We all want the best for our children. We dream about their accomplishments and plan for their bright futures. Sometimes, though, that dream is tarnished by accidents, disease, financial losses, divorce, and addiction.

Addiction is an epidemic in America. We may recognize its signs early and see them progress. We may be clueless until we get a call from a doctor or law enforcement about our child. Regardless of how it makes itself known, addiction is a formidable enemy. There is help for parents of addicts.

Addiction in America

Governmental website addiction statistics are grim. In 2017, almost 20 million Americans aged 12 and up were fighting an addiction. Most of those addictions were alcohol-related, but others were illegal drugs. One-in-eight addictions involved both substances.

Florida Addiction

Between 2014 and 2015, more than 24,000 Floridians sought help for an addiction. If the US statistics are true in Florida as well, then that is only a little more than 10 percent of addicted people. While many states have addiction rates higher than Florida, the number of deaths from drug overdose is rising rapidly in the state.

Drugs Abused in Florida

Most of these deaths are due to opioid use. Some of these drugs are:

  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Oxycodone
  • Vicodin
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • And others

Many of these substances are available through legal prescriptions, and the theft or forging of these prescriptions increases Florida’s crime rate. Furthermore, Florida is a center for drug trafficking.

Why Addiction is so Crippling

Addiction is not just a behavior. It is a mental health disorder. That means it cannot just be disciplined or wished away. Everyone involved with the addict deals with the consequences of his addiction. Confronting an addict, though, can be emotionally devastating, and it can also be dangerous.

Lost Hopes

Parents of addicts must give up the high hopes they have for their children. Dreams of careers, education, and even grandchildren are dashed again and again. There is no reason to despair because there is help for parents of addicts.

Guilt

Parents often are overcome with feelings that there is something they should have done to prevent the disease. Addiction cannot be hidden for long, and moms and dads see their self-worth deflate when a child is addicted. However, you don’t have to wear a sign that says, “my child is a drug addict.” Although it is hard not to feel guilty, most programs offer help for parents of drug addict counseling.

Siblings

Siblings of addicts lose out on parental support because there is just not enough energy or resources to deal with the addiction and the normal issues of children. The other kids in the family feel neglected and possibly resentful both toward the addict and their parents.

Divorce

Marriages can disintegrate when a child dies. The same is true when a child is addicted. Parents deal with substance abuse differently and that distances them from one another. The result may be the end of a marriage. