“For family and friends of drug- or alcohol-addicted individuals, addressing the addiction is one of the most difficult aspects of helping the addicted person seek treatment,” says Steven Gifford, LICDC, LPC. As a mother, you can never forget the days when you were carrying your child inside your womb. You have experienced so many things during your pregnancy like morning sickness and food cravings, and it was the experience of a lifetime. It was tough, yes, but you told yourself that you would survive all of this for your child.
During labor, the pain was unbearable, and you may feel like it’s the end of your life. But all of the pain melts away upon seeing your child alive and breathing. You witnessed how he grew, his first step, his first meal, and his many first’s. The feeling was like no other – it was the best!
However, as he or she got older, your child has made decisions that are sometimes wrong. One of those is using illegal substances. As a parent, you tend to search for answers as to why your child fell into this situation. You either blame yourself or blame your child.
How do you guide your child (especially an adult) properly who has fallen into the drug addiction habit? Here are some tips to follow.
Make your child understand that his or her decision was wrong.
It is critical to making your child understand that his or her poor choices have led to this situation. You also need to explain that your whole family is affected by that one wrong decision made by your child. As your child gains insight into the things that you are describing, it will be easier to convince him or her to opt for treatment. “Discuss doing an intervention if your alcoholic loved one won’t willingly seek help.,” suggests Drew W. Edwards, Ed.D., MS.
Strengthen the bond between you or your child.
In times like this, your child needs your unconditional love. He or she might not express it to you directly, but they need your support. Start off by talking to them on a regular basis, have more time for parent-child bonding and create new memories. Never let your child feel that he or she is alone or abandoned.
Seek help from a specialist.
Never think that you can save your child from his addiction all alone. Always seek help from a medical professional or a drug addiction therapist and specialist to help your child recover. According to Cindy Nichols, “All recovering addicts face triggers throughout all stages of sobriety. Having access to a sponsor and a group of people you can turn to when you are tempted provides a healthy alternative to succumbing to triggers.”
Convince your child to go for treatment.
As your bond strengthens, it will be harder for your child to say no to the “rehab” or “therapy” talk. Once you’ve convinced your child to go into treatment, be sure that all the support he or she needs will be provided for complete recovery.
Correct your child for the improper behavior.
Do not tolerate any bad behavior by your child. The better choice is to start again with the discipline cycle just like when he was little. He may not be entirely aware of his or her behavior because of the influence of drugs.
It is mandatory that you make your child understand completely that he or she is wrong.
Safeguard the whole family.
Addiction can lead to violence. Make sure that the rest of your family is safe. Set strictly implemented rules in your household to prevent any harm from taking place.
Practice loving yourself.
Motherhood is a 24/7 job. It has no day off and no salary. Despite giving so much for the rest of your family, make sure that you also give yourself some love.
While your child is in the process of recovery, you might lose yourself too with stress and worry. So make sure that you are doing recreational activities that will not lead you to depression while waiting for your child to get better and become drug-free.