You’ve always wanted what’s best for your child –
From the second they were born you wanted to protect them and give them the best life you could. You love them with everything you are, and you’d do anything you could to help them.
You’ve noticed a change in your child
Their demeanor and personality are changing and they’re a shadow of their former self. You look at them and still see your tiny newborn baby and it hurts your heart to think they now have a life altering addiction – you yearn to do something, anything – to make it better for them and fix your family.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t your fault and you didn’t force them to make the choices that they’ve made. There aren’t any perfect parents out there, but you’ve hopefully done all you can and if you’re here that means you’re still trying, there’s always hope.
Just as it’s not your fault – you can’t fight this battle for your child. Long gone are the days of fixing their problems for them, the realization of that can be painful. You can’t help them if they’re not willing to help themselves. Unless they’re minors, you can’t just drag them to rehab and you can’t force them into sobriety.
Speak to them about it
Many people refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem and won’t admit they have succumbed to an addiction. It’s important to be able to voice the things you’re noticing.
Try to gently persuade them to bring it up themselves – people can get defensive if they feel as though you’re accusing them of something. Instead do your best to convey your concern without the frustration you feel – I know, it’s bubbling up and sometimes it’s hard to keep your mouth shut, but slinging accusations isn’t going to get anyone anywhere fast.
Encourage them to seek help
Knowing that someone is there for them in their time of need can be a comfort many addicts lack, families turn their backs on them and in turn – seek out drugs to numb the pain of rejection. People find themselves addicted to drugs through all sorts of ways and are facing an inner battle with themselves, try not to add on to their load and instead encourage the positives you see in their lives.
Interventions can be a fantastic tool to help your child to see the light. Get in touch with a counselor that can help you to form a plan of action, stage the intervention and form a follow-up plan. Their knowledge can be invaluable to you in this time of family crisis.
Offer them what help you can
Naturally you want to offer your child what help you can – but it’s important not to cross over the line from helping to enabling.
Let them know you’re there to help them consider more resources; rehabs and sober living facilities can be amazing resources if your child is ready to be clean – otherwise they can be an enormous waste of resources and money and aren’t ever guaranteed to work.
Provide the tools for success but not the means for failure. If you’re having trouble watching your child struggle and you feel the need to provide financial support, probably don’t give them money, consider buying them groceries instead. Honestly though – it’s best to let them suffer the consequences of their actions, break the habit of bailing them out.
Saying “NO” to them can be more of an awakening for them than anything.
Addiction isn’t the end of their story
It’s only a chapter, all great triumphs in life begin with a great struggle. You’re a major supporting player in the life of your child from birth on, so be sure to be a strong one.
They need you now more than ever.