How to Give Your Child a Future after Addiction

As a parent you would do anything to give your child a positive, hopeful and successful future. Unfortunately when an adult child becomes addicted to Valium, the hopes and dreams you have for him or her shatter. The addict you know now is not the child you raised, but you still love your son or daughter and you want to help.

How Do You Help Your Child Find Sobriety?

You want to help your child, but until your child wants help you can do nothing to stop his or her addiction to Valium. You cannot fix it or cure him or cajole him into changing his ways. On The Partnership for a Drug Free America’s website one parent wrote about not being able to stop a child’s problem and offered the following insights:

  • Don’t clean up your child’s messes. Allow your child to see the consequences of addictive behavior which can include losing a job, losing a place to live or being arrested and convicted of a crime. If you do not allow consequences to take place, your child will never see that addiction is a problem. As painful as it is, helping your child sometimes means not helping them.
  • Recognize your limits. Seeing your child in the throes of addiction may be too painful for you to bear. Set boundaries for spending time with your child which may include refusing to talk or spend time with him or her while he or she is high.
  • Withdrawal from the relationship. In some cases parents must cut ties to their children to maintain healthy boundaries and ensure a healthy relationship in the future. This is only a last resort, but parents must be willing to go to painful lengths to help a child.

Once a child recognizes the need for rehab and recovery, you can provide support and encouragement. You can even help him or her find the best rehab program for his or her needs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) offers questions that you as a parent can ask to ensure that the facility and program is right for your child. Questions to ask include the following:

Once your child has entered rehab, you can continue to help. Positive actions you can take may

include visiting, participating in family programs and refusing to listen to his or her excuses to leave rehab.

How Do You Help Your Child Maintain Sobriety?

Once your adult child has completed an addiction treatment program, you can help with basic steps for establishing life after rehab such as securing a job, finding housing and finding continuing recovery support. However just as you could not control his or her addictive behavior, you cannot control his or her actions after rehab. You cannot keep your child from relapsing, but you can still play a positive role in helping him or her pursue recovery goals and a successful future. Steps you can take to help your adult child include the following:

  • Recognize that your child may relapse. Research indicates that relapse is a common aspect of the disease of addiction. If your child relapses, this does not signal failure. This just means that he or she needs to make changes to his or her recovery efforts.
  • Encourage continued recovery. Celebrate every milestone such as a month clean, a new job, getting a new apartment or recognizing and avoiding triggers.
  • Listen without rescuing. It is not your job to fix your child’s life. Be a sounding board for future plans, current stressors and fears, but recognize that your child is responsible for his or her own actions and reactions.
  • Helping. One of the best things you can do for your child is get help for yourself. Support groups can help you deal with any issues that may have played a role in your child’s addiction. These groups can help you learn how to love your child without trying to rescue or change him or her.

Getting Help for Your Loved One

Drug addiction is a serious problem, and watching your child wrestle in its grip is a painful, heart-wrenching experience. You can call our toll-free number any time, 24 hours a day. You can speak with a caring and concerned recovery counselor who can talk with you about options for helping yourself, your child and your family as a whole.

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