How to Help a Parent Get Help for Substance Abuse

Learning how to help a parent get help for substance abuse can be difficult. This is because addiction is often accompanied by denial. Although your parent might have the best intentions, their addiction might not be apparent to them. As a result, they might deny that they have a drug and alcohol abuse problem.

As their child, it might even be harder for you to convince them that they have such a problem. This is because most parents are not accustomed to getting advice from their children. However, you can use your role as a child influentially and help to save your parent's life.

Whether you're a teenager who lives with a parent with an addiction or an adult who sees the impact that substance abuse is having from afar, you can speak up. No person is too young or too old to help a loved one.

Here are some things that you can do to help your parents consider seeking addiction treatment and rehabilitation services:

1. Love Them

Substance abuse and addiction are isolating disorders. Many of the people who abuse drugs and drink alcohol excessively do so because they are trying to escape reality. They might also be doing so because they are embarrassed or fear what other people will think when they realize that they are struggling with addiction. Their ongoing alcohol and drug use might also have made them lose relationships and friendships.

If your parent is struggling with these issues, you might be in the best position to convince them to seek professional medical assistance. Even as you do so, however, it is important that you continue showing that you love them and that you can care about their lives. You should also let them know that they are not alone in the struggle and that you are willing to continue supporting them as they seek help for their substance use disorder.

However, this is not to mean that you should enable them. As far as possible, you should not allow them to take advantage of your love. You should also stop giving them money if you have been doing so.

Instead, you should show them that you are ready to be with them as they get started on the road to recovery from drug abuse and addiction. It can be difficult for them to overcome their addiction. However, this process will be a little bit easier if you are by their side and continue encouraging them in their efforts.

2. Reduce Stigma

Most parents are biologically wired to look strong and powerful in the eyes of their children. If they are struggling with substances of abuse, they might believe that they are unfit for their role as parents and that they are pathetic. This is because they probably grew up learning that substance use disorders are moral problems or choices that people make.

During their childhood, they might also have seen anti-drug campaigns that taught them that addicts are criminals. They might, therefore, think that they will seem like bad people if you realize that they are addicted. As such, they may fear that you will be ashamed of them.

However, you need to let them know that this is no longer the case. In the same way, you should inform them that you do not think that addiction means that they are immoral or weak. Instead, you should explain that substance use disorders are diseases - just like diabetes - that require professional treatment.

Through your words and actions, you can let your parents know that you are not embarrassed by the condition that they are struggling with. By reducing the stigma that they feel, you can potentially encourage them to seek help from an accredited addiction treatment and rehabilitation program.

3. Gather Resources

While your parents are struggling with addiction, they might be thinking that it is impossible to escape the problems that they have been dealing with. This is because the drugs and alcohol that they have abused would have caused chemical and structural changes in their brains. These changes might be preventing them from overcoming their growing substance use disorder. Further, they may even be thinking that it is no longer possible for them to achieve full recovery and sobriety.

This is why you should start collecting resources that can get them started on the road to recovery. The goal would be to show them that it is possible for them to overcome their addiction.

You can, for instance, explain to them how support groups, therapy, counseling, and medications have helped tens of thousands of people achieve a lifestyle of health and wellness even after battling substance abuse for a long time.

You can also find the schedules run by local support groups and show them to your substance abusing parents. By so doing, they will learn that there are people in the local community struggling with the same drug and alcohol use problems.

Further, you might consider getting in touch with rehabilitation facilities in the local community to learn more about their treatment options. At the same time, you need to contact the insurance provider that your parents are on - if any - to learn more about how much it would cost for your parents to check into rehab.

Although you may end up realizing that addiction treatment is expensive, you will also notice that it is worth the cost. In case your parents are not able to afford their treatment, you should contact rehabs that offer free or sliding fee scale programs.

The important thing here is to ensure that your parents do not have any excuse to refuse addiction treatment. you will get them to learn that there are resources available to help them overcome their substance abuse problem. These resources can also connect them with the people who are in recovery.

