Drug Addiction Tips for Parents

Although there is a tremendous amount of stigma surrounding drug addiction, as a parent, it’s important for you to put this aside and understand that your child is battling a serious illness. As wounded as you may be by your child’s actions in pursuit of their next fix, now is not the time for judgment or chastisement. Now is the time to help them recover.

At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we understand exactly what you are going through. From anger and resentment to despair and feigned indifference, every parent must come to terms with their child’s condition in their own way, and we are here to support you and your family as you do so.

Recognizing drug addiction in your child

The following changes in appearance and behavior may indicate your child is struggling with drug addiction. Keep in mind these can vary depending on the substance your child is abusing. Depressants, for example, will incur different physical symptoms than stimulants.

  • Appetite fluctuations
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased irritability
  • Protective over bedroom/personal belongings
  • Mood swings
  • More evasive
  • Restlessness
  • Withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed or excelled in (academic, social, etc.).

How to show your support for your child

For parents trying to figure out the best way to support their child while he or she goes through recovery, adhere to the following do’s and don’ts.


  • Assemble evidence. There’s a good chance your child will deny your claims.
  • Identify potential influencers. If these habits stemmed from or are being encouraged by a certain group of friends, you need to know.
  • Say something. Let your child know you’re aware of what’s going on.
  • Stay calm. Focus on an actionable plan to address the issue.
  • Vocalize your support. Now is the time to help and nurture, not berate.


  • Blame yourself. Addiction is a complex disease, so don’t get hung up on what this means about you as a parent.
  • Chastise. As angry as you may be, threats and punishments may cause your child to withdraw further into addiction.
  • Use guilt as a weapon. Shame is one of the leading causes of relapse among addicts, so avoid confronting your child in an overly emotional way.


At Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida, we provide a unique and effective treatment approach that combines psychological and emotional support with nutritional guidance. Our medical professionals know that every patient is fighting their own intensely personal battle. With that in mind, our Eating Disorder programs are tailored to the needs of each individual and their family. We operate a small, comfortable residential treatment center where you or your loved one can take the time necessary to truly heal.

Why Choose Fairwinds Treatment Center

Nationally recognized psychiatrist Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef founded Fairwinds Treatment Center on the premise of providing comprehensive, family-focused treatment that addresses not just drug addiction itself, but all of the psychological influences that may be fueling it. Dr. El-Yousef has specialized in psychopharmacology and addictions, and is a renowned pioneer in the field of dual diagnosis psychiatry and addiction medicine.

At Fairwinds Treatment Center, your child will benefit from the support of full-time psychiatrists, nursing professionals and licensed therapists. This support system, provided within our intimate treatment center, can help your child come to terms with his or her need and begin to regain control. We also recognize that addiction, in any form, affects the whole family, which is why we work to include loved ones throughout the recovery process.

If you or your loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, there is no time to waste. Contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today by phone or via our online form to start the journey toward treatment and recovery.

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The History of Fairwinds Treatment Center

Fairwinds Treatment Center was founded by Dr. Khal El-Yousef in 1989, and we offer a treatment model that combines the benefits of therapy with a more clinical approach to eating disorders, addiction and the underlying psychological conditions that can spur these self-destructive behaviors. We believe that addressing all of the factors that contribute to an eating disorder is the only way to facilitate a full recovery. As such, we are one of the only dually licensed psychiatric and substance abuse treatment facilities in the nation to earn accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), which empowers us to address any chemical dependencies or behavioral issues that may contribute to an eating disorder.



If you are ready to discuss treatment for yourself or a loved one, the Fairwinds admissions team is here to help.

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