Adult Children and Addiction
If only you knew about addiction. If only you knew how to spot the signs. If only you knew how to stop it. As an addict’s mother or father, it’s hard to not place blame on yourself. Even if you have grown children, you still can’t help but ask: Am I a bad parent?
Knowledge Is Key
Educate yourself. You’re not supposed to automatically know how to deal with a child who is addicted. There are resources that tell you what you can do to help an addict and how to take care of yourself. For example, you can join an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon group, which supports friends and family of alcoholics and addicts. These support groups provide great advice for parents of addicts. Your child’s addiction is not a reflection on your parenting skills. Put aside any guilt or embarrassment and talk to someone you trust, like a friend or addiction specialist. If you don’t understand addiction, you probably feel confused and hurt. You may be frustrated with your child. It’s because you just don’t know enough about addiction. Save yourself some heartache and research the disease of addiction.
Parents would do anything to protect their children. They would push them out of the way of a speeding car. Preventing addiction doesn’t work that way. A lot of times you won’t even see it coming. It’s easy to think that if you would have been a better parent, or said this or done that, your child may not have slipped into the world of addiction. But ultimately, the addict made his or her own choice to start using.
Parents don’t like knowing that their child is hurting him or herself. They would stop the addiction if they could. It’s sad to think that the days of magically healing an injury with a kiss are gone. Though it’s instinct, don’t lie about or make excuses for your child’s behavior. You want to protect him or her, but the addiction doesn’t care. On the other hand, denial is common among family members. They are oblivious to the addiction or choose not to see it. Some family members believe that if the addict really loved them, he or she would stop using. One has nothing to do with the other. Addicts enjoy using or the effects that come from it, not because they don’t love their family. You can help by getting your addicted family member into detox treatment to break the cycle of addiction. Parenting never ends, even when your children are grown. You will always want to lead them in the right direction. If they decide to head down the wrong path, you feel responsible in some way. But they made the decision—you didn’t. You may not have control over your child’s life anymore, but there are things you can still do. Stepping Stone Center is here for you and your loved one. Call 866-957-4960 to speak with an admission coordinator today to get your addicted young adult into drug and alcohol rehab.