If you have a child who has fallen ill at the hands of a devastating addiction to drugs or alcohol, it may seem as if you have lost all contact with the sweet and loving little boy or girl you raised from infancy. Drug addiction is an especially cruel disease in the sense that it slowly ravages the ones afflicted, the ones you love, steadily exchanging an individual full of enthusiasm for life and compassion for those around them with an empty and depressed shell of a being, almost unrecognizable in demeanor (and possibly appearance). If your son or daughter is suffering from substance dependency, it is likely that you have dedicated more time than you could truly afford desperately trying to ‘get him or her back’. Perhaps you put your child in therapy with a professional counselor or psychiatrist, practiced setting boundaries only to once again tear them down, shown tough love until you had nothing left but disheartened and helpless acceptance.
Loving An Addicted Child
Sometimes you may feel as if you have no more love to give. This is an understandable and normal way to feel. It is important to remember at times like these that chemical dependency will completely bury the version of an individual you love dearly – but this does not mean that version is gone forever. It simply means that this individual may very well need to be rediscovered, years of addiction chipped away at during intense therapy and other methods of comprehensive addiction treatment. It is, of courser, hard to show love to this person in the meantime, while he or she is deep in the throws of chemical dependency. How do you love your addicted child? One of the best ways to show love is by ceasing to enable. No matter how difficult it may be, avoiding giving your child what he or she asks for if it will prolong the addiction and not assist in eventual recovery. Do not support your child financially if you know the money will be going towards drugs and alcohol. If your child is using in your home and causing stress to the rest of the family, tell them they are no longer welcome unless they cease using. It is difficult to set and maintain boundaries, but enabling will only persist the disease.
What Can I, As A Parent, Do To Help?
As a parent of an addicted child, there are several ways to help without enabling or protracting the course of the addiction. Many parents have found an intervention helpful as a way to encourage help and to set boundaries with the support of a professional. If your child is struggling with addiction, please contact The Hope Center for Rehabilitation and allow us the opportunity to help you bring you your son or your daughter back.