As parents, we would do anything for our children, and when they hurt, so do we. If you find yourself in a situation where you have a son or a daughter that is grappling with an addiction, you are most likely on an emotional rollercoaster. Some days, you are angry; other days, scared or even confused. You may question yourself, wonder how this happened to your child, and be trying desperately to figure out the best way to help him or her. It is a very difficult situation to be in, but it isn’t hopeless. There are some things you can do to provide help and support.
Accept The Reality of Addiction and Don’t Ignore It
Confronting addiction head-on can be very difficult because you likely don’t want to admit that your child has a problem. Addiction is a disease, and like the sickness that it is, ignoring it only allows it to progress and worsen. Try to be proactive by researching what addiction is and how it manifests so you can have a better understanding of what is happening in your child’s life. If you can get a better understanding of what they are using. you will be much better equipped to figure out what type of treatment solutions are available. There are many helpful resources you can use, including the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) or the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is another terrific place to look.
Once you have some background and information, it is important to have the difficult, but necessary conversation with your child about the issue. If you can, do it when they are sober. Calmly and lovingly ask them to take some time to talk with you. Explain how you are feeling and what it is like to watch them struggle with this disease. Most importantly, let them know you are there to support them and you will work with them to recover and heal.
It is common that we feel we are doing our best to help our children, but in reality, we are hurting them by enabling them to continue down a destructive path. Examples would be paying their bills for them or getting them out of the trouble they put themselves in. These actions shield your child from experiencing the ramifications of their decisions. Without having consequences, it is much harder to learn. Creating boundaries about what you will accept and what you won’t like refusing to help them out financially, for example, will be significant in holding them responsible for their choices.
You Are Not Alone
You may feel like you are drowning with the whole process because it is an overwhelming one, for sure. Recovery and sobriety is a team sport. It takes support from family and friends, therapists, and other professionals to help the addict. It also takes support for the close loved ones who are helping the addict get better, heal and cope themselves. The totality of the process is a wearing one on the addict as well as the family. Don’t forget to take care of yourself during everything by sleeping, eating whole foods, and giving yourself time for a release. If you need extra support, there are family programs as well that help those so closely involved with the addict work through the process and stay healthy too.
If your child is ready to take the significant step of accepting help, Discovery Place offers a soothing environment with well-rounded programs that support overall healing. If you would like to Learn more about our programs by calling us today at 1-800-725-0922. We are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will work with you and guide you through a successful recovery.