have any chance at beating them/it (drugs, alcohol, etc). In this case, the enemy is addiction and the substances and the circumstances that cause it.

                        The circumstances that cause it?

                        It is critical to know this enemy! Circumstances. There are always circumstances that lead to ultimate conclusions in life. So wouldn’t it make sense to first try and understand the typical circumstances that lead to addiction and eliminate them? This should actually start early in life and be maintained to and into adulthood. What types of things create circumstances that elevate the risk of substance abuse?

                        • Being left alone, parentless, for large percentages of time (being with friends is far different than time with parents)

                        • No parent/child interaction

                        • Not knowing your child

                        • Not caring about your child

                        • Giving one child more/less attention than others

                        • Not dealing properly with traumatic circumstances and ensuring that they are coping and healing in a healthy manner

                        • Not allowing them to witness yelling, screaming, swearing, sexual activity, physical altercations, etc

                        • Making sure that they are not required to act as "responsible adults" well before they are of age (having your 10 year old provide the primary care for your 2 year old)

                        • Not providing appropriate consequences for wrongdoing and/or bad decisions

                        • Accepting the use of "gateway" drugs

                        All of these things create circumstances that lend themselves to a higher probability of substance abuse.

                        In my opinion, a big part of this problem that we are battling is a severe lack of" knowing" those people most important to us in our lives. Knowing our kids, our friends, our families, our students, our patients, etc is critical. Why? Because we cannot see change in a person if we don’t know them. Many incidents of violence and the beginnings of drug abuse can be halted if only those around the ultimate perpetrators (in the case of acts of violence) or victims (in the case of drug abuse) would be able to note a problem and deal with it before it gets out of control. I understand that life has become very busy for many people. It takes so much, these days, just to survive. And much of our communication has become "electronic"! Its very difficult to "read" people when we are communicating electronically. Many people would rather communicate via email or text message than actually make a phone call. Try and make it a point to talk with your kids rather than using electronic messaging. Many times drug abusers will purposely avoid voice or physical contact because they know that there parents will pick up on a problem immediately.

                        General List of Indicators That Should be Cause for Concern:

                        • Behavioral Changes

                        • Changes in Personal Appearance or Grooming Habits

                        • Drug Paraphenalia

                        • Changes in Personal Habits

                        • Health Issues

                        • School/Work Issues

                        • Physical/Cognitive

                        As a general summary to a very general list:

                        You know your kids! If the physical signs and changes, or your intuition, tell you that something is not right, then something is not right. Don’t let it go. And if you do not know your loved ones well enough to be able to see changes, then get to know them so that you can see them!

                        Published Feb 07, 2014

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