Dealing with an adult child who is struggling with addiction can be one of the most challenging and emotionally taxing experiences a parent can face. And while it may seem impossible to get them to help themselves, it's important to remember as their parent, your support can still make a positive impact that ultimately leads to recovery.
Before you can help them overcome their addiction, you need to understand it, how it works, and what resources are out there to help your son or daughter. Once you are able to educate yourself, you'll be better equipped to help your child acknowledge their addiction and navigate the recovery process.
Communication will also be critical. Approach conversations with your child in a non-judgmental and supportive way. Your child needs to know that you are there for them and that you want to help. This approach allows you to establish trust and maintain an open line of communication with your child, even if they're not ready or unable to admit to their substance abuse and addiction.
It’s also very important to set clear boundaries and consequences for negative behaviors. Doing this will not only help protect yourself but will prevent you from inadvertently enabling their addiction. These will not always be easy to set and enforce, but they are crucial for helping your child understand the impact their addiction is having on themselves and those around them. These often take the form of rules like no drinking or drug use in your house, not providing financial support, and not tolerating abusive behavior of any kind, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional.
Next you need to set ultimatums for when these boundaries are crossed. Whatever you decide the ultimatums to be, commit to sticking to them at all costs. This will put you firmly in the driver’s seat, allowing you the ability to maintain as much inner peace about the situation as possible. This will be difficult but failure to enforce the ultimatums you set will tell your child that they are free to continue using without suffering the consequences.
Finally, make efforts to take care of yourself and prioritize your own mental and physical health. This can be seeking out support from friends and family, regularly engaging in self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or attending support groups for parents of addicted children. By doing this, you'll be better equipped to support your child through their addiction.
Throughout this process, remember that recovery is a lifelong journey for an addict. It is not a one-time event, it's a process. There will be highs and lows, and in some cases, relapses but with your love and support as their parent, your child can overcome their addiction and start building the better life you so desperately want for them.
And remember, you are not alone. There are numerous resources available to help you and your child and Natural State Recovery Centers in one of them. We’re here to help your child take the first step towards recovery. Call 501-319-7074 to speak with a member of our compassionate team of recovery specialists.