If you have the merest inkling that your son might be experimenting with meth or other drugs, even if only occasionally, it is your immediate attention to the matter that might save him from a hard life of drug abuse. It is not easy to deal with a drug addict. Attending to the problem sooner rather than later will make it easier to deal with. Also, if you are the brother or sister to the drug addict, don’t pass the job of talking to your sibling to someone else but start dealing with it immediately. Depending on his nature, he will be in denial and say that he is not an addict, or he will cave in and say he needs help. Here are some things you can do to get your son to listen to his parents’ advice and act on it. You can have a gentle or gangbuster approach. Unfortunately, with drug addicts the former approach does not work too well by waiting for some miracle to happen and you have to deal with the matter head on.
• Know the names of the children he hangs out with. You can learn a lot about your son by taking cognizance of his friends. If any one of them uses drugs, tell him to cut the friendship. He will argue, but you are the boss and will deal with it by employing a no nonsense approach. You will go as far as speaking to the parents of these boys and alert them to the fact that their son is a user.
• Get involved by going to the school and asking for a progress report. If all his grades are poor offer to get him help.
• If you learn from the principal that he has stolen money to pay for drugs, take him to a clinic to test him for drug use. In America there are juvenile programs where problem kids spend a night in jail to see what it is like to be amongst hard core inmates. He will get a fright and an awakening when he sees all the teens in such harsh surroundings and all the rules they have to obey. They are spoken to by seasoned criminals and thieves and it is a frightening experience for a twelve year old. On the bright side, there are many success stories of youths who stay in jail overnight and are scared straight.
• If showing your son the inside of a jail and talking to him does not work and he persists in using drugs, plan an intervention where his family and friends read him a letter stating how much he means to them and that they care about him, and get him to agree to go to rehab. If he refuses, unfortunately, you will have to do it the hard way by having a car ready to take him to rehab where he will stay for two months.
• It is important that you not give in to any of his demands or denials that he is a drug addict, and do all you can to see he gets help.