Addiction is one of the hardest things that a human being will ever face. It can completely alter a person’s life in the worst ways. But it also affects those around them, especially the people with whom they are closest. Drug addictions can be particularly tough to deal with, and it can be hard to see someone you love suffer.
And sometimes as a parent, it can leave you feeling powerless and anxious about your child’s safety. Addiction can leave a person feeling alone and confused, and it is a personal struggle. But there are things that you can do to help if your child is suffering from drug addiction.
Tough Love (don’t enable)
As a parent, of course, you love your child. So you want to do what you can to make your child happy. But sometimes in order to show our love, we have to do what is necessary for our child’s well being, no matter how extreme it is. Many parents fall into the trap of becoming an enabler.
This can happen when you are giving your child money with which to feed his or her addiction, or by letting them live in your house rent-free (if they are older than 18). Sometimes the best thing to do is to be cruel to be kind. You have to help them to realize the consequences of their actions so that they are more likely to seek help. Of course, it is also important to let them know that you still love them and that you are there for them if they decide that they want to change.
Staging an intervention might seem like something out of a television show, but it can actually be one of the most effective ways to help your child realize the extent of their problem. Denial is very common in addicts, so an intervention with a small group of their closest friends and family can be the best way to show them that they are harming themselves, as well as those closest to them.
You can also be joined by a professional who works at a rehab center, which will help to smooth the transition into rehab for your child.
Be Ready for a Long Process
It can take a long time for someone to even admit that they have a problem with addiction. but once your child has accepted that they have a problem, they are only at the beginning of a long and hard journey. There will be a lot of hard times and relapses, but be prepared to stick with your child as long as they are trying to get better.
Accept that Only they Can Fix it
You might start to get frustrated at your helplessness as a parent while your child continues in a downward spiral. But everyone is free to make their own decisions, and you can do what you can to help them, but you must accept that only they can change themselves. There is not much that you can do if they refuse to admit the existence of a problem in the first place.
Forgive and Forget
When someone is on the road to recovery, it can be unhelpful to keep bringing up their past mistakes and holding grudges against the person that they were before. Once they have sorted their life out, it is a good time for you to let them know that you forgive them as well.