As a mother, you always try to do the right things for your child. From the exact moment you found out you were having a baby, you knew that you had a huge responsibility to take care of for the rest of your life. When your child grows up to become an addict, many confusing feelings arise and you might not know the right way to cope.
Parents of addicts usually take one of two stances:
- The “I didn’t raise you this way” stance: you may feel that you’ve done all of the right things when raising your child, so you feel anger towards the person they’ve become. This way of dealing with the problem seldom results in a happy ending; it just pushes the child away from you and may lead to even more problems down the road.
- The “It’s my fault you’re this way” stance: you may feel as though your parenting style has lead your child to this destination. You begin to blame yourself for your child’s problems. This stance results as you becoming an enabler; which means taking the blame for your child’s drug problem resulting in them not taking responsibility for their own actions. This allows the problem to persist for longer.
While there is no ‘one right way’ for mothers of drug addicts to deal with the problem, there are many different ways to cope.
1. Take a new stance on the problem
Instead of becoming angry or placing the blame on yourself like the situations above, try this approach: let your child know that you will always be there for them no matter what. Allow them to take responsibility for their own actions while also reassuring them that you want them to get help. By pushing your child to get help while supporting them along the way, you will have a more effective outcome.
2. Accept the problem and be honest
The problem will be impossible to fix if you aren’t being honest with yourself about it. If you are in denial with what is actually going on, nothing will get done. Accept the fact that your child does have a drug problem and needs to find help immediately (and that there is nothing wrong with that).
3. Help your child find the right treatment option for them
(And don’t be afraid to do so.) Whether it be going to a medical professional to wean off harmful substances to entering a holistic treatment facility, encourage your child to get help. This is a problem that can’t be taken care of independently, so find help right away.
4. Love your child
If you are angry with your child, remember the happy times you’ve had with them up to this point. Realize that they are still your child and that you love them no matter what (even though it may be extra hard to right now). This doesn’t mean to enable them; just encourage positivity in the road to sobriety.
5. Remember to give yourself a break
Realize that your child has his or her own unique personality and that their drug problem may not be the result of something you did or did not do. Understand that your child needs to take full responsibility for their actions so you don’t exhaust yourself.
There is an abundance of help for parents of addicts that can help your child and your family as a whole. If your child is suffering from addiction, call Safe Prevention at 1-877-503-2608 to learn more about addiction treatment and prevention.