Having a parent who abuses drugs is difficult on their children, even when those children are adults. Individuals who have parents struggling with drug abuse often wonder if they did something to provoke the parent into that behavior. This is not true. It is never the fault of the addicted parent’s child.
The Three C’s
It goes without saying that it’s hard for individuals to understand addiction and to cope with a parent who is struggling with drug abuse. One way for individuals to do this is through the three C’s.
Cause – It is important for the individual to know that they didn’t cause the drug addiction. Children tend to internalize the actions of their parents and can believe they are to blame. However, the fact is that the addiction has other causes and roots and nothing the child could have done in the past would have changed it.
Control – The individual can’t control their parent’s behavior. It is up to the parent to stop the drug use and want to get help.
Cure – The individual cannot cure their parent’s drug addiction. Professional drug counselors and addiction treatment programs similar to those offered at Blueprints can help a parent struggling with addiction. But it is not their child’s responsibility to provide treatment.
The individual should know that addiction and alcoholism can be caused by genetic factors, and that children of addicted parents could be at a higher risk for addiction. There is also a link between parents using substances and their adolescent children taking drugs.
Knowledge Is Power
In dealing with a loved one who is struggling with addiction, whether that be a parent or someone else, the first step the individual must take is to learn all about the addiction and their drug of choice. Learning will give the individual a greater chance of helping their parent’s recovery.
The Trap of Drugs
Children who grow up with drug use in the home may think it’s ok to use substances to help them cope with life. It seems logical to them to use substances to reduce their depression or anxiety, since this is what they saw their parents do. This is the trap of drugs, and the individual should take care not to fall into it.
There are many programs that help the entire family cope with substance abuse. Addiction is often called a family disease because it affects the person with the addiction as well as the whole family. Studies have shown that those children who grew up in addicted homes and coped with it, were able to do so with the support of a non addicted family member, teacher, counselor or other important person who supported them.
At Blueprints we know that every individual is different and have their own path to recovery. We provide individualized programs to help resolve addictive behaviors and get them on the path to recovery and healing.