What to Do With a Drug-Addicted Son or Daughter

by | Last updated Mar 22, 2022 | Published on Feb 17, 2022 | At Risk Populations, Family Recovery | 0 comments

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Knowing or finding out that your child is using drugs or alcohol can be a terrifying and disorienting event. Face it. That may sound harsh, but it’s the most crucial thing you can do right now. What is the best way to go about it? It’s better to prepare for any significant conversation. Take a deep breath, plan out your discussion points, and consider the “why” of their use before confronting your loved one and having the conversation. This article will help you figure out how to do this.

Understand the Situation 

Begin by listening and understanding your child; it is what they need most right now. Your child might not be ready to talk. Give them space and time to be prepared, but raise the subject, so they know you’ve noticed their behavior. 

Make a list of specific questions to ask about their recent actions if that’s the case. Ask them when they started using drugs or alcohol and how they got the drugs or alcohol. Discuss the risks honestly and without exaggeration. Always keep in mind what information is suitable for your child’s age. 

Be clear and consistent about the rules and the consequences of breaking them, and assist your children in developing methods for handling situations with their peers that may entail drugs or alcohol.

Talk About Addiction

Teenagers are more likely to have peers who use drugs or alcohol. Discuss the legal concerns and the risk of being injured due to their actions. They may ask you additional specific drug-related questions. You can set clear expectations for your teen and make them feel comfortable coming to you if you talk about it with them from the start. 

It’s better to try to have a conversation than to do nothing, no matter how tough it is or how many times it takes. Keep in mind that you are not alone in your endeavor! Communicating about it may help them deal with and heal from these heavy topics.

At the same time, educate yourself about addiction and show your child that you too have questions about this complex disease.

Stop Being an Enabler

To stop enabling a loved one, you must recognize that this behavior can prolong and worsen their addiction. Creating boundaries and allowing your loved ones to shoulder the burden of their choices will outweigh the short-term pain in the long run. 

Protecting yourself against injury and developing the strength to tolerate emotional manipulation are two aspects of self-care. For your child, you must establish boundaries. Parents can control their children’s limitations and not be afraid to set those limits.

Structure and accountability help children grow, and it all starts with the parents. An enabler is only intensifying the addiction of their loved one. Even though this isn’t their intention, it’s the result of making excuses and allowing things to go unchecked. 

A person struggling with addiction may be able to finally see that their actions are undesirable and that addiction has consequences and side effects that affect everyone in their lives, including themselves. Your loved ones may have to accept responsibility for their own choices and endure the natural repercussions of their substance abuse if you cease enabling them.

Discuss Treatment Options

When your child is ready to talk, discuss treatment options with them. Treatment may include counseling, medication, support groups, or a combination of all these depending on the nature of the addiction. Family participation and other social support are other vital elements influencing recovery. 

To be successful in addiction recovery, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recommends that therapy with their family be part of the treatment process. Don’t push them to decide at the moment. Let them research treatment options on their own. 

Seek Support for Yourself

Looking for help from trusted friends and family or a peer support group for drug users’ family members can be highly therapeutic, so look for support from trusted family and friends. You can discover comfort, encouragement, and new coping methods by talking to people going through similar situations. 

It’s all too easy for your loved one’s addiction fight to become all-consuming. When other aspects of your life are fulfilling, though, you’ll find it simpler to live with a challenging scenario. Set aside time in your day to enjoy the things that make you happy while also trying to keep up with your work, hobbies, and social plans.

Sources:

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/talk-about-drugs.html 

https://www.samhsa.gov/young-adults

https://nida.nih.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment

Written by: The Freedom Center

Written by: The Freedom Center

The Freedom Center Editorial team is made of up individuals who have struggled with addiction, loved ones who have helped family members through addiction, and professionals in addiction treatment. Our goal is to help our community understand what they are facing when it comes to recovery and what resources are available to help them.

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