Ice addiction in young adults is a harrowing experience for families to deal with. It can seem like there is no way out, but help is available. We offer some advice on what you can do to help your child if you think they may be struggling with meth abuse.
We are seeing an outbreak of methamphetamine addiction around the world. Teenage drug users in Australia say that ice is now easier to find than marijuana, and the same is true for countries across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Methamphetamines like ice are extremely dangerous, and those who are addicted can quickly spiral out of control. And when a drug this dangerous is so affordable and easy to come by, parents have good cause to be concerned about their kids’ exposure to it. This extremely addictive substance usually requires professional ice addiction treatment to quit successfully.
Signs That Your Teen or Young Adult May Be Addicted to Meth
There are several signs that you can look for if you suspect your child is using methamphetamines. Here are a few broad indicators:
- Erratic or aggressive behaviour
- Excessive confidence
- High blood pressure
- Problems sleeping
- Weight loss
Of course, any of the above could also be attributed to other factors, and do not categorically point to an ice addiction. However, it is important to understand how ice works on the body. This is a strong stimulant, and its effects depend upon whether or not the user is currently on it.
When a person has recently smoked ice, they are likely to manifest a strong sense of euphoria. They will feel as if this is the world they were born to live in, and those close to them should be able to detect a difference. This is where the confidence and excitability come into play.
The effects of ice occur rapidly and can last a few hours, or even a whole day or longer, depending on the dosage and strength of the drug. Blood pressure will remain elevated, and sleep will not be an option until the effects wear off.
It is also worth noting that ice induces paranoia, hallucinations and even aggressively violent behaviour. There is a well-established connection between ice use and criminal behaviour. A user is likely to be prone to violent outbursts, which can also serve as a harrowing indicator to parents that their child may be addicted to meth.
Parents do not have Complete Control over Kids’ Drug Abuse
One of the hardest things for parents to accept is their sense of loss of control over an addicted child’s behaviour. Even without an addiction to deal with, young adults – especially teenagers – are inherently more impulsive and rebellious. They need to explore and experience the world on their own. This is merely a part of growing up and coming of age.
But when an addiction is introduced into the equation, the entire situation changes dramatically. The addiction rules all, especially when you are dealing with a drug as powerfully addictive as ice. It is important for parents to understand that, while you can set and enforce rules, it ultimately depends upon the user to turn away from their addiction.
The problem is that ice is one of the most addictive illicit drugs that are currently available. Compelling a meth-addicted person to quit can feel all but impossible. Instead, you have to bring them to a place where they genuinely want to walk away from the substance. Getting a person to this stage is a process that requires a great deal of patience, compassion and understanding.
How to Help Your Child Turn Away from Ice Addiction
If you are concerned that your child is abusing methamphetamine, here are some of the steps you can take:
- Urge them to see a physician.
Addiction is not a rational state of mind, but there is much to be said for confronting the realities of substance abuse. If you know for a fact that your child has experimented with ice, consider taking them to a doctor who can explain what happens to their body and brain when they use the drug. This is particularly effective in curbing meth use when a full-blown addiction has not yet taken hold.
- Find out if external pressure is an issue.
In many cases, there will be a third party who is pressuring your child to use, or to make good on debts they have accrued in order to buy more of the drug. If you can determine who this person is, confidentially report them to the police. The health and wellbeing of your child is at stake.
- Notify the authorities of criminal ‘pushers’.
This requires a significant level of knowledge on behalf of the parent. If you can determine where or how your child is obtaining ice, this is something to convey to the authorities. Taking out your child’s supply of meth is not going to make you popular with them, but it is the right thing to do.
- Seek ice addiction treatment.
At the end of the day, the most important thing that you can do is enrol your child in drug addiction treatment. Overcoming a methamphetamine addiction is a distressing experience, and it is crucial to find a specialised treatment centre that can help your child – and be compassionate and supportive throughout the process. Motivating your child to go to rehab can be challenging, but getting professional help is by far the most effective way of dealing with the complex nature of addiction. Kids also often find it easier to talk to addiction professionals than to their parents.
If You Have a Meth-Addicted Child, The Edge Can Help.
The Cabin Edge provides addiction treatment specifically designed to help teens and young adults. Our centre in Chiang Mai has extensive experience helping ice-addicted young people overcome their addiction and begin a new, healthy chapter in life. If you suspect that your kid is using or has become addicted to methamphetamines, contact us today to find out more about how we can help.