Coming across drugs in your own home can be a harrowing experience. Whether they belong to a spouse, child, sibling, or even parent, feelings of resentment or anger can rush to one’s head. While it is tempting to take action and immediately confront the person who is suspected of using drugs, it is important to go into these confrontations with a plan. Knowing what to do if you find drugs is a complicated issue, but there are steps that can be taken in order to approach the situation in control, and with the health and care for a loved one in mind.
Step One: Take a Breath
Knowing how to confront your child when you find drugs is a difficult prospect. However, going in without a plan can lead to emotional overload for everyone involved. So before anyone begins to confront another about their drug use, it is important for a person to take a breath to work through their own emotions and anger. Addressing drug use is very serious, and needs to be approached calmly, with a sense of support and care rather than beginning a conversation with antagonistic, aggressive language. Take this time to not just breathe, but collect and contextualize evidence. Finding drugs in the house as evidence can help inform many of the other signs of addiction that someone may have been exhibiting, whether or not they were noticed before. Allowing oneself to collect evidence and breathe also opens the gates for the confrontation to be a dialogue, giving the person who was found with the drugs a chance to speak and hopefully reach an understanding of what the next step will be regarding their use.
Step Two: Identify Owner and Substance
Knowing who the drug belongs to as well as exactly what kind of drug it is can be either very easy or very difficult. If drugs are found in a person’s own bedroom that they don’t share, then it can be reasonable to assume that they were the ones in possession of the drug. However, finding drugs in another hiding spot around the house can make identifying the owner more difficult. Knowing the other effects of drugs can help inform likely owners, but it is important to avoid accusing everyone in the household until someone admits, as this can be easier to deflect and creates an antagonistic view of the situation, rather than the atmosphere of support and change needed to address addiction and drug use.
Not only is it crucial to know the “who,” but also the “what.” It is important to identify the exact kind of drug that was found. Internet searches can aid with identification, and one can use the symptoms of the drug to further collect evidence and take appropriate measures for addiction and addiction recovery based on the drug that is being abused. Knowing what kind of drug is being used can further accountability and make the subsequent dialogue more honest and direct.
Step Three: Prepare for a Confrontation
This is easily the most emotionally taxing step, and there are many factors involved in trying to ensure that the conversation both begets the desired result, as well as establishes the family as a support system for someone struggling with their drug use. This is the time to approach your loved one calmly and without making assumptions. Approach the conversation with questions, rather than accusations, as the phrasing employed can dictate the tone regardless of intention. This is the time to let them talk and seriously listen. The more that someone is prepared to hear them out, the better chance the conversation has of being open, honest, and directed through a lens of love and support. Giving each person a chance to speak can help create a whole picture that can be used to address not just the drug in question, but any addiction that someone may be suffering from. Additionally, this can open the door to discovering the underlying factors behind the usage of drugs. These conversations are often met with resistance, and emotions will likely be high. However, presenting hard evidence and asking questions can be the best way to reach out to someone and be more well-received.
It is also important to have some literature about the drug, addiction as a whole, and recovery facilities (if necessary). This can help all parties stay informed throughout the conversation, as well as guide the person to the next step that will best benefit them.
Step Four: Create a Plan
Creating a plan also involves a number of steps. It comes with setting new rules, such as curfews or limitations on one’s freedoms or social circles. When imposing any and all of these new rules or responsibilities, it is important to also have a reason described to let each person know the purpose behind employing these restrictions, rather than them being arbitrarily imposed. Curfews, for example, are to ensure that someone is safe each night, and has access to their support system, rather than being out while their support systems may be asleep, or otherwise unable to reach them in a difficult time.
Consequences also need to be made clear, and it is important to stick strongly to any consequences imposed, as to not compromise the severity of the situation. Enforcement can be difficult, but also necessary. Consequences can be financial in nature, but might also include things like, “If drugs are ever found again, you are being admitted to a detox/recovery facility.” These consequences can vary, depending on each person and whether or not they had already agreed that it would be beneficial for them.
This will also involve compromising some privacy for the person in question, as their personal spaces may become susceptible to searches for drugs. There can be any number of stash spots for drugs, including cuts in mattresses or stuffed animals, empty soda cans or other innocuous items, inside vents that can only be accessed with intention, and within picture frames or books. There are just a few places that someone could hide their drugs, but knowing where to start and the methodology behind selecting hiding spots can help someone be more proactive before relapses occur.
Step 5: Reinforce Unity and Support
Reinforcing love needs to be done consistently in order for someone to remain motivated and feel supported through the recovery process. This open support can help someone find the love and care that may be behind otherwise restrictive rules, and overall create a positive outlook for themselves and their own recovery. Reinforcing this doesn’t just happen once, either, as someone in recovery may need to hear it often over a long period of time as they address their own complicated and difficult recovery path. However, reaching out and expressing this atmosphere of support can make all the difference to one’s own outlook and motivation in the recovery process.
Finding drugs in one’s home is difficult, and there can be a million feelings and thoughts rushing through your head. However, there is a need for structure and support through this process, rather than an air of aggression and accusation. While it can be an emotionally taxing experience, there is help available for both families and sufferers of addiction to drugs — and professional help may be necessary. In these cases, it is more important than ever that these issues are addressed as a unified front between the one in recovery, as well as their families.
Coming across drugs in your own home is a difficult situation. Helping a loved one through addiction and addiction recovery can be just as hard. However, if you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Chateau Recovery is designed to help you take the first step towards sobriety today. We offer a variety of programs that are all able to be personalized and catered to your own needs and goals in recovery. With a luxurious atmosphere, we create an environment where each person is encouraged to explore their own successes while being comforted through their vulnerabilities. By helping you set your own goals, Chateau can help you take the necessary steps, using the appropriate skills to help you begin your own prolonged sobriety. For more information on how Chateau Recovery can help you, or to speak to a trained, caring staff member about your specific circumstance, call us today at (435) 222-5225.