What if you could spot the telltale signs of drug or alcohol abuse in your child before it spiraled out of control? In our latest episode we talk about the crucial signs that parents should be vigilant about that may suggest their child is experimenting with substances. We explore the subtleties in behavioral changes, highlighting the importance of noticing shifts in their circle of friends or alterations in their sleep and eating patterns. We urge parents to foster an environment of open and candid dialogues within the family, underscoring the role they play in ensuring their child's safety in a world where drugs and alcohol are increasingly accessible.
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This is the Addiction Recovery Podcast with Stephen T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Hey, everyone, welcome back to another episode of Addiction Recovery. I'm here with Stephen Ginsberg and today we're going to be talking about what are the signs of drug and alcohol abuse. Stephen, so great to be back together again for this episode.Steven Ginsburg:
Steve, I'm so happy we're taking the time and tackling these topics and giving people an opportunity to take a look at the things that are following people around in this day and age and really threatening the sanctity and the serenity of their households Absolutely.Steve Coughran:
And you know I love having these conversations with you because you have so much experience firsthand running a detox center but also dealing with drug and alcohol abuse yourself and your life. So I think it's going to be very pertinent today. So let's follow up from last conversation. If you missed the last episode that we did, make sure you check out episode 10, where we talk about having conversations with your kids about drugs and alcohol. Today I want to shift gears and follow up with that conversation and ask you this are there specific signs or behaviors that parents should be aware of that may indicate that a child is experimenting or using substances? And you've been there, steven. Like you were living at home, abusing drugs and alcohol. I was doing the same thing. I was living at home, drinking in the basement. You know my mom's upstairs. She had no clue what's going on. So what would you say to parents and what kind of things can they look out for with their own children?Steven Ginsburg:
It's a terrific question and it's a great area of opportunity. You know, if there's an elephant in the corner, we don't want to ignore it, and if we start to see things that are that are different and contrary to our children's normal routines and attitudes and outlooks, it is worth taking a step back and having a closer look and then having a very transparent conversation and plugging in even further than, good Lord willing, we already are and finding out what is driving the behavior.Steve Coughran:
No, I didn't. I think that's good. So how does a parent distinguish between, you know, a moody teenager, because, like teenagers, they start, you know, snapping a little bit more, maybe they're a little bit more aggressive or they hide out in their room more. How can they distinguish between just like normal teenager and you know, maybe, a teenager that's suffering from this type of issue?Steven Ginsburg:
Sure, you know, I think of red flag alert. Red flag alert is what a tremendous shift in their peer group Periods where they're getting withdrawn, and they are withdrawing something that is a passion of theirs and a consistent pursuit. Suddenly they don't want to do it any longer. Massive swings in things like appetite one way or another, a great enhancement of appetite or a huge decrease of appetite, lots of sleep or very little sleep All of these elements should cause, be caused for concern, should be looked at, should be spoken about. It doesn't have to be huge accusations. These don't have to be knocked down, drag downs. This is about being plugged in and being aware and noticing the pattern and understand that, since there could be something going on, let's find out if something is going on.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, my wife and I were talking about this the other night, where, you know, like, as parents, we have this responsibility over our kids to, you know, put the structure in place, put the guardrails in place, have boundaries, accept boundaries and guidelines so our kids can be set up for as much success as possible. Because once they leave the home I mean when they're gone they go off to college, they, you know, they move out on their own, they get a boyfriend, girlfriend or whatever. Then, all of a sudden, the influence as a parent definitely diminishes and they're all making their own decisions and it's like dang. You know, the world is a scary place. I think you know whether it's becoming worse or it's just more in front of our faces with social media and technology, you know, I think there's a lot of crazy stuff going on out there and it's just like drugs and alcohol are like so much more accessible than it feels like when, when I was younger, when you were younger. I mean, what are your thoughts on all that?Steven Ginsburg:
It's yeses across the board for me, and it's Certain things, where the yeses are concerned, jump out most. I've spoken about this before, steven. I'm gonna speak about it again Our children. They are the future revenue source for all these things mentioned. They are being pursued, sometimes subtly, sometimes in not such subtle manners, and the world is coming for them to your point 90 miles per hour and a 20 mile per hour zone. So we need to equip them and we need to prepare them and we need to come alongside them With the information. And then we need to also recognize if something is hitting early, and often You're gonna see it at home if we are paying attention. We're gonna see something's going on if we're paying attention. And then this lends itself again to something that I'm very bullish on and something I'm convicted about and something that I am insistent about to the degree I can be we need to give our children the opportunity to be protected from themselves through regular drug testing at home. And and it lends itself to what we're discussing, because if you notice a change in pattern or you notice a change in any of the behaviors we've mentioned, that's a perfect time to break out a test and even maybe test on a basis that you wouldn't normally being. Maybe you're running it every two Weeks, maybe it's every ten days, maybe it's every week and a different day of the week. Maybe when you see some of this behavior, it's the next day that you have them test for you. We've got to not be afraid nor shy away from the truth. That's really what relieves us, the bondage of self, and that's really what will keep our children safe.Steve Coughran:
