As the Opioid Crisis continues to tragically spiral out of control, fatal overdoses are officially on the rise across the United States.
If you’re the parents of addicted adults, you don’t want your child to pay the ultimate price because of their demons.
Whether they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, we understand that you’re looking for advice on how to handle it. You want to know not only how to help your child, but also how to look out for yourself — and process the often difficult emotions that come with loving an adult addict.
In this post, we’re offering advice for parents of addicts in Pasadena, CA.
Read on to understand why it’s not your fault, how to protect yourself, and the steps you can take to convince your child to get help.
Understand It’s Not Your Fault
It is so easy to feel immense blame, guilt, and even embarrassment when your adult child is an addict.
One of the most important — and the most difficult — things for you to come to grips with is that you cannot control your child’s addiction. You also did not cause their addiction.
Scientists, psychologists, and addiction experts all agree that there is a purely biological, disease-like side to addiction. That doesn’t mean that psychological factors are not in play. It just means that, even with the “perfect” upbringing and family support, an addict can still fall victim to the chemicals in their brain.
Find Support for Yourself
Help for parents of drug addicts or alcoholics is just as essential as getting help for the addicts themselves.
Caring for or living with an addict is emotionally exhausting, physically draining, and may even cause financial problems. It’s unrealistic to think that you won’t be in some way affected by your child’s addiction — and there’s no shame in asking for the support you need.
There are countless free support groups that parents, other family members, and friends of addicts can attend. Use this database to find an Al-Anon meeting near you. Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) and Nar-Anon groups can also be helpful.
You need to be around people who understand exactly where you’re coming from, and who won’t judge you for the often difficult choices your child has forced you to make.
In many cases, if your child has decided to enter rehab, treatment programs will also provide mediation and counseling sessions for their parents and other family members.
These can include solo sessions that will help you to better understand your child’s addiction and the recovery process. You may also be able to take part in a therapy/counseling session with your child so that you can communicate honestly with one another in a safe and supportive space.
This is perhaps the hardest piece of advice for parents of addicts in Pasadena, CA.
We know that the idea of telling your child that they can no longer stay with you, cutting them off financial, or even refusing to see them until they agree to go to treatment can feel impossible.
You worry about what will happen to your child if you set firm boundaries.
Will doing so compromise their safety? Will they become so angry with you that they refuse to speak to you? And how will you stick to these boundaries, even when it’s hard?
Your adult child needs to understand that there are consequences for their actions. They need to know that, as an adult, they don’t need your “approval” of their choices or “permission” to use — and you’re never going to give it to them, anyway.
This can often be the very thing that pushes your child to get help.
Intervene the Right Way
Parents of alcoholic adults or drug addicts may realize that their child’s addiction is so severe, that they may need an intervention in order to realize how out of control things have gotten.
If you’re planning on having an intervention, you may wish to meet with an addiction counselor or an intervention specialist to help you plan the most effective one possible.
When you confront the addict, talk about why you want them to get help. Talk about the person that they used to be, the things that they loved to do, and the time you used to spend together.
Talk about how you’ve seen their addiction rob them of all of that. Make sure that you’re also honest with your child that, as parents of addicts, their choices have also hurt you.
Next, talk about what’s going to happen and the boundaries you will be forced to implement if they refuse to accept the help you’re offering to them.
Because this conversation is so difficult to get through, you may find it easier to write a letter that you can read out loud to your child.
Explain to them why you’ve chosen a specific treatment facility for them, and the many reasons why you want them to go.
The conversation may not always go the way you want it to. However, you’ll know that you’ve done everything within your power to help them.
Advice for Parents of Addicts in Pasadena, CA: Wrapping Up
We hope that you’ve found this advice for parents of addicts in Pasadena, CA helpful during this difficult time.
In addition to helping you to find the right treatment center for the adult addict in your life, we can also connect you with an addiction specialist.
Help your child to take their life back, and learn more about how our program can make it happen.
Reach out to us today, and start to feel hope again and receive a confidential evaluation.