How does meth affect your life?
What to do if children are involved?
If you are a parent who has adult children with meth-related problems, you might also have grandchildren in need of attention. You may also be concerned about the children of a family member or friend who may be using meth. If you are a grandparent, sometimes it is difficult to keep a good relationship with your adult child and care for your grandchildren at the same time. It can also put a strain on your marriage and place you under scrutiny from other family members. Some of the issues you may be facing could include:
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Fear of children being harmed or neglected
When your family member or close friend is using drugs and children are involved, you may find yourself constantly worrying about the well-being and health of the child.
Lack of access to the children
If your relationship with your family member or close friend is strained or volatile, you might have difficulty seeing their children. This can be very stressful, particularly when you want to see them to make sure they are OK. After spending time with them, it can be equally difficult to say goodbye.
Responses from government departments
If you have concerns about the welfare of a child you can contact the Department for Child Protection and Family Support or call Crisis Care and talk it over with a duty officer. If you are unsure about whether this is the right thing to do, you can talk ‘hypothetically'. For example, ask about what type of action might be taken if someone made a particular complaint.
Making contact with the Department for Child Protection and Family Support can be a very anxiety provoking and frustrating experience. It may be difficult to understand why no action is taking place, or you may feel that you have not been adequately consulted. If you experience this you may benefit from talking to someone – the Looking After Myself section has some tips.
Becoming a guardian
People who are close to a person with meth-related problems may find themselves taking on the unexpected role of becoming the guardian for their grandchildren, nieces and nephews or friend’s children. This may happen because the children’s parents’ drug use makes them incapable of parenting or if they have been incarcerated or passed away.
Financial and health problems
Caring for the child of a person with meth use-related problems can place you under extreme financial pressure. If you are dealing with one or more of these issues your health may suffer as a result.
Try to continue to:
- Talk your concerns over with other family members or close friends. You may want to involve them in some important decision making.
- Reach out for support. Call the Parent & Family Drug Support Line (08) 9442 5050 or 1800 653 203 (country callers) Alcohol and Drug Support Line on 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024 (country callers) to talk about your situation and ask about grandparent, family and carer support services in the community.
Signs someone is using meth
It can sometimes be difficult to tell with certainty that someone is using drugs. This section can help you identify the signs.
Understanding drug use
If someone you care about is using meth, understanding drugs and drug use can help you understand why they may use the dug and some of the behaviours.
How to talk about it
Family and friends can often be the first people to recognise there may be a problem, and can be well placed to offer help or contact support services for professional help.
Having a close relationship with someone who is using meth can be difficult and emotionally draining. Their use can cause them to behave erratically, and it can be difficult to know how to act around them.
Looking after myself
Problematic drug use not only affects the user, but also the people around them.
Maureen's Story, grandparent
“As a grandparent who has full time responsibility for raising my grandchildren I was worried about how I would make ends meet. The financial support from the Wanslea Grandcarers Support Scheme helped cover some of the extra bills.”
Find out about the Grandcarers Support Program.
There are home visiting and/or residential services available to support drug-using parents and their children. Learn more about the Cyrenian House Sarrana women and Childrens Program.