Dealing with Parents who are Addicted
Having a loved one or family member struggle with addiction is one of the most difficult trials for a family.  It’s even harder to handle when it’s your own parents.  Mothers and Fathers are supposed to be the rocks on which we stand, they should hold us up and lead us.  Sadly, not all parents are capable of being the strength their children need when the parents themselves are addicted to drugs or alcohol.  Over 28 million Americans are children of alcoholics, and 11 million of those are under the age of 18.  It’s a tragedy facing our youth.
The emotional issues inherent in facing a parent addicted to substances are compounded by the reality that addiction has a genetic component.  Children of addicts are statistically more likely to develop similar addictive behaviors in their lifetime.  The most important thing a young person can do when faced with an addiction in the home is to stay informed and educated.  With access to the Internet, anyone can learn about addiction and its various causes and effects.  The more you know, the more you can protect yourself… and protect your addicted parent.
If your mother or father is facing alcoholism or a drug addiction, you must remember that it isn’t your fault.  Children often look to blame themselves for a parent’s actions, wondering why they did to cause it.  There is a sense of betrayal.  Why am I not important enough for you to stay clean?   These are hurtful emotions and very real, not to be discounted.  But the addiction your parent faces is a sickness and not something caused by you or anyone else.
You cannot control your parents’ drug addiction and you can’t really cure it either.  The best you can do is to be supportive, protect yourself, and encourage your parent to seek help.  If there are other adult family members to whom you can turn for support in the matter, certainly do so.  An addict needs love and support from family in order to break out of the destructive pattern.


Published on Tue, 03/10/2015 - 23:08
By Addiction Recovery