A parent’s love for their child knows no bounds. They often say they would die for their kids, and the vast majority of them actually do mean it. One of the hardest things for a parent to go through is to watch their son struggling with drug addiction. It is scary, frustrating and leaves parents feeling alone and helpless most of the time.
It does not always have to be this way. The stress, the sleepless nights can feel unbearable, but there are steps that you can take to help the situation. You can help your drug addicted son and there are rehabilitation resources and support available to you. Florida drug treatment facilities can provide the ongoing therapy and support necessary for a healthy life in recovery. There are things that you can do, however, to help the process, and increase the chances that your son will seek the treatment that they need. Call (866)-957-4960 to speak confidentially to an admissions counselor at Stepping Stone Center for Recovery.
One of the first steps towards helping anyone is first knowing yourself
This may seem unconventional, starting with yourself rather than the person that needs help. That is actually quite normal. Professionals in the helping professions spend a significant amount of time learning about themselves. For you, spend time thinking about yourself and your needs and limits.
You need to know this because setting limits with your son are going to be a vital part of this process. What you need to know is what your limits are, how far you can go, and what is an acceptable consequence if your son crosses those limits you set. Spend that necessary time trying to understand what it is that upsets you the most and why. Is it lying? Is it how he is putting his life in danger? Or is it something worse, like abuse or criminal activity? Figure out what that limit is for you so that you can use that. You can set that, and then let them know what happens if someone violates them.
It may be easier to think about your limits than it is to take the next step, which is determining the consequences for your son if he steps over those limits. It can be straightforward to come up with a limit, such as he has to quit drugs and enter inpatient addiction treatment immediately. The harder part is figuring out what you will do if he refuses this.
A person with a substance use disorder will be used to getting their way. They learned to lie, manipulate or coerce people into doing what they want. To get them into an addiction treatment facility, this needs to change. This needs to stop immediately. The longer that your drug addicted son is enabled, the worse their addiction will get and the more at risk they will be for the horrible side effects of drug abuse.
Enabling behaviors have to stop immediately
Your son loves you, but they are not in control of their behavior any longer. The addiction is what is running things for right now. That means your son is going to do things outside of what he usually does to feed his habit. He will use your love and sympathy, and sadly that needs to end. Enabling has to stop. That means that when he asks for money, as long as he is not in addiction treatment, you should not give it to him. He has to experience the consequences that you set up for him. While this may feel painful, this may be one of the ways to get through to him and help him overcome this addiction.
Cutting off support may feel like the exact opposite of helping him. Any parent would feel like this, and it is normal. Think about it this way, however, by supporting him, giving him money, you are giving him the ability to buy more drugs. Is this what you want? By telling him you will support him, but only if he is in recovery, you can help enable healthy behaviors.
Remember to be kind and compassionate to him and the rest of your family while you go through this process
Often family members can get lost easiest in the hurt and anger that comes from addiction. This is also to be expected when it comes to dealing with substance use. Compassion and kindness will go a long way toward encouraging long-term relationships. Substance use and addiction are not always forever. People do recover. They also remember what is said and done while they were struggling with their addiction. Simple respect and kindness will go a long way when it comes to helping a family heal after drug addiction treatment.
Love them, but don’t rescue them
That has been the message up until now. Remember to love your son, don’t expect that you can help them. Addiction is a complicated process, and accepting that it is beyond the role of a parent to help is vital to the process. Your son needs appropriate drug addiction treatment. Don’t get in the way of that, instead actively support them when they seek help.
The things you can do to help support them include setting those limits and sticking to consequences, encouraging them when they seek help, and actively working with them to find Florida addiction treatment centers. Helping them get professional treatment is one of the best things that you can do for them. It is a way to demonstrate that you love them and are worried about them. They may try to make you feel like it isn’t, but that is the drug addiction talking.
Raise the bottom if you have to. Raising the bottom is a phrase heard in addiction treatment. When a person with a drug addiction hits bottom, they have gone as low as they can, and see there is no other way out than drug treatment. Raising the bottom means that you are taking steps to get them to the bottom quicker, therefore, they may seek treatment quicker.
This may sound cruel, but really for some, it is the best thing you can do. Raising the bottom means not jumping in to rescue your son every time they need help. They have to be clean and getting treatment to get support like money or a place to stay. For parents who raise the bottom, that means taking active steps to get their son involved in systems of care, whether their son wants to be there or not. This means calling the police when you know your son is drinking and driving, or when they have or are on drugs. By doing this, they get involved in the criminal justice system which can force them into treatment and recovery. No one wants to do this ever, but it may be a way to actually get your son in drug addiction treatment when they are refusing other ways of getting help.
Remember to care for yourself too. Parents are really focused on their kids and have been since the dawn of time. They will ignore their own well-being for their son’s survival. This is overall a good thing, but addiction can come along and throw this beautiful process out of balance. Soon, a parent is giving and giving, and all it does is add more and more to their son’s misery and addiction without adequate drug treatment.
What parents often lose sight of while helping their son find treatment for drug addiction is to take care of themselves. The stress, anxiety, and frustration that comes from family members trying to cope with addiction are just as real as the person struggling with substance abuse themselves. Be kind to yourself while you go through this process. It will be hard at times, so do things that soothe your stress. Be sure to take care of your body by eating, getting the appropriate amount of sleep, and getting some exercise. Relax your mind by doing things that are fun or enjoyable for you. Distract yourself from the stress of addiction so that you can continue on and be helpful to your son while he is in drug treatment.
It is often said that a parent’s greatest joy is raising their child to be a fully functional adult. Addiction can come along and derail that. It is not the end of the line, however. Change and recovery happen every day for sons who come into our Florida treatment facility. Do what you need to best help your son, and yourself, while they figure out their own path to recovery. We are here to help you. If you have questions or want to know how to help get your son into drug addiction treatment, please call Stepping Stone Center for Recovery right now at (866)-957-4960.