Help for parents of an addicted child
Do you have an adult child who you suspect is taking drugs and/or drinking too much? Perhaps your son spends all his time in front of his laptop gaming, or you suspect he may be gambling. It can come as quite a shock to learn and accept that your child could have a serious problem that has spiralled out of control. Find out more about addiction.
Signs of addiction
Certain attitudes, thought patterns and behaviour are signs of addiction. Someone with an addiction may lie, be manipulative and generally deny that they have a problem. This is typical behaviour for someone struggling with an addiction. It does not mean that your child is immoral or a bad person, even if they get into trouble with the law. Such behaviour is part of the nature of the disease of addiction. Find out about the signs of alcoholism, the signs of cannabis addiction and cocaine addiction symptoms.
Helping or enabling?
The first natural reaction of a parent is to try and help. You may feel guilty and think that you must have done something wrong. Perhaps you are trying to help by giving your daughter or son extra love, care or financial assistance. You might set rules in attempts to control the problem.
However, too much help can lead to "enabling" an addicted child. Enabling only prolongs the agony of addiction. By stepping in to pay a fine, the rent, or a lawyer, you prevent your son or daughter from experiencing the full consequences of their actions. In effect you absorb some of those consequences yourself, in order to prevent your child from feeling the full pain. Although done with the best intentions, you may be enabling their addiction to continue.
Tips for helping an addicted child
1. Be open and honest
Talk openly about the problem, your concerns for your son or daughter, and the effects of their behaviour - including how it is also affecting you and your family.
2. Be loving but not enabling
Loving your child does not mean you have to say "yes". Do not make excuses for actions you decide are necessary to help them. You may, for example, decide not to give them money that you suspect will only go to feed their addiction and so prevent them from ultimately facing the problem.
3. Support your child to get professional help
Find out about professional support such as Triora’s treatment programme. Give the information to your child and encourage them to accept professional help.
4. It is not your fault
Addiction is a disease that tells your child he or she must have another drink, another joint, another fix, or play another game. It may be some time before they are willing to accept that they have a problem. They may well try to blame you. Remind your child that their decisions and choices have led them to where they are now. All parents make mistakes, no one is perfect. As an adult, we are each responsible for our own lives.
5. Set your own boundaries
Set boundaries for yourself and those around you. Do not allow your addicted child to pull you down with them.
Find out more about how to help an alcoholic.
How can Triora help you help an addicted child?
Triora provides successful addiction treatment to people suffering from an addiction. As part of this, we provide professional support to families of addicts through family counselling. Find out more on our family page.
Is my child an addict?
Take Triora’s self-test for alcohol, substances, gambling and gaming to check your child’s level of use.