4. Talk About Addiction

Another effective way to help a parent get help for substance abuse is by explaining to them how you have been affected by their drug taking and alcohol drinking. As an addict, your parent might not realize how their behavior has been affect you and others around them. They may, however, realize it but hide the truth.

The goal of talking about the adverse effects of their addiction on your daily life is not to shame or guilt trip them into seeking help. Rather, it should be to make them comfortable enough so that they can understand the negative consequences of their substance using actions.

As a parent, they probably care more about you than anything else in the world. When you let them know how their condition has been affecting you, you may get them to suddenly realize that the time has come for them to get help.

By understanding how their actions have been hurtful to you, they will be motivating to put more effort and energy into their long term recovery. As a result, you might be able to encourage them to check into an addiction treatment program.

5. Host an Intervention

It is often difficult to talk to people who are older than you about substance abuse and addiction. This is because the condition might have made them act emotionally and compulsively. Further, if you talk to your parents about addiction, you might react emotionally especially if they do not listen to what you have to say.

Luckily, there are certified interventionists who have been trained. You can get them to help your parents listen to your message of recovery. If you host an intervention with the help of an interventionist, they will also ensure that your parents learn more about addiction and how it is a disease that they can overcome.

Professional interventionists can also help you look for addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities and book a spot for your mother or father. They may even be able to help you find other recovery resources for your parents.

6. Stay in Control

Your parents are adults. As such, you might not be able to force them into an addiction treatment program. All you can do is to communicate with them about their substance abuse and addiction as well as get them to see that they need the services provided by these types of programs. In case they refuse to listen to you, it will also not be possible for you to control them.

You will only be able to control the effects of their behavior on you. When your parents are struggling with a substance use disorder, they will often do things that can hurt you emotionally, physically, and psychologically. However, you should not allow yourself to be victimized by their abusive behavior.

If their addiction has affected you in any negative way, you should seek help and support. This is particularly true if this impact has been psychological or emotional. On the other hand, if they have been abusing in any way, you should call law enforcement. You can also get therapy and counseling sessions to help you overcome the adverse consequences of your parents' substance abuse and addiction. There are even support groups like Nar-Anon and Al-Anon that can guide you so that you recover from these consequences.

The important thing is to ensure that you do not suffer from the negative effects of your parents' addiction. You need to continue looking out for your health, safety, and wellness before you can take care of your parents.

Impact of Parental Drug Abuse

Irrespective of how old you are, the people who raised you will always have a big impact in your life. They will also be able to influence you deeply - much more than any other person can.

If your parents are addicted to drugs or alcohol, they can affect you in negative ways, including but not limited to:

Luckily, children also have a powerful impact on their parents. This impact can be even more potent as long as these children have access to the support services and resources that they need.

This is why it is so important for you to learn about these support services while finding out how to help a parent get help for substance abuse and addiction. By so doing, you can potentially change the course of their future and guide them on the road to full recovery.

Understanding Role Reversal

When there is a healthy relationship between children and parents, the parents are the caregivers. They also provide financial security, emotional support, and physical shelter for their children.

If the parents are addicted to drugs or alcohol, however, there will be reversal of these roles. To this end, the children will become the caregivers and ensure that their parents are protected. As a child in such a dynamic, you might not even realize that you have responsibilities that you should not be taking.

For instance, you might help your mother clean up after they drank heavily the night before. You can also get a part time job so that you can cover some of the costs of running your home in case your father is jobless as a result of their drug abuse.

However, some of these responsibilities might also involve levels of emotional intimacy that go over and beyond what is considered to be healthy in the relationship between children and parents.

The emotional and psychological stress that comes with taking care of addicted parents can also be debilitating for your own health and wellness. This is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to learn how to help a parent get help for substance abuse and addiction.

By so doing, you can potentially ensure that your parents are enrolled in a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation center where they can overcome their substance abuse and dependence while you also get help from support groups and therapy sessions to overcome the adverse consequences of your parents' drug and alcohol abuse.

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