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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Lessons Parents of Young Adult Addicts Should Learn

Living with someone who has a substance misuse disorder can be incredibly challenging – even more so if you are watching your child struggle with the various issues related to substance misuse. Not only do you constantly worry about their well-being, but you may also find yourself in completely unfamiliar territory when it comes to how to help your son or daughter deal with their problems.

As a parent, you probably have an array of questions:
  • What are they using, and how much?
  • Is this a passing phase of experimentation, or a genuine addiction?
  • Am I being overprotective, or am I right to be concerned?
  • If I put my foot down and set ultimatums around my child’s drinking or drug use, will it push them even further away from me?
  • Is this problem somehow my fault?
  • Is my child’s future at risk?
  • Should I be looking into qualified treatment facilities?
Here are the top four lessons you should learn about young adult addiction.

1. Parents Can Enable an Addiction

As a parent, you would do almost anything to keep your child from experiencing pain. You want their journey in life to be free of as many obstacles as possible. Unfortunately, those same impulses can cause you to develop the habit of enabling a child’s addiction.

You raised your child in the best way you knew how. It can be a bitter pill to swallow when you realize you can only do so much to support them, and at some point, they are responsible for the decisions they make. As much as you may want to smooth out the bumpy road to addiction recovery, your child must experience the natural consequences of their actions and do the hard work of getting better on their own.

2. You Can’t Help Someone Who Isn’t Willing to Accept Help

As well as you think you know your child, unless you have battled addiction issues yourself, it can be challenging for you to understand what they’re going through. Because of the denial that often accompanies addiction, addicted people may refuse to admit when they need help. When addiction takes hold of someone’s life, they often can’t walk away. However, coming to terms with this is a gradual process.

You can play a role in helping your child work through addiction by being there to support them, researching a treatment center and learning more about their substance of misuse and how it affects them, but your son or daughter won’t heal from an addiction until they are willing to accept they have a problem they can’t solve by themselves.

3. Be Patient

It takes time to heal from a drug or alcohol addiction. There are no shortcuts or quick-fix solutions, no matter how much you might wish there were. There will be easy days and hard ones. The best thing you can do is to be there to support your child and provide unconditional love when they are struggling.

4. Addiction Doesn’t Define Your Child

One of the most challenging lessons learned in addiction recovery is for the addicted person to rediscover who they are without the influence of drugs and alcohol on their life. Along the way, they will also need to accept that it’s fruitless to dwell on mistakes made in the past. You can help your child learn to live in the moment by encouraging them to try supplementing their therapy with approaches such as meditation.

Start Healing Your Family Today

At Hope Academy, we know how devastating addiction can be for families. Learn more about our young adult addiction services for ages 18 through 26, and get your child the necessary help to recover. Contact us today to learn more about our application process.
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