And when it comes to drug testing, I mean I I'm not super familiar with the new technology or products that are out there, but so great. Where does somebody go about Buying a drug test number one and then how's it administered? I mean, do you, do you really like pee in a cup still, or is it like you swabbed their head or like what? What's it look like nowadays?Steven Ginsburg:
There are so many options. Here's what's great. Just go ahead and Throw you know, at home drug tests in Amazon. There's gonna be three billion choices. Go ahead and walk into Walgreens or CBS there's a ton of choices. Go walk into Walmart there's choices. You want to grab a piece of your kids here and send it in in 72 hours or gonna have results back. It is all right there, it is all turnkey, it is all at our disposal. But are we seeking the truth and do we want to protect our children from what's out there? The answer is yes. Those are the measures we take. And if it's no and we want to have our heads in the clouds and it's not gonna be my kid Right, I agree, it's not gonna be your kid. This is my favorite part about the message I carry. I'm not thinking about your kid, I'm thinking about all those other kids. That's why we do this. Listen, no children have more exposure to the reality of this part of things than Nicole and mines. They are being raised by a sober addict, alcoholic father who owns and operates and is trusted with a treatment center. They have heard all this stuff firsthand and lived it and been at restore, and they are right alongside me and they know my story. But yet my children will be, and are going to be tested regularly, not because I think they'll do anything wrong, but because I know the Lord put me here to do everything right I can to protect them.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, no, and it's interesting. I mean, so what would you say to a parent who's like, okay, steven, yeah, I hear you, that's good, but my kids, like they, go to church every week. Yeah, sunday school class president, you know they're active in their school. They're the, you know, the head cheerleader, they're the quarterback of the football team, like they only have time to do drugs and alcohol or I think you're being a little extreme, I think our family has really good morals and yeah, yeah, my kids aren't gonna get into that stuff.Steven Ginsburg:
Yes, yes, I'm being a little bit extreme. Yes, you're. It's not about your children. It's about them knowing that they can turn to, to whomever confronts them with an opportunity to transgress and say to them as interesting as that is, or as much as I understand how you want me to experience this, mom and dad test me like clockwork, and they're so darn good at it they don't even do it the same day of the week. So, even though it might be fun to get off the ranch for a minute, I'm just not gonna be able to join you in that. And if my tendency to be extreme keeps one child from making one poor choice and grabbing one pill that's not normally in their possession, which happens to be pressed with fentanyl, and then kills them and that is out there, that is what's happening. These honor students, these varsity athletes, these model children decided to try a pill. The pill was pressed with fentanyl and it killed that child who never did anything wrong and wouldn't have done anything wrong. If mom and dad are drug testing them and they explain to them, anything foreign you put in your body is gonna register, and then you're never gonna have your phone again, you're never going out again and you're never gonna see the light of day again. Of course that's an exaggeration, but it's just letting them know. Like you just don't wanna test positive and I'm gonna be testing you. If that extreme overshoot on my part keeps that one child safe, I am so glad I am overshooting the mark.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, and you're right, and I think nobody's immune, and you've already touched on that, steven, but I'll just reiterate this point with the story on my end. Recently I was talking to my mom and she's like yeah, one of my friends came to her and here's a friend that has this model family All their kid's hair is parted perfectly and they're all on their Sunday best every week and they go to church and they're active in their school and their community. The perfect family like the Brady Bunch, right. And as time goes on, this mother discovers that her quote perfect son is a full-blown alcoholic right under her nose. And she had no clue, no clue whatsoever.Steven Ginsburg:
And she would have had every clue in the world if she just would have had them in a nine-panel, 13-panel, 18-panel cup. Going to the bathroom it comes back, it pops positive for alcohol, and she could be like, hey, what is going on? I want to help. We love you. We will resolve this. What's bothering you? Where is this at? And it's right there, it's. That's all they have to do is pee in a cup and it pops and we've got the information. Or maybe that child never picks up A drink, knowing I can't get mom and dad off this thing testing me. So I'm not gonna be able to drink with my friends. I mean, who doesn't want that right exactly, and I want to. I want to mention one more thing, just very quickly, and I'm gonna spare the child's anonymity, although it is a very public story. There's a young lady. She was an honor student, top of her class, val of Victorian plus, no issues, no problem. Headed towards college, went on a mission strip, decided to try cocaine. Who can explain who does what and why? Steve, the cocaine had fentanyl on it. She's dead. She was local to my area, she's a beautiful young lady and that she's gone forever. And and because those preventive measures Aren't in place because we're worried about overshooting the marker or the perception is going to skew my child or think we don't trust them Because of that, we would possibly allow the fallen world to endanger our children. For me, with my children in our home, not on my watch, and I hope any ear that hears this Will acquiesce and be like you know what it couldn't hurt. So what the heck? Yeah, I'm just gonna overshoot the mark and err on the side of caution and keep my children safe, because this world is an insane asylum.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, it is absolutely no, and I love it and I love having those protections. I think it's so critical and I think a lot of kids Oftentimes go back to their parents, whether it's with drugs and alcohol or making them do their homework or their chores. They will oftentimes go back to their parents and say, look, I wish you were more strict, I wish there were more rules, which is like totally counterintuitive.Steven Ginsburg:
Completely, and I I had billion percent prescribed to that. I thrive and have always thrived in what? In structure, yep, and I don't want anything to ever change. I adore my parents. I blame them for nothing, but structure is what I thrive in and that's just part of what was missing. That was part of my journey. Give your children Boundaries, give them structure. Let them understand it doesn't mean we have to be perfect parents. I fall short every day with my kids, but they know I know what's up, they know they're not going to do anything or get away with anything and that they're going to be Protected and be safe, and be safe from themselves and be safe from the outside world and be given the best tools to develop beautiful discernment and, in nature, to actually think, not defensively, to the point where they shut down Defensively, the point where they can open up and really embrace the beauty in this world for what it is, without drugs and alcohol.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, I agree. And let me touch on just something that you, you, you said and I completely agree with you. You know, this isn't a shaming, you know, exercise for parents, because some parents, they may drug test their kids, they may do everything perfect, they may, you know, check their rooms, stay in touch with them, like they may be intimately involved with their kids and guess what, it still happens. So if you're listening to this and you're like, oh my gosh, my kid Odead, or you lost a loved one, and you know I, we don't want you to feel bad Because you could do all this stuff perfectly, but addicts are super sneaky, so, but at least these provide some type of you know, safe measures to help prevent it even more.Steven Ginsburg:
Yes, steve, absolutely To your point. It's so much of what the world is bringing and putting in front of our children and that's where, regardless of how intentional we are and to the degree that we even can have a completely perfect household set up as the best defense, we've got to go beyond, where every measure is there and laid out for our children's sake to make sure they have the information they understand. We're there to come alongside them, to keep them safe and to make sure that they understand their safe harbor is what happens at home and that questions can be asked and answered. And then again, above all else, that they're going to be tested on a regular basis and it gives them an easy out if they're facing a precarious situation where they have a choice to make.Steve Coughran:
Yeah, and I love that, and I love your philosophy on drug testing and I think, look, even the simplest things could be preventative as well. I mean, for example, my mom would always say, hey, when you come home, you need to come into my room and kiss me goodnight. And just that little thing right there, steven, I mean it prevented me from drinking alcohol or, you know, smoking weed some nights because I'm like I got to go home and kiss my mom. She's definitely going to smell my breath if I come home, rick and like beer or smell like weed, and so I'd say no and I'd do something else. So it doesn't have to be major things. But, yeah, I think you provide a lot of great insights and a lot of wonderful tips here on this episode, steven, so thank you very much.Steven Ginsburg:
Absolutely my pleasure, steve. Thank you for tackling the topic and please know, if you're out there and your parents, we are not necessarily in the most enviable position, but the greatest thing is what we can do, once again collectively, to protect our children from themselves and to be realistic about what they're facing, and we know who they are and who's they are, and we've been trusted with these children, so let's go above and beyond to keep them safe.Steve Coughran:
Absolutely Love it. Stephen, and for everybody who's listening, if you have any comments, any questions, if you just want to connect with us, you can always do that through hello at RestoreDetoxCenterscom. Also, if you want to gain access to other episodes or resources that we have on our website, you could go to RestoreDetoxCenterscom and check out what we have prepared for you and in the meantime, I hope you have a great week, beautiful week, Stephen. Thanks again for such a wonderful episode and take care of yourself.Steven Ginsburg:
Steve, thank you so much. Everyone, Be safe, be sober and know that we are here with you and for you and all things.