The counselors recommended the Memorial Healthcare Systems Community Youth Services Department program, where her son attended classes and took continuous drug tests.
During his time at the program, Maria took away phone and computer privileges, managed his money through a bank account and constantly checked up on him. During that month, he continually tested negative for drug use.
According to Camerota, active addiction is a lifelong disorder that has no “cure.” She estimates that a typical treatment program can last for 12 to 16 weeks. There are also monthlong intensive programs available, but parents must understand that it continues to be a “daily struggle.”
“I talked a lot with my son and it worried me because he always told me about how normal and how accessible it was for him to get drugs at school,” Maria said. “My son said he could buy marijuana for just $5. I do worry about him going back to school.”
For the past 10 years, the use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter drugs and designer drugs by young people has not changed very much, said Eustace.
“However, the potency of the drugs and the availability of the substances has increased,” he said. “The use of the Internet and the prevalence of the various forms of social media has contributed to the proliferation of alcohol and drug-seeking behaviors.”
A parent’s role continues to be one of the most important aspects of prevention and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse. Doctors recommend building strong parent-child relationships at a young age and talking to the children about a variety of subjects, including addictions.
“I’ve always looked for professional help and I’ve been close to God,” Gloria said. “In the future I see my son as a restored man, with healthy friends and as a professional. I believe in my son and I know he is going to be successful.”