Parents blame themselves alot of the time when their child has been found out to be using drugs or alcohol. We wonder 'what did we do wrong?'...'didn't we love our child enough?'...'was it the way I lived my life?' Sometimes this can cause a parent so much stress that they begin using just to keep the guilt away. Of course, that's not the normal reaction, but it does happen. A parent can begin to feel affraid of their own child. But with diligence, honesty, and reaching out for help, a parent can find ways to help their child.
Often when a child is using they isolate themselves, they withdraw from family. From friends who don't use. They begin to lie to their parents. They can even steal from family members, friends, from work, even from strangers. An addict does these things because the greatest fear an addict has is not being able to feed their addiction. Don't get me wrong not all addicts steal, but there is a majority that do things that they would never do when clean and sober. It can become a nightmare for both addict and the parents.
As the addict-child begins sinking into their down fall of addiction, they may overdose themselves, they have seen friends overdose or maybe even die. They begin to justify why they use. The addict-child will convince themselves that they cannot live without their drug of choice. They convince themselves that their addiction makes their lives feel right. But that's just the addiction taking over. The addicts family feels powerless as well. Eventually the addict will lose everything, they could even get arrested, or end up in the hospital. Hitting bottom is the term for this.
What can a parent do? It's not an easy ride, that's for sure. Once a parent is sure that their child is using, onething a parent can do is NOT become an enabler. Seek help for dealing with addictions that can be utilized and can help a parent cope and deal with this problem. Their are many resources in our communities that can assist in getting your child back on the right track. But be honest about this to yourself, the child, now an addict will probably go kicking and screaming. It may even take several attempts before the addict-child will see the light. But be diligent, don't give up. Their addiction is usually the addict-childs only way of crying out for help.
Note: These resolves can also help adult-addicts get the help they need.
Written by: Sherrie Vitello