Are you struggling to cope with a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Dealing with addict parents can be overwhelming and confusing. You may feel scared, angry, frustrated, and helpless all at the same time. However, it’s important to remember that there are ways to help yourself and your family during this difficult time.
With the right tools and support, you can learn how to manage your emotions healthily while also taking care of yourself. You don’t have to do this alone – there are resources available that can help you get through this challenging situation.
Read on to learn what is addiction and tips on how to deal with an addicted parent!
What is Addiction?
Addiction is chronic, relapsing substance use disorder characterized by obsessive drug seeking and use despite harmful effects. It’s a mental health disorder that affects the addicted person and those around them.
Addiction can come in many forms, including substance use disorders like alcohol and drug addiction, gambling addiction, and even addiction to specific behaviors such as overworking or shopping. It’s important to remember that no matter the type of addiction, it is a severe mental health disorder.
For addicted parents, their addiction may cause them to neglect their children or put their families in dangerous situations. It can also cause financial and emotional stress on the entire family.
It can also be caused by genetic factors, such as parent’s substance use, alcohol dependence, and drug abuse problems.
However, it’s important to remember that finding the proper treatment for your parent has its challenges.
Five Ways to Deal with Addicted Parents
Parental substance abuse poses unique challenges to children and can affect adolescent development. Recognizing a parental substance use disorder and its associated behaviors is the first step toward understanding how to deal with an addicted parent effectively.
Although it can be difficult for children to set boundaries and take care of themselves when their parents are willing to abuse drugs, it is essential to learn ways to protect the emotional and physical safety of those in the situation to avoid higher risk.
Seeking professional help is highly recommended when both parents abuse substances to develop an appropriate action plan in the best interest of all involved.
Here are five ways that help deal with addicted parents.
Seek Professional Help for Yourself and Your Parents
The behavior of addicted parents can be heartbreaking and overwhelming for adult children in their care. The best approach is to seek professional help from qualified individuals specializing in treating parents’ substance abuse and survivors of abuse.
Many American addiction centers and clinics around the United States offer assistance to drug addicts like addicted parents or caregivers, providing support groups and emotional support services to help them recover from abusing alcohol.
Those in need should always reach out as soon as possible to explore mental health services and work towards creating a healthier life for themselves and their addicted parent or caretaker.
Don’t Take Things Personally
The experience of growing up with addicted parents can be an emotionally challenging and draining situation in young adulthood. Addiction is a powerful force for drug or alcohol abuse, creating an unpredictable environment and increasing potential risk factors such as mental illness.
It typically affects not only one parent and their behavior but the other parent-child relationship, spouse/partner, and other children living in the home, leading to a very negative family dynamic, which can be hard to cope with as a child.
It’s important to remember not to take it personally and to have low self-esteem when confronting an alcoholic parent. Although they may have caused you significant pain and disruption with their aggressive behavior, you need to focus on living your own life in the best way possible.
Of course, it’s difficult for both the parent and children; the addicted parent needs help for their misgivings, while you need to somehow find peace without them. They will no doubt have struggles of their own to solve to move forward from substance abusing parent’s issues.
Setting boundaries with the addicted person is key to dealing with alcohol or drug use, especially if you live in the same home.
When parental substance use impacts family members’ lives, it’s essential to determine the extent of the damage it may cause and thus create reasonable limits that can be applied to parental drug use.
For boundaries to be effective, you also need to make sure that alcoholic parents involved follow through on their responsibilities within those boundaries. With this approach, recovering alcoholic has a better chance at moving forward in managing their addiction while enabling a good parent-child relationship.
Take Care of Yourself Emotionally and Physically
Taking care of your emotional and physical health is essential when dealing with addicted family members or parents’ addiction.
Research shows that family conflict and child maltreatment are often caused or worsened by family members’ addiction, leading to increased stress levels and emotional abuse within the family.
Self-care can be done in many forms, such as:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating nutritious meals
- Engaging in activities that you enjoy
- Getting sufficient sleep and having time out for yourself
- Connecting with people who offer understanding and support
All these factors contribute to providing adequate help in dealing with an addicted parent. Also, consulting with a therapist or other mental health professionals may benefit addicted parents and children living under the same roof.
Therefore, getting away from family and recharging yourself is necessary to stay mentally and physically healthy.
Be Patient – Recovery Is a Long Process
Dealing with substance-abusing parents can be a complex and lengthy process for many children. For this purpose, one of the coping skills is to have patience with everyone and everything around.
Many risk factors are associated with substance abuse issues, and it is even more difficult for those trying to help an addicted parent. Many children typically have higher risks for mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, depression, drug use, substance abuse, and mental problems.
Recovery often takes time, and treatment providers suggest that various coping strategies be employed to address the full range of psychological factors contributing to parents’ drug addiction relapse.
Attending a peer support group, family therapy, and seeking help from the school counselor for young children is also beneficial.
With patience, understanding, and proper resources and human services, individuals can find successful paths for dealing with their parent’s addiction during recovery and improving their own lives.
It can be beneficial to seek out a mental health services administration office or support group for parents’ substance abuse to discuss options and find information on how best to navigate this problematic substance dependence issue and emotional landscape.
Moreover, many addiction treatment programs are available, some of which offer family counseling, education on addiction, and referral services for families dealing with addiction. With their help, you can create plans and strategies to support your parent’s recovery while maintaining a safe environment.
It’s crucial to remember that addiction is a chronic brain disorder requiring professional treatment. Hence, you may also consider getting in touch with a referral service specializing in treating parents’ drug addiction, sexual abuse, child abuse, substance abuse, or mental health issues.