Although addiction is now widely thought of as a disease rather than a moral failing, many parents of adult children struggling with substance abuse may feel like they have failed or made mistakes in raising their child. They commonly report feeling guilt, anger, and responsibility for the issues their child is facing. However, addiction does not discriminate based on upbringing.
The five tips below can help parents of addicted adult children maintain their own physical and emotional well-being.
Five Tips for Coping as the Parent of an Addicted Adult Child
- Avoid blaming yourself if your child refuses to accept help or treatment services that are offered to them. The most you can do is make sure your child knows that these resources are available to them if they decide to pursue sobriety; you can’t force them to help themselves.
- Set firm boundaries. Many people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are adept at avoiding consequences for their actions, and your child likely knows what to say or do to convince you to enable them to chase their next high. It’s okay to offer financial help or housing for your child with conditions, as long as you remain committed to sticking to those conditions.
- Don’t sacrifice your own well-being to try to save theirs. Some parents find themselves in dire financial straits after years of covering their child’s legal, treatment-related, or general life expenses. Others may become isolated or depressed. Accept your limits as a caretaker and hold your child accountable.
- Find a support system. Many communities have active support groups for people affected by family members struggling with addiction. Having a network of individuals dealing with similar situations allows parents to realize that they aren’t alone, and fellow support group participants can provide any necessary “reality checks” to parents who may be acting as enablers for their children.
- Learn to separate your child from the disease of addiction. It can be tough for parents of addicts to deal with conflicting feelings of love, guilt, and resentment. Although addiction is a lifelong disease, it’s a manageable one, and your child can choose to accept help and live a sober and successful life. Recognize that your child is more than their addiction.
If your child is prepared to accept help, Silvermist may be the right place for them to begin their journey to recovery. We provide evidence-based inpatient treatment at our luxury rehabilitation residences. We also believe in the importance of family in recovery and encourage family members to participate in the treatment process as appropriate.