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Experimenting vs Addiction

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Child' started by DancingLady, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. mikeqin

    mikeqin Member

    This generation of teens is the first generation raised by parents who were also exposed to drugs and alcohol use as teens. Before baby boomers became parents any drug or alcohol use by teens was met with alarm, but the current attitude is more relaxed.
  2. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I don't really understand parents who give their kids free reign to experiment with whatever they want. It's neglect to me. Parents are responsible for their offspring, and they should find out what is going on in their children's life, and why they are playing around with drugs and other substances.
    Prevention and intervention is far less painful and cheaper than a cure from an addiction.
  3. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    I say I "experimented" with Ecstasy. To me that means I had it that one time at a party and never again. While I got jumped on for trying it, nothing bad happened and it didn't become a habit. I (personally) don't see a problem with a one time experiment of most things. I used (beyond experimental stages) weed and alcohol in high school under an adults watchful eye. When I was out on my own, I had no need to overindulge the way many college students do. I already knew what they were like and wasn't very interested.

    BUT when parents are seeing signs of regular drug use, that's not experimenting any more. Experimenting is short lived, maybe once or even two-three times with large time intervals between. Once you seek it out and use regularly, that's not an experiment anymore. I think by the time parents see signs of use, it has been happening way more than once and is already into addiction territory because the teen is no longer thinking straight enough to hide well. A one time experiment is much more easily hidden.
  4. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    Honestly this is one of those things you need to talk to your kids about - don't have that mindset of all kids experiment - this is simply not the case - experimentation leads to addiction. Don't let that be your child.
  5. Mackmax

    Mackmax Active Contributor

    I think that these parents are in denial, and it is sad that they may not realize that their child needs serious help until it is too late. Like Primalclaws1974 said, it is so much easier for us to deny our problems. Every parent wants their child to be intelligent, kind, sober, and happy. Some parents go as far into tricking themselves into thinking that their child is, when in reality they are far from it, and they make excuses for their child, such as "Oh, they're just experimenting." and "Kids will be kids."
    This is definitely a denial issue, as for no parent wants to admit that their son or daughter is a drug addict. Sadly, they don't realize that if they were to acknowledge their child's addiction, they could get them the help that they need.
    There are drugs that aren't necessarily addictive, but when you're a teenager and your friends are pressuring you, and you're foolish and gullible, it is very easy to spiral into a drug addiction.
  6. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Interesting, I guess every parent has a different style. Not sure what kind of a parent realizes that it is happening and doesn't try to engage in conversation. Definitely denial, maybe even just burying their head in the ground like an ostrich. It is a cop out of responsibility. Experimentation; I don't think I buy that word with drugs. I think one is either "using" or not. Maybe that is the problem. I think a parent that does this perhaps had very strict parents themselves so they think this option is a better technique. I do think that there are plenty of teens and adults that don't get addicted to any of it. I think it is more a matter of individual personality and mindset. I really don't think it has anything to do with the drugs themselves. If someone does E and xanax for two years straight that is using. The E burns up your brain like an egg in a frying pan. The xanax calms them down with no awareness of what that stuff does really. One person would continue and another might think to themselves well this is not good for me. I'm done with that after one try. It boils down to common sense and self control. I think there are plenty that never touch any drugs, plenty that walk away after once or twice, and then there's the next. The one who becomes addicted. The essential part is to be aware that at any given time a batch of anything can be laced with something dangerous and potentially kill you. Russian roulette.
  7. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    I think there's a really fine line with it all, because what is a "one time thing" teen experimentation turns into a few parties a month and that turns into going out multiple times a week to party and drink and they'll end up doing drugs and all of that jazz!
  8. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I could not agree with you more. Sometimes as a parent you don't want to run the risk of pushing your children away and often end up allowing things that could have detrimental effects in the long run. It's sad but true. If we are fortunate some of the children will be able to make informed sensible decisions on their own. Sadly, there are those who will make unwise decisions and by the time we decide to take a stand a lot of damage has already been done.

    Parenting is not something to be taken likely and these days it feels like too many children are having children which makes it that more difficult for all involved.

    The way I see it, experimenting can easily lead to addiction.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  9. wahmed

    wahmed Active Contributor

    The fact is parents never want to think if their chuldren as wrong. They never ever want to think the worst. They will blame someone else even themselves but not their child. I know this because I'm a mom.

    What parents don't realize is that if you do not nip this bad thing in the bud then it will get worse. This is especially true for addiction. One experiment leads to another until it completely spirals out for control. The faster you stop it the better of your child will be.
  10. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    I don't think that is true wahmed, at least in my case I do consider all the scenarios, but at the same time I do have hope and I want them to get better, this is the hardest part.
  11. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    I feel that parents should admit the truth about their children. The trouble with experimenting is that at anytime, it can turn into an addiction. It just saddens me no matter how much we teach our children, they will tend to do what they want to anyway. I mean some of them know the outcome and touch the water to see how hot it is anyway. Parents can only warn children but some of them will do what they want to anyway.
  12. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    There are parents that have the attitude that allows children to try anything as long as it is done infront of them or under their roof, that can be a bad thing because as parents you are telling your kids that you are allowing them to do wrong without consequence and this leads to them doing worse things in the future when they are not under your roof.
  13. Unaddicted

    Unaddicted Member

    I am a parent and I can honestly say that I would be terrified if my son experimented with drugs. The drugs available these days are so much more prevalent and are often laced with additional chemicals that they become even more dangerous than in the past. In saying that, I would also rather know that my son was experimenting and prefer to have an open, honest line of communication between us so that as his parent, I could monitor any usage and its consequences for him.
    I do feel that often the first step of experimenting with a drug is the moment an addition sets in, which is somewhat worrying when my son comes of age... I think one of the most important things as a parent is to educate and communicate. Show them videos of addicts, take away the romanticism, show them the reality.
  14. light

    light Active Contributor

    There are parents that really want to build a strong relationship with their children and for this reason they try to be more comprehensive with their children. But this doesn’t justify their lack of action when they see signs of drug use in their children. Maybe deep down they fear to confront their child because they may have done themselves some kind of “drug experimenting” when they were younger and had managed it quite well. I think that is crucial to speak like a friend with your child and to try to discover the reasons why your child has experimented with drugs. The way how a parent react when noticing signs of drug use in his children will determine his children’s behavior toward drugs when they grow up.
  15. Eashow10

    Eashow10 Member

    It really comes down to starting a conversation. Even drugs that are deemed "less addictive" have the potential for addiction. Part of addiction comes down to brain chemistry, and no one can tell if your child possesses those qualities. There is no safe experimentation, plain and simple.
    Family dynamics play a great role in addiction. The best solution is to address the problem as a family.
  16. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    There is nothing like experimenting, children must be monitored if we suspect that they are taking drugs. That can be as a result of being influenced by their friends. So if you can assume, they can be addicts without you knowing. Better you confront them at the first place you find them taking drugs.
  17. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    I think there is a difference but the danger of experimenting is that a person can always get addicted. I think that teens have a lot of peer pressure and are just curious about what it feels like to use drugs or drink alcohol. A lot of them just want to feel like they are being grown. I mean even we went through some if not all of these feelings as a teenager.