5 Do’s and Do Nots for Parents of Addicted Adults

We don’t want to take our blinders off to see that our loved one may be struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction. It can be easy to fall into traps of pretending that it is not happening or that it isn’t “that” bad. We often see the physical and psychological negative effects drugs and alcohol can cause to minimize the extent of someone’s problem, but on some level, substance abuse interferes with all aspects of an individual: social, familial, occupational, educational, and other everyday aspects of life.

How to Help Your Loved One

Finding a good balance between aiding your loved one to find, and maintain, sobriety versus falling into the familial addiction trap yourself can be difficult. So what are some ways to help your adult child if they are in active addiction?

5 Do’s and Do Not's for Parents of Addicted Adults
  1. Utilize respectful communication skills that you would with anyone else. Be blunt and assertive. Allow your child to have a voice in the matter. Set goals of compromise, trust, and understanding.
  2. Engage in support groups for yourself. Give yourself permission to explore what is going on for you emotionally with others in similar situations.
  3. Check into family counseling. Trained therapists can aid in repairing the relationship between you and your loved one. You may benefit from individual therapy for yourself in conjunction with family counseling.
  4. Be wary of scheming behaviors and false promises of change from your child. Do not give in to these blindly.
  5. Hold an intervention for your child with a trained interventionist. Encourage your loved one to understand their addiction and get help to overcome it.

Contradictions to Aiding Your Loved One in Quitting Alcohol or Drugs

  1. In the same sense that you will want to utilize effective communication skills, do not use verbal threats, nor aggression, to get what you want.
  2. Enabling behaviors are a no-go. It’s easy to believe we are helping our adult child by giving them money that they are really going to spend on their substance of choice so that we do not have to listen to complaining and so they don’t go to dangerous lengths to find the money to afford their addiction. These sorts of behaviors aid in justification on the addict’s part and move them further away from the hope of treatment.
  3. On the same token, make sure not to fall into a codependency trap. While it may be difficult to not take care of someone that is your own child, you need to make sure you are taking care of your needs and wants as well.
  4. Do not put identified triggers in front of someone struggling with addiction. Even if they have achieved a significant length of sobriety, triggers still should not be purposefully flaunted.
  5. Dishonesty can further destroy your relationship with your child. Mistrust is already a huge part of most addict’s lives.

A Family Focused Alternative Treatment Center

It is easy to fall into codependent behaviors with your child due to all the underlying emotions and denial you may be experiencing regarding the situation. Unfortunately, this enables your loved one to continue in active addiction rather than searching for help. Discovery Place of Burns, Tennessee has trained professionals standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support both you and your loved one through this difficult journey. Call us today at 1-800-725-0922.

As you may well be aware after reading this, your family plays a huge role in helping your child to maintain their sobriety. Family is also affected on an expansive emotional level by opiate, alcohol, cannabis, and other substance use disorders. This requires treatment and support for you as well. Discovery Place’s family matters program can help you find the support you need to work through the emotional turbulence you have undergone during your loved one’s addiction.

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