When dealing with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol in the family, it can not only be devastating and challenging but it can become confusing for parents who begin to blame themselves. Many parents begin to ask themselves the question: If my child is an addict… does that mean it’s my fault as a result of bad parenting? The disease of addiction isn’t pinpointed to bad parenting skills anymore than its framework is directed to the fault of the addicted individual. It’s not a matter pertaining to ethics but rather an actual illness deserving to be treated as such.
What’s Not Helpful When Dealing with Addiction?
Because dealing with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is such a heavy topic central in society today, a great deal of parents may be questioning whether their children’s addiction is their fault. Although their child’s drug and/or alcohol addiction is directly linked to them, they may be engaging in behaviors that encourage their child’s drug and/or alcohol addicted lifestyle, even though sometimes they may have the best of intentions. Facing the facts can bring parents of addicts to see the truth of these situations by showing them that they are not helping but rather hurting and endorsing their children’s substance-seeking behaviors.
Even though your child’s addiction to substances isn’t your own fault, seeing the role you played as a parent of an addict is important. You shouldn’t be actively enabling your child because this is only going to keep your child sick. This doesn’t put you at fault for being a direct cause for your child’s addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, but it does make you a leading contributor to supporting your child’s illness. You don’t want to be a supporter of their addiction. Certain habits you need to learn to let go of, in order to best help your child recover from their addiction. You shouldn’t be letting them stay with you if they continue to be abusing substances and disobeying rules belligerently. They need structure and help. If they refuse to get help, you need to take on a new approach because coddling them and taking care of them is no longer helping them and instead is only allowing them to continue on with their drinking and/or drug habit.
Ignoring warning signs
By ignoring warning signs of your child’s drug and/or drinking habit, you are denying their disease. When you are living in denial, the situation can never get better and instead this leaves room to only get worse. Warning signs that easily get ignored can include your loved one isolating, suffering from depression or other mood changes, slacking in school, work or other commitments, significant weight loss or gain, and engaging in reckless risky behaviors. These signs can often get overlooked when parents perceive them as typical functions of an emotional teenager and they don’t believe there is anything going on with their child. When parents ignore these apparent warning signs, they are doing a more harmful act instead of going the distance by taking a necessary step to help their sick child get help.
Dealing with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is never a simple matter. There are going to be challenges to face, including heated debates, pressing emotions to conquer, feelings to battle, and a world to trudge through. The reality is an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol isn’t the parents fault. Addiction is a disease that needs to be viewed for the national public health issue it realistically is.
For more support please click the following links below:
Al-Anon support for those affected by alcoholism.
Nar-Anon support for those affected by drug addiction.
CoDA support for those affected by co-dependent bahaviors.