When a child is born, parents are filled with hope and the possibilities that are available for the future. It is easy to see why parents are consumed with excitement and love for a new addition to the family. But, as the child grows, they start to make their own decisions. Eventually, it is possible that the choices could lead to a drug or alcohol addiction.
These addictive behaviours are not only destructive to the child’s future, but the choices can have a ripple effect on relationships and other family members. It is understandable that parents are devastated knowing that their child is now grown up and facing the realities of substance abuse.
While addiction might seem like a problem that only affects other people, there is a possibility that one of your children could be facing addiction at some point in their life. The addiction could start in the teenage years, or it might not happen until your child is an adult. If you are dealing with this situation in your family, then there are a few things that you need to know as a parent:
1: Look for Signs of Addiction
Don’t turn a blind eye and assume that your children are immune from addiction. Understanding the signs of addiction can be valuable to help you identify the disease in all stages. Drug and alcohol addictions can affect people of all ages, genders, scholastic achievements, and religions. Since these problems can affect anyone, it is essential for you to pay attention to the signs so that you can offer a helping hand as needed.
Someone suffering from addiction will likely be experienced at hiding the problem from other people. But, there are a few signs that can be noticed by friends and family:
- Constriction or dilation in the pupils
- Glazed or bloodshot eyes
- Weight changes
- Mood swings or unexplained changes in attitude or personality
- Shifting social circles
- Financial or legal problems
- Anxiety or depression
- Unexplained health problems, including infections on the skin or bruises
Remember that the symptoms vary depending on the severity of the problem and the drug of choice. But, these common signs are often present for most addicts.
2: You Can’t Control the Situation
When the child was young, you could often fix a problem with a Bandaid or a hug. Now that the child is an adult, you need to accept the fact that you are powerless in the situation. Even though you have always been there to help your child through difficult times, you will watch them suffering through the addiction knowing that your hands are tied.
Too often, family members enable the behaviour by covering up for the problems. Instead of trying to fix every issue that comes up, you need to be ready to let your child face the consequences that come from their actions.
4: Look for Professional Help
When the child is ready to seek treatment, then you need to facilitate the transition to substance abuse rehab. Tapping into the expertise of a professional addiction recovery team is the best thing that you can do to help the child overcome the addiction.
There is always hope, especially when you are working with the right treatment program. Your child might not be ready for treatment yet. But, you can tap into the resources that are available so that you know how to handle the situation. Then, you will be prepared with the right information when the person is finally ready to accept professional help.
3: Take Care of Yourself
When you are focused on the issues that your child is facing, it can be a challenge to take care of yourself. But, self-care is essential so that you are ready to offer a helping hand when it is needed.
You might not be able to control your child’s actions. But, you still have control over the choices that you make for your own care. Be intentional with your daily habits, actions, and thoughts to build your foundation so that you are available to support your family. Don’t let your life activities and responsibilities be consumed by your worry over the child.