It is extremely difficult for parents dealing with a drug-addicted child, and it can be even harder when your child is now a grown adult. Since your child is now grown, they can make decisions for themselves. Since he or she is estranged, it makes it harder for you to connect with them. You have less control over your grown and estranged child, but you still want to help them more than ever.
If you want to know how to help your drug addicted child, you must first consider the amount of work involved in the recovery process. Addiction, many times, causes relationships to suffer, the person to develop co-occurring disorders such as anxiety and depression, and for the person to not feel themselves anymore. It’s up to you to get them on the right track, but you can’t let it control you. Here are some tips on how you can help your adult child in the recovery process:
First, you must try to educate yourself on the subject of addiction so that you can understand what they are going through. Learn about what causes people to fall into the cycle of addiction, why the recovery process is so challenging, and the most effective forms of treatment for each person. Learn about the types of drugs that one can become addicted to as well as what the outcomes of each are.
Besides educating yourself on drug abuse in general, look deeper into the possible causes of addiction for your child. Notice any big changes that have happened in their life; did they lose someone they love, did they get laid off from work, or have they been having relationship problems with their significant other? Pay attention to what they have been going through that could lead to their drug abuse because understanding is the first step to solving.
Don’t be an Enabler
Many times, parents begin to blame themselves for their child’s drug abuse. They may feel like their child became addicted because of how they were raised, the parenting mistakes they’ve made, or not being a good influence on them. This is called enabling; when you chose to take on the responsibility of another person’s addiction, you have become an enabler.
Although enablers feel as though they are “helping” their loved one, it seldom results in long-term success. You get trapped in the cycle of addiction, too, and don’t do anything effective about it in fear of your loved one resenting you. Some ways to protect yourself from becoming an enabler is by setting personal boundaries, such as not becoming involved in their drama, refusing to physically and emotionally care-take, and not being held “hostage” by their actions.
Try to Connect with your Child
If you are estranged from your child but want to help them, it is important to try to come back into their life. Take small steps though; call them on the phone, go out to lunch, or go to an exercise class together. Work your way back into their life slowly and not all at once. Once you have connected again, you will be able to help them in the addiction recovery process.
Take Care of You
This goes along with not becoming an enabler, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. Taking care of someone else for so long can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. See a counselor, remember to eat well and work out, or practice mindfulness activities. If you are unhealthy, how are you supposed to help somebody else become healthy?
For parents dealing with a drug-addicted child: don’t wait. Take action as soon as the possible because the problem will only become worse. For information on addiction prevention and treatment, call SAFE Prevention at 1-877-503-2608. At SAFE Prevention, you will find the resources you need to help your estranged child achieve long-term sobriety that is unique to your individual situation. Call today!