There is nothing more troubling to parents than watching their children battle addiction. They try every viable way to reform their wayward child- from cutting them off, lecturing, curfews, etc.- but all their efforts go down the drain as their child sinks deeper and deeper into the habit of drug use.
Soon, parents realize they are out of their depth in trying to correct a child and might defer to correctional facilities to rehabilitate their loved one or give up altogether on trying to reform him or her. But is it difficult? Are there easier and more effective ways one can try to save the user from the stupor of addiction? Below is a set of steps you need to take to ensure you come out top in helping an addicted loved one without losing yourself, or them, in the process.
1. Care for Yourself
Too often, when trying to help a loved one sinking in a destructive habit, family members and friends get anxious and fearful. They have a very little time, if any, for themselves, and are endlessly anxious over their loved one’s health and wellbeing. This shouldn’t be the case. Try as much as you can to set aside some quality time for yourself to reflect, socialize, unwind, and just have fun so that you do not burn out. You can, for example, meet a friend or friends for lunch, spend time with your children, go out on a date or getaway with your partner or spouse, exercise, meditate, have a massage, and do any of the hundreds of things anybody can do to relax and get out of the cycle of constant fear and anxiety.
If you fail to pay attention to yourself, you may worsen an already bad situation. Therefore, it is prudent to care for yourself first before you can begin to meet the needs of your friends and family. In fact, it will prepare you to better attend to their problems.
2. Join Support or Counseling Groups
Yours is not an isolated struggle. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of parents in your community are battling with the same concerns; nursing the same fears; warding off the same storms. It’d be immensely helpful for you to try and understand what they are going through and the means they are using to alleviate their problems by joining the available support groups. You will learn plenty of coping skills and ways you can endure the stresses brought about by an addict in your home. Don’t hesitate to request for help from counselors and fellow parents. And by surrounding yourself with individuals who are in the same struggle, you’ll acquire the necessary fortitude to ward off any discouragement, despair, and so on.
3. Let the addict hit rock bottom
The desire to change and break away from the addiction has to come from within the addict. Eventually, they need to reach a point where they understand the importance of addiction rehab. They must seek to transform out of his own will; otherwise, you’ll be wasting your precious time and energy expecting too much from him or her. Psychologists long found out that the addict can’t drop the addiction for his siblings, parents, friends, or spouses. They cannot desire sobriety for any outside reason. The driving force has to be generated from within- and that is only after the addict has run into turbulent waves, run into problems, and, therefore, made a conscious and voluntary decision to stay sober. Therefore, the parent should just watch from a decent distance and just let their child run into these storms- they might jolt him or her from the stupor of addiction. Well, it isn’t an easy thing for any parent or guardian to do, but it is the necessary bitter pill they should take for their child to come around.
What you should do is watch and wait. Once you realize they’ve had a realization and want to reform, you can then jump in and furnish them with the resources and necessary help for them to emerge out of the addiction. If you are in any support group or regularly see a counselor, you can easily obtain directions on what to do next. For example, you can book him or her in a rehabilitation center where they’ll have a detox, learn coping skills, and get a drug and alcohol addiction treatment counselor to prevent relapse.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.