More than 23 million Americans struggle with addiction each year, but only an estimated 10 percent of these individuals get the help they need to recover.
If your adult son or daughter is dealing with a substance use disorder, helping them seek treatment can be challenging but also one of the most important things you can do as their parent.
Vertava Health has several treatment facilities throughout the country that cater to the unique needs of each patient and help them overcome addiction and reclaim their life in sobriety.
Are You Enabling Your Addicted Adult Child?
Having a loved one who is struggling with addiction can be hard. When that loved one is an adult child, it can be even more difficult to cope and know what to do. As parents, individuals often want to protect and shield their children from harm and pain.
Many parents feel the urge to “fix” things for their children, despite the fact that their children’s’ addiction is what caused them to be in the current situation to begin with.
While helping an adult child suffering from a substance use disorder may seem like the right thing to do, there are many wrongs ways to go about it. Some parents enable their adult children through certain behaviors and reactions and end up hurting them more than helping them.
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Enabling a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol only fuels the cycle of abuse and prolongs the adult child’s destructive behaviors.
Enabling an adult child can come in many forms. Examples of enabling behavior may include:
- trying to “save” an adult child every time he or she is in trouble or needs help
- giving an adult child money that may be used to buy more drugs or alcohol
- continuing to financially support an adult child when he or she has lost a job or is unable to pay bills due to addiction
- ignoring or making excuses for negative and/or harmful behavior
- lying to cover up the adult child’s addiction and negative behaviors
- fulfilling commitments or other responsibilities that the adult child has
- bailing an adult child out of jail or other situations that arose as a result of alcohol or drug abuse
Acting in the ways mentioned above may seem like the right thing to do at the time. Unfortunately, enabling behavior only contributes to the problem and can actually encourage destructive behavior.
By enabling your adult child, you are essentially communicating that you will support his or her addictive behavior and will continue to take care of the consequences for the adult child.
How To Help Your Adult Child Addicted To Substances
There are several things you can do to help an adult child struggling with addiction. If you are currently acting in ways that enable addictive behaviors, learning how to cope in a healthy way and setting clear boundaries with your adult child should be a priority. Only when you extricate yourself from your child’s destructive behaviors and set boundaries will you be able to begin to effectively help him or her.
Once clear boundaries have been set, there are actions you can begin to take to help your adult child in his or her struggle with addiction.
These actions may include:
- Eliminate Enabling Behaviors — As mentioned earlier, enabling behaviors can seriously impact an adult child’s addiction. Continuing to enable an adult child can prolong his or her addiction and continue the cycle of abuse and dependence. Committing to eliminating enabling behaviors may be difficult but can be very helpful in encouraging an adult child to seek help for an addiction.
- Acknowledge That Your Child Is An Adult — Some adult children may blame their parents for their addiction or other destructive behaviors. While this may be hurtful as a parent, it’s important to understand that your child is an adult and holds all the power when it comes to his or her decisions and lifestyle. Acknowledging that your child is an adult and refusing to take the blame for his or her choices can encourage your child to take responsibility for his or her life.
- Confront Your Adult Child About His Or Her Addiction — Confronting someone about his or her addiction is never easy. However, continuing to look the other way as an adult child lives in active addiction can be harmful and prolong the addictive cycle. Confronting your child in an open and understanding way about his or her addiction like with a drug intervention can be helpful in helping him or her take responsibility.
- Attend Support Groups — There are several resources for parents of adult children who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. One of the most popular support groups is Al-Anon. Attending these types of programs can help you better understand your child’s behaviors and learn coping skills to help you take care of yourself while also helping your adult child recover.
In addition to these actions, staging an intervention may also be useful in helping your adult child get the help he or she needs and deserves. An intervention may consist of family members and close friends who are directly impacted by the person’s addiction coming together to share their thoughts and feelings on the person’s addiction.
Staging an intervention is a good way to introduce the idea of treatment and letting your child know that you will support him or her throughout the recovery process.
Helping Your Adult Child Find Addiction Treatment
Having a loved one – especially a child – who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is never easy. However, by taking the steps mentioned above, you can help your child realize that he or she needs help. There are several treatment options to consider with your child, including the inpatient addiction programs offered at the various Vertava Health’ treatment facilities.
To learn more about how you can help your adult child who is struggling with addiction, contact an Vertava Health’ treatment specialist today.