When a child becomes addicted to drugs, it is often difficult for parents to know how best to help them. Parents may not completely understand what addiction entails and can be unsure about how much they should do or say in order to help their child get better. However, there are certain things that every parent of an addicted child should do – read on for some advice for parents of addicts.
1. Be sure to take care of yourself
Raising someone else’s child is the most difficult job you will ever have. You need to know your limits and understand that you cannot do this alone. If your friends, family, or spouse are not supportive, then find people who can be there for you. Rely on them for encouragement and understanding as you go through this trying time.
2. Talk to your addicted child
In order to make things work, you need open channels of communication with the person who needs the most help, your child or teenager. There are many ways you can go about communicating with them, but it’s important for them to know that you are there for them when they are ready to accept your help.
3. Keep an open mind
This means that you need to keep the lines of communication open no matter how many times your addicted child or teen has disappointed you, angered you, let you down, etc. This is crucial, especially in the early stages of their substance abuse problem, because this attitude of acceptance is vital to their recovery. It’s okay to feel angry and hurt, but don’t let those feelings dictate your actions.
4. Get educated about addiction
By educating yourself about substance abuse, you will be able to recognize the signs of substance use and abuse problems in your addicted child or teen. This can help you get them the help they need even before their substance use escalates into a problem that could potentially result in a crisis.
5. Get your addicted child help as soon as possible
The earlier you get your child or teen treatment for substance abuse, the easier it will be on them and their ability to recover from addiction. If they are a teenager, the best time to send them for treatment is when they still have an open mind and are willing to accept your help. At the addictions coach, we understand that as parents, you may be worried about your child and what the best for them. Dr. Cali Estes calls this the Failure-to-Launch syndrome that affects the Millennial Population, where they lack direction, ambition, and purpose. To know more about our Failure-to-Launch program, visit our website.
6. Don’t blame yourself for your addicted child’s addiction problem
You are not responsible for their problems, but you are responsible for their recovery. Understanding this will help keep your head on straight as you deal with the challenges that lie ahead. Your loved one has an addiction problem, and it is not your fault, but you are the only one who can help them overcome it.
You may also like: How Does Parental Substance Abuse Affect Children.
7. Don’t enable your addicted child’s negative behaviors
You might think that helping them will make their addiction problem worse but doing things for them usually only keeps them stuck in unhealthy patterns of behavior that lead to continued substance abuse problems. If they are not ready to overcome their substance abuse, then don’t help them, as this will only make things worse.
8. Keep your expectations realistic
It is important for you to maintain a sense of hope and optimism throughout the recovery process, but it’s also necessary for you to realize that treatment can take a long time and work best when they are ready to get better. If they are not ready, then they will need your support and encouragement until they decide that it is time to change their lives for the better.
The only thing you can do is be there for them when they decide to take their first step towards recovery. Sometimes, these steps do not happen for years; this does not mean that you should give up on them. Instead, create an environment where they feel comfortable for when the time is right for them to accept your help in overcoming their addiction problems.
Keep these tips in mind every day, and remember that you are not alone. There are people who can guide you along the way. If you need help, then do not be afraid to ask for it. Trust us at The Addiction sCoach. Think of us as your private team of experts who can help parents of drug-addicted children and assist you in all aspects that arise out of setting boundaries and exploring accountability.