5 Things Every Parent Should Do If Their Child Is An Addict

5 Things Every Parent Should Do If Their Child Is An Addict

Having a child is a wonderful thing. The moment they are born, our lives change completely. Priorities are different, we develop a powerful love for them, and we witness the miracle of life. At that moment, we think about all the wonderful experiences we will have as we watch them grow, and become a unique person.

As a parent, it’s a tough task to be a guide for your kids. While you may try your hardest to put them on the right path, sometimes they stray and end up in depressing or even life-threatening situations. Among those are financial difficulties, abusive relationships, and mental health issues. Another dark moment is watching them become drug or alcohol addicts.

I know this, because I myself was a drug addict and an alcohol addict. Granted, I hadn’t seen what I put my parents through until I became sober, but I definitely heard about it afterward. I started drinking at the age of 9, and got into hard drugs by the age of 13. Less than a decade later, I went to jail on drug-related charges. I was so focused on moving from high to high that I never paid attention to what I was doing to everyone else around me, namely my parents.

Many parents will choose to deny the situation or pretend like it doesn’t exist. Using excuses such as saying it’s just a phase are dangerous because a phase becomes a lifetime of abuse. In the end, your child is the only one who can help himself, but you as a parent are vital to their recovery. Standing by is the worst decision, even if it may seem as though you are powerless. Here are some things you can do as a parent to help your child fight addiction:

  1. Keep A Good Level of Communication

There are many things you can do to avoid alienating your kid. Asking open-ended questions that require more than one-word answers are vital. You need to build a relationship with them that lets them feel comfortable knowing that you trust them. Avoid being judgemental, and try to understand why they are abusing substances. Don’t ask a question for the sake of asking. Genuinely listen and be responsive. Communication is key.

Having said that, it’s also important to stand up for yourself. Set up clear guidelines for them so that they don’t take a mile when you offer them an inch. This can be done without being confrontational or arguing. Establish that every action of theirs has a consequence, instead of exploding on them unexpectedly when it happens.

  1. Help Them, Don’t Enable Them

If you think that you’re helping your kid by giving them money whenever they ask for it, you’re wrong. It may seem as though you’re helping on the surface, but in reality you’re enabling their addiction. In the same way, allowing them to come back and live with you let’s them continue abusing drugs while also not having to worry about food or a warm bed.

By looking into drug rehab clinics or detox programs, you’re actively helping them. By providing support when they’re in a dark place, you’re helping them. Those are real ways to contribute, instead of letting them comfortably continue their addiction.

  1. Have an Intervention

The mere thought of an intervention sounds like too much to handle for a lot of parents. It sounds like a very confrontational way to put your child on the spot, when in reality it’s an essential step. As I stated earlier, I was unable to see the pain I was causing to my loved ones. There’s a high chance your child doesn’t see it either.

When you contact a professional, you’re in the hands of someone who has tons of experiences with addiction cases. They are very well equipped and know exactly how addicts think or react in those situations. They might resist at first, but it could also provide them with the much-needed motivation for recovery.

  1. Be Strong

In the midst of so much chaos while trying to pull a loved one out of an abyss, many parents forget to care for themselves as well. It can be traumatic and can even lead to depression in some cases. If you aren’t mentally prepared to handle the stress that comes with fighting addiction, then you need to prepare yourself.

Many tears will be shed and hearts will be broken, but staying strength is your ally. If you need to, you can find support groups with families that share their same experiences. Relating to them and exchanging ideas is a great way to do your research and be well equipped.

  1. Don’t Give Up

Perseverance, along with strength, will be the characteristics that make or break your success when saving your child from addiction. Our sons and daughters will be reminded that they need to push forward if they want to be sober. However, parents also need to be reminded from time to time.

While you may do your part and feel that nothing is working, know that there is always hope. Keep driving them to their appointments, clinics, provide positive support and know that they are never lost when they are in your hands.

Parents must accept that there will be brutally heartbreaking moments in the lives of their children. Not only that, but in their own lives as well. As a parent, it’s up to you to provide the necessary support for your kids. Be there when they are down and out and be that hand that helps them pull themselves out of the water. Addiction is a serious disease, but it can be beaten. My parents were an immense contributor to my success and eventual sobriety. I hope that after reading this, you will be better prepared for the challenges ahead.

What experiences have you learned from as a parent with an addicted child? Let us know in the comments.

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