Being a parent of an addict can be extremely stressful and painful at times. It may feel overwhelming and confusing seeing a loved one go down the path of addiction. Many parents immediately resort to guilt or blame themselves for their child becoming an addict. Sometimes, it can be a complicated situation trying to support a child without enabling them to continue using. Fortunately, there is help for parents of addicts in the form of professional treatment and intervention help.
At Harmony Ridge, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones are taken care of with effective and personalized treatment. If you are a parent of an addict, you don’t have to struggle alone. Let us help you. At the end of the day, the safety and happiness of your child is the goal for the future. Let this guide be comprehensive help for parents of addicts.
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Identifying the Possible Signs of Addiction
One of the most important parts of being the parent of an addict is being able to identify a problem, to begin with. Often, addiction can completely change the way a person acts and talks. There are several behavioral and physical changes you may see in a child. Being able to spot these signs is essential for getting help promptly.
It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone is affected by drugs in the same way. Certain drugs may have specific effects on a person’s mind and body. However, there are a number of common signs regardless of the drug that can be spotted over time. Look out for these signs of potential addiction in a loved one.
Many drugs have certain effects on the body and can affect the way a person looks and feels. These are all specific to the type of drug being used but having a common list of signs can be a huge help for parents of addicts. Some of the more universal signs of drug or alcohol addiction include:
- Memory and cognition troubles
- Fatigues or frequently tired
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- Intoxicated more often
- Worsened hygiene or grooming
- Fast changes in their weight
Another vital indicator of addiction is how a person behaves (or changes behavior). These can vary from person to person and typically involve lying, failing responsibilities, and other more severe changes. Some of the most common forms of behavioral changes include the following:
- Decreased performance or trouble at work or school
- Angry outbursts when addiction is mentioned
- Mood swings or acting abnormally
- Lying (about substance use or amount used)
- Risky or criminal behavior
- Losing interest in hobbies and other social activities
Things to Keep in Mind as a Parent of An Addict
There are many things you have to keep in mind when dealing with a child who is an addict. The situation may feel hopeless or painful as time goes on. However, it’s important to keep a clear mind and have a set goal. Many parents may feel they are doing the right thing for their child, but they may be enabling them or inadvertently ignoring the situation. Being able to accept these truths below can help you think clearer and more honest about your child’s addiction.
Parents Can Enable Further Drug Use
Enabling is one of the most problematic parts of addiction cases. Enablers can come in many forms, whether it be friends, family, or those close to the addict. Those who enable addicts may have the best intentions at heart and maybe unintentionally enabling the person. This holds true with parents of addicts. As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. Unfortunately, this can end up leading the person down a deeper path of addiction.
While it can be painful and stressful, the fact is that your child has an addiction. As a parent, you can focus on supporting and helping them by providing other opportunities on the right path. This can be done by ignoring or enabling a person to continue using. Reaching out for professional help or relying on other resources can be an excellent way to help them towards a cleaner life.
Your Child May Lie to You About Their Addiction
People struggling with addiction or substance use disorders (SUD) will do anything to keep their addiction in check at times. They may resort to lying or excuses about their drug use or addiction. At times, children may seek approval or tell their parents what they want to hear without even realizing they are lying. Those struggling with addiction feel they cannot stop using and will go to any many to continue their addiction. They may resort to lying or pleasing their parents even if they don’t want to.
While it’s important to have trust in your child, it’s even more important to be aware of the facts. If your child says they aren’t using drugs make sure to believe what you see rather than what you hear. On the other hand, if your child tells the truth make sure to give them positive reinforcement.
It’s OK to Look for Extra Help
While parents may feel they have the best grasp on the situation, this is maybe far from the truth. As a parent, you can’t “fix” the problem all by yourself. There is plenty of external help for parents of addicts. However, at the end of the day, it’s up to the person struggling with the addiction to get proper help. This means that you must be patient with your child and not force your own idea of recovery on them. This can lead to a failed attempt at getting help, which leads to more stress and problems.
When the time is right and your child is ready to make the change, then you can help them during the process. Reaching out to quality rehab centers like Harmony Ridge is necessary for proper and effective treatment. As a parent of an addict, you shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out for professional help for your son or daughter.
Your Child May Break the Law or Do Something Illegal
Unfortunately, illegal activity is sometimes a symptom of addiction. Drug abuse and illegal activity are sometimes related when it comes to acquiring or using a substance. It is a parent’s worst nightmare to imagine their child incarcerated or jailed for something they did. This can lead to more stress and pain for the family. As a parent, you need to know that this is a consequence of addiction, one you cannot stop your child from. All you can do is stay supportive while discouraging them from illegal behavior.
Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing with Your Child’s Addiction
It’s important to have guidelines to determine what you should and should not do in situations of a child who’s addicted. Having a list of do’s and don’ts can be a massive help for parents of addicts and can help you take the right approach. Let’s take a look at what to do and what not to do for your child:
- Don’t let yourself stay in a situation of mental or physical abuse. If you are vulnerable due to size, age, or mental state, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
- Don’t let your child convince you that in the wrong for seeing a problem
- Don’t expect your child to immediately get help or quit their addiction outright. Addiction is usually much stronger than their desire to quit.
- Don’t expect immediate results after asking her to quit (in an intervention setting). Make sure to reach out to a professional interventionist for help. Be patient and have a set plan when the time comes.
- Don’t assume that rehab automatically means the problem will be fixed. Recovery takes patience, honesty, love, and support through the whole process. Take it one day at a time and never give up on your child.
- Don’t go directly for a short 30-day program. Long-term recovery is best achieved through longer types of treatment like residential treatment. Overcoming addiction takes time and patience, it doesn’t happen overnight.
- Do keep up to date with your own balance and honesty.
- Do try to find a treatment program that works best for your child. Ask questions and be informed before jumping into a decision.
- Do reiterate that rehab is the best answer to addiction recovery. Many families live in fear and stress as their child goes down a deeper and deeper path. Get professional help today.
- Do continue to support and stand by your child no matter how hard it gets. Having a supportive family is essential to addiction recovery.
- Do consider staging an intervention for your child. Make sure to plan it out correctly and think about hiring a professional interventionist to aid you in your journey.
Start Your Journey at Harmony Ridge
At Harmony Ridge, we want to provide effective help for parents of addicts. You don’t have to figure it out yourself. Let our professional and wonderful team help your child today. Addiction can be a crippling situation for everyone involved, starting your loved one’s journey towards recovery today. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and addiction resources.