Kids who bully tend to impose harm on others as a way of dealing with their depression. A study published in Pediatrics journal in March 2021 discovered that childhood bullying had a stronger link to later alcohol, drugs, and tobacco use later in life. To prevent your child from developing substance abuse disorder, it is important to prevent their bullying behavior early.
Seeing Substance Abuse in Your Child
Parents may not realize how family history plays into substance abuse. While it may not mean that everyone who has a parent with alcoholism will become one themselves, it increases the chances. Mood shifts or having self-image issues can make youth more inclined to drink alcohol if there is access to it in their house or a friend offers them a drink to feel better. Since the high of alcohol is only temporary, they will want to drink more and more to get that feeling back. They may show less of a connection to their home and family because they feel more connected to alcohol that they can depend on to give them pleasure. The signs of alcohol abuse may be subtle at first, but the effects will be more apparent such as academic performance, skipping school, and mood shifts.
The Signs of Bullying Behavior
Bullying involves a lot of planning and plotting with the intent to cause harm or feel superior. They get a thrill out of hurting other kids. While we may think that children who bully are angry or bullied themselves, they can also be nice kids who like to see what it feels like to dominate. Early signs of bullying to watch out for are making fun of siblings more than usual or being mean and sneaky towards others. If these feelings of being undermined are not addressed at home, they can grow into long-term problems of depression and anxiety.
How to Deal with Substance Abuse in Bullies
Discussions about substance abuse should be talked about in a supportive way. Provide them with sources like the CDC, NIH, and SAMHSA to learn more about addiction and encourage them to do their research about what drugs can do to your brain. You can also ask a school counselor or psychologist to speak to your child. By confronting your child now about their bullying, you could be saving them from abusing drugs.
As child bullies get older, there is a good chance they could turn to alcohol and drugs later in life to cope with anxiety and depression. It is important to allow your children to turn to you for their problems instead of leaving them turning to drugs and alcohol. At Alta Loma, we understand the mental struggles children are going through and the dark road they will head to if they experiment with drugs. Located in Georgetown, Texas, our transformative treatment center offers individualized therapy, 12-step programs, family treatment, and more. Please call us at (866) 457-3843 to learn more.