I came home from work sick yesterday and found my son in his room huffing glue. I was shocked! He is only 13. We had a long talk about how dangerous it was to do this. He said he didn’t know how dangerous it was and that he had only done it a few times over the last few months. He says he will not do it anymore. I think he was pretty scared to learn about the brain damage that huffing causes. We looked it up on the internet together so he could see that it wasn’t just his dad that said it was dangerous.
I am a single dad and I am not sure what to do now. I am going to enroll him in an after school program so he does not have so much free time everyday before I get home from work. I think this is when he gets into trouble. I am worried that he has been huffing more than he has admitted he was. I do not know if he has an addiction or not. Should I take him to a doctor or psychiatrist to find out if he has an addiction? I am not sure who the person is that I am supposed to go to for help in this kind of situation.
Rachel Starck Says ...
Wow, difficult situation. As you are well aware, huffing toxins, is very dangerous for the developing brain. I like your educational approach with your son, as well as the idea to add structure to his day. I would recommend getting him to see a counselor or therapist who is familiar with adolescents, and addiction, and would be willing to also do family counseling if need be. I would be most concerned about what is going on in his life (school, peers, family) that is leading him to make these choices. Drug use is usually a symptom of emotional issues. And even if he is addicted, the recovery approach will be to help him learn to manage and express his feelings and emotions in a more effective way then getting high.
Very best wishes,
Rachel Starck, LPC