When you hear about the effects of addiction on the lives of people, you often pay little attention if the addiction doesn’t personally affect someone you know. But the effects of addiction take on an entirely new meaning when it’s your son or daughter who is addicted. We know the heartache and devastation that comes with it. That’s the thing about addiction; the effects of addiction go way past the struggling person, and when it’s your son or daughter, you too are often gutted.
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Addiction Is A Family Disease
While it’s often said that a substance use disorder or addiction is a personal experience, it’s one that has many residual effects. The effects of addiction reach far past those who struggle with the battle. It’s often those closest to them who also struggle.
When someone you love fights addiction, the effects on the spouses, children, siblings, and parents can be varied. Sometimes they’re financial, and sometimes they’re legal or medical.
But what many often find the hardest is the emotional effects. Particularly when it’s your son or daughter who is struggling with addiction. No longer are you able to just kiss the boo-boo away and magically fix your child’s hurts. No longer can you trust what they say or what they do, and no longer can you trust that they’re safe every second of the day. As a parent, your job is to protect your children, and when your son or daughter is struggling with addiction, there’s only so much you can do.
Addiction Advice: What Can You Do When It’s Your Son Or Daughter?
No matter what, you always have the best interests of your child at heart. It doesn’t matter how old they are. To you, it’s hard not to remember them as curious young grade-schoolers who looked to you for all the answers. When you find out your son or daughter is struggling with substance abuse, it’s heartbreaking and leaves you feeling helpless. While it’s true that you can’t force them into sobriety, there are some things you can do to help encourage them and guide them to considering compassionate and effective rehabilitation treatment like Ocean Hills Recovery offers.
First, recognize they have a problem and plan to deal with it head-on.
When you try to hide it, thinking you’ll be able to ‘get them over it’ before anyone knows, you may be inadvertently helping to reinforce that they don’t have a big problem for which they need help. This may also add extra guilt and shame on both them and you, and that may not only worsen their addiction but also put off their move toward recovery for even longer.
Second, be sure they know they can come to you, but you have boundaries.
When it comes to the harsh effects of addiction, sometimes it’s you, the parents, who bear the hardest brunt. Because you’ve always shown unconditional love, the tendency to be the closest in the line of fire exists. You need to be a safe place for both you and them.
Use open and honest communication to let them know you love them and want to help. Tell them that you can only do so much and they need to make the efforts too. It’s important to make sure they know you’re talking about their behaviors that leave the hurtful effects of addiction and not them personally as your child. While they may have chosen to engage in the behaviors that led to their addiction, the reality is they did not want to become addicted and they don’t like hurting you any more than you like being hurt.
Third, be careful about lending them money.
No parent wants to hear their child is hungry or in need because of the effects of addiction, and it’s easy for us to believe that if we just give them a little bit of money, it can fix it. Unfortunately, the effects of drugs on our loved ones’ brains make them choose to do irrational things, and the continual lending of money is only going to continually hurt you and enable them. Instead, encourage them to seek a rehabilitation program that will make the difference and help them regain their lives.
Ocean Hills Recovery: Effective Help To Battle The Effects Of Addiction
At Ocean Hills Recovery, we know that addiction is a family disease. We know those who are close to someone struggling with addiction are also affected. We know the effects of addiction can be especially hard when it’s your son or daughter who is battling.
At Ocean Hills, we have the experience and compassion to help your adult son or daughter break the chains of addiction and reclaim the life you know they were meant to live. You don’t have to be ashamed of the addiction. And you don’t have to sit back hopelessly and watch it consume your child. We want to walk right beside you and your loved one as they get the help they need. No, you can’t force sobriety on your son or daughter, but you can guide them to us and be part of our team of recovery. You’re not alone, and we want to help.
Contact us today to start mitigating the effects of addiction and get your loved one headed toward lifetime sobriety.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.