It’s hard. It may even feel impossible, but helping an adult child overcome addiction is possible. Your support and understanding will go a long way alongside expert help at our addiction treatment center Costa Mesa. Parents can take four key steps toward helping their adult child struggling with addiction before, during, and after treatment.
1. Struggle in Private, Support in Person
You will struggle with understanding why your adult child is addicted to drugs or alcohol. It will be hard to grasp why he or she can’t choose a better life. You will be frustrated by life decisions and possibly a deteriorating relationship. It’s ok to struggle with these issues. It’s normal to be angry or sad. But as you process your individual situation, it’s vital that you grapple with them in private but support your child in person.
The reality is when someone is addicted, they continue using the drug or alcohol despite the harm it causes. So instead of focusing on what has you frustrated, try finding positive behavior, and praise it. This encouragement will help them overcome shame and regret. Look for opportunities to stay connected in positive ways. One example may be sending a birthday or holiday card even if communication is strained. Listen when your child talks and look for ways to meet needs like providing a home-cooked meal or toiletries. Of all the components contributing to an individual’s long-term recovery, a support system is one of the most important. With there being a direct correlation between human connection and addiction relapse, friends and family can truly make all the difference in a successful recovery. Your child needs you, perhaps more than ever.
2. Grieve What You’ve Lost, Focus on the Future
Your child may be a ghost of the person you knew.
It’s likely her appearance is deteriorating.
Addiction may have wrecked their marriage.
College classes have gone unfinished.
Addiction may have snatched a career away.
Give yourself the freedom and time to grieve these losses for your child. Give yourself the grace to grieve the unmet expectations you had for your son or daughter. But amid that process, you must also muster the strength to move forward with hope because there is life after addiction. Your child can recover and heal, so you must also grieve, heal, and forge on.
If you’ve only recently discovered the addiction, it’s important you don’t make things worse by looking at the past and pointing to problems, failures, or ways your child could have done things better to avoid the current situation. This approach simply won’t help. It could make things worse. Think back to when your adult child was just a kid. You helped them envision a life for themselves. As a parent, you helped them set goals and encouraged them to work toward them. You can do that now too. Help your son or daughter see a better tomorrow, one without the shame of addiction dragging him or her through a cycle of highs and regret.
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3. Relinquish Control
You may feel the pressure to fix everything for your child, but you can’t fix this. You can support and love but part of supporting and loving your child is allowing them to feel the consequences of their decisions. They must experience repercussions. There’s a good chance you won’t like many of their behaviors, including lying, stealing, or breaking the law in other ways. They may burn relationships as the addiction rages. You can’t fix this situation, and trying to control your loved one will possibly push them away. Your son or daughter has to be ready to get well. You cannot force them or save them. Holding onto your need to fix or control them or the situation will only frustrate you and cause friction with your child. Release the misconception that you can solve this problem.
4. Reach out for help from Addiction Treatment Center Costa Mesa
You cannot love a child out of addiction. You can’t argue them into recovery. But you can help them find treatment. At Clear Life Recovery, we know long-lasting sobriety is possible. Your child can be free from drug or alcohol addiction. Our treatment, coupled with your support, is the way toward life-long freedom from addiction. Contact us today to learn more about the treatment options that we offer.