MAMa FAQ's #2

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More information can be found in Crystal Meth: They Call it Ice.

>What can I do to get my loved one to quit using methamphetamine?

Every day I talk to heartbroken parents, grandparents, spouses, sisters and brothers about the addicted people in their lives. They are grieving as they watch their son or daughter explode with rage, steal money from them, abuse their children, lose their jobs and get thrown in jail, sometimes for life. They live through lies and relapses, threats and violence, grandparents take in the abandoned children and spouses sue for divorce. The devastation caused by methamphetamine is not limited to the addict.

You've yelled at him, pleaded with him, threatened him, kicked him out of the house, and still he uses. He gets clean for a few weeks to convince you he's ok, and then he starts using again. Things are missing from your home, things he can pawn. He yells at his kids and beats his wife, all the while denying that he is using. Faced with the evidence, he justifies his drug use. He's doing it to work harder and make more money; he only does it when he's driving his truck. He can do what he wants, it's his money; it's none of your business what he does with his own money.

Alcohol counselors have long recommended an 'intervention'. It works like this. Your child is lying and stealing, he is making a lot of mistakes at his job; he is abusing his children and using the grocery money for dope. He thinks everything is fine and doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. You call a meeting, preferably with a trained counselor in attendance. Get one of his sober friends to bring him to the meeting and invite his mother, his wife, his boss, his children's teacher or guidance counselor, his friends that don't use, and together you point out what his drug use is doing to your life. No judgment, no condemnation, just information. NO NOT involve the law. If you think he might get violent then don't do it.

Be ready at this point to offer something concrete to rectify the situation. Have a rehab center that is willing to take him more or less immediately; a counselor, a support group, a book, a video, something he can do right now. Understand he is likely to be defensive and paranoid. Even if he refuses to admit his problem and make changes, an intervention like this is not a total failure. He has heard you and he needs some time to think about it. He might walk out of your life completely, but now he knows that you are not going to tolerate his abusive behavior anymore.

You can't talk to a drug addict. He can't hear a word you say to him. He lies and denies and plays games with you, he's a pro at manipulating your emotions. The only person who can talk to your addicted loved one is the Holy Spirit. Every time you pray for your addicted child, the Holy Spirit speaks in his heart and moves in his life. He speaks God-talk into your kid's heart and they will often have a conversation. You can't see it. It's invisible to you, but it's very real.

The Holy Spirit will arrange things so that your addicted loved one is brought face to face with the result of his drug use. He'll get arrested. He'll lose his job. His wife will leave him. He'll have a frightening hallucination. Something will happen to force your child to admit that he has a problem with methamphetamine. It isn't funny anymore. He has to admit that this drug is causing problems in his life.

Don't sabotage the work of God in your kid's life. If he gets arrested let him stay in jail. It takes at least a week for his mind to clear enough to be able to think straight and realize what he has done to himself. The earlier in his addiction he gets in trouble the better. Best to have him get arrested before he has a lot of irreversible brain damage.

Every time you pray for your addicted child, the Holy Spirit speaks into his heart, makes his presence known, even palpable to your child. It is unmistakable. He will feel it more than he hears it. The Spirit speaks peace. He speaks conviction and mercy. He speaks love and acceptance. He does it in the middle of the night deep in your kid's heart. Your kid understands every word the Spirit of God says to him. Your kid might ignore Him, avoid Him, or even hate Him. That won't stop Him. Keep praying.

You don't have to be obsessive/compulsive about it. God has His own copy machine. He doesn't need for you to make 6000 copies of your prayer. If He needs 6000 copies, He'll make them Himself. He has a large staff. Pray once and pray well every day. If you feel a definite urge from the Holy Spirit to pray again, then do so, but don't let your prayers for your addicted loved one crowd out all other activities and don't let it crowd out all other prayer. It is important to keep your prayers focused on God. Worship and adore Him. Don't focus on your child. If you do, you are worshipping your child.

Don't get discouraged when you don't see any results right away. Your child has a choice in how he will respond to the Holy Spirit. Even if he responds right away, you probably won't know anything about it. This is deep soul work, God's specialty. When God heals somebody, He does it right. Your kid will heal from the inside out. God will heal his heart first, his fear and anger, his hurts and resentments, his guilt and shame. Next, He heals his mind, his attitudes and thought patterns, his relationships and habits. The last thing to change is his behavior.

There are no shortcuts and there will be ups and downs as your child heals. Remember how He healed your bad habits? You learned not to lie and lust, but it took awhile and you had lots of relapses. What would happen if every time you told a lie or lusted after somebody it showed up in your urine and your life spun out of control? You get by with little relapses. Addicts don't.

So be patient and keep praying. It is by far the powerful thing you can do for your addicted loved one.

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