No parent wants to lose their child to drug addiction. Too many families however are facing this sobering reality. Statistics show that the 15-24 age range is at the highest risk for overdosing among teens and young adults, which is a very frightening thought to parents who have addicted children.
As parents it’s only natural to want what’s best for your children. Seeing them go down the wrong path can be difficult. As much as you try to guide them in the right direction, teens and young adults are often going to do whatever they want no matter how much sound advice to try to offer.
Once your child has slipped into addiction, life becomes but a shadow of what it once was. Watching anyone succumb to addiction is hard, but when it’s your own child it can be devastating. Not only does it trigger feelings of tremendous pain and guilt, but it can be all-consuming and utterly exhausting.
A Myriad of Negative Emotions
Emotions are on overdrive to say the least. From the roller coaster of ups and downs you watch your child experience to the anger, shame, and total hopelessness you often feel as a parent, the journey of being the parent of an addict is a rough road indeed.
If you’re the parent of an addict, it’s no doubt you feel (or have felt at some point) that your child’s current state is somehow your fault. It’s not, but telling yourself that can be an entirely different story. Many parents come to accept responsibility for their child’s addiction, and end up run raw and rampant because of it.
Stop Taking Financial Responsibility
The parents that accept responsibility for their child’s addiction often end up financially supporting everything the addiction entails. From failed rehab efforts to paying court fines, bail, or even missed rent and bills if their kids are living on their own, parents of addicts often let themselves fall victim to accepting financial responsibility for their children’s actions.
If you have been supporting your child’s addiction it’s important that you stop. As hard as it may be to watch your child destroy their life, the more money you offer them the easier it’s going to be for them to stay trapped where they are.
Know Their Addiction is NOT Your Fault
It’s also vital that you realize their addiction is not your fault. It’s easy to take the blame, after all no parent is perfect. But as you make your way through this crazy reality you’ve got to remember that your child has a choice. They’ve chosen addiction and although it can seem impossible to separate yourself from what life has become, you’ve got to find a way through.
Survival Tips for Parents of Addicts
- Stop Blaming Yourself
The longer you continue to blame yourself for the state your child is in, the longer you’re going to be stuck in pain, frustration, guilt, shame, and anger. All parents think there are things they could have done differently, but there is nothing you can do to change the past.
Your child’s addiction is not your fault and it is not a reflection of what you did or didn’t do as a parent. Addiction is a choice, and though unfortunate that your child chose this alternative, it does not have anything to do with you. Stop blaming yourself and refuse to live another day in shame or regret.
- Take Care of You
Treating yourself kindly and taking care of your needs are vital as the parent of an addict. It’s absolutely draining to say the absolute least and both your mental and physical health will suffer if you don’t put your own needs first.
Pay very special attention to your other relationships. Family and friends tend to get pushed aside when all your focus is on the troubled state of your child, but it’s now that you need their support more than ever. If you’re married or in a committed relationship, it’s extremely important that you give your partner the love and attention they need. Relationships outside the parent/child realm can seriously suffer if not properly attended to.
- Educate Yourself on Addiction
Don’t sit by worrying yourself sick about your child’s addiction. Instead you need to educate yourself on exactly what they’re going through. If they’re strung out on heroin or prescription pills (like many kids are) you should know just what these addictions entail. If it’s alcohol search the web for as much information you can find on alcoholism and how it affects children and young adults.
There’s a world of information available. Getting online will not only help you familiarize yourself with your child’s addiction, but can point you in the right direction of ways to network and more easily navigate through this dark time.
- Offer Unconditional Love
As much as you think you want throw in the towel from time to time, being there for your child is actually the best thing you can do. This doesn’t mean enabling them by financially supporting their habit or life, but letting them know you love them is extremely important.
Yes, your child is going to push you away and make you wonder why you continue to hold on. You’ve got to remember however that all addiction stems from pain, and underneath their tough exterior is a haunting world they feel they need to escape from. Nothing is more powerful than love and when your child knows you love them unconditionally, the more it will help them when they’re ready to come out of the darkness.
- Seek Support
You’d be surprised at how many parents are going through exactly what you are. As the parent of an addict, you are certainly not alone. Seeking support, whether you go to counseling or find a support group specifically designed for parents of addicted children, can make all the difference on this very confusing journey. Finding people who personally understand your frustration and pain will help you make it through even the most difficult of days.
Watching your child go get caught in the devastating trap of addiction can be one of the hardest things you’ll face in your lifetime. Knowing how to handle this difficult time can help you find the strength through the many phases you’ll encounter.
Deciding to seek help for your child is undoubtedly something you’ve given some thought to since this crazy journey began. There are a multitude of different treatment options to choose from and informing yourself of all your options before making this decision is recommended. From traditional twelve-step programs geared towards teens and young adults to alternative therapies like Ibogaine, a rehabilitation program is often the best option.
Whatever you decide to do while facing your child’s addiction, be sure to take care of yourself and keep the strength you so desperately need. You truly are the person that knows your child best, and sometimes a parent’s love is all they need to break their destructive habits. As lost as you may feel, the bond between a parent and child can never truly be broken and you can see your child through this heartbreaking experience.
If you have a son or daughter dealing with addiction, Ibogaine treatment can help. Call and speak to one of our specialists for more information on how Ibogaine saves lives.