Advice for Families of Drug Abusers
When a child becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs, parents often feel helpless. The pain is profound and the frustration mounts over time. Parents worry about the consequences to their child’s health, the impact on their personal relationships, their schooling or their jobs. As the addiction escalates, addiction can have such dire consequences to the child, parents are left wondering if there’s anything that can be done, especially when the child just doesn’t want to be helped. By this time, the family unit has been damaged, relationships are strained or have been suspended. If you’ve been searching “how to help your drug addicted child” on the internet, we’re here to help. Any time a parent first learns of a child’s addiction, there’s a period of denial. Parents will sometimes adopt that attitude of “not my child.” Nothing could be more dangerous. One overdose could be fatal and denial is dangerous.
Start With An Assessment
To truly establish that your child is addicted may take more than just a conversation with him/her. Addicts often deny their addiction until long after they’re caught red-handed. Addiction is all consuming. It is more powerful than friendships, more important that family, and more imperative than one’s selfpreservation. Addicts will lie, cheat, steal and deny because they are no longer themselves. An addict child is not the child you’ve known all their life — they are different people. If a parent can produce irrefutable evidence of drug use, it’s time to step in. Many times, we hear of situations where parents suspected addiction but the child denied it. Parents accepted the denial and the addiction continued for years, sometimes even decades. Denial on the part of the parents can be fatal to the child. Parents of addicts find themselves in uncharted territory. They must be prepared for emotional pain, financial issues and even potential health issues. The family unit as a whole will be strained because of the addict’s behavior which is often highly toxic to siblings. When it’s time to call a professional, there some resources available, many of which offer invaluable advice for parents of addicts.
Resources and Advice for Parents of Drug Abusers
Addiction is one of the most serious challenges a family will ever face. Few things are more destructive to the family’s health, happiness and financial well-being than an addicted child. The natural instinct for many parents is to be the rescuer of the child, and some parents try to manage the addiction themselves. The failure rate for this approach is just shy of 100%. Meanwhile, the child’s addiction deepens and the consequences become more severe.
Consult a Professional: Contact a Rehab or Detox facility. Often times, they will provide a case worker that can help organize and intervention. Choose a rehab facility with a high rate of success, preferably one that is far, far away from the child’s hometown (fewer distractions = higher rate of success) and be sure to check with your health insurance company to see what’s covered.
Conduct an Intervention: If the child won’t go willingly, set up an intervention. You must set hard and fast boundaries and consequences. The child must know that they must accept and treat their addiction to establish a new life, or live out their lives utterly alone.
After Rehab, there’s Sober Living: Rehab is step one. Step two is learning how to transition to a sober lifestyle. This can’t happen after just 30, 60 or 90 days in rehab. Addicts must slowly segue into their new life and new environment. Bringing a child right back to his/her hometown immediately after Rehab is a bad idea and relapse becomes much, much more likely. [cta id=’269′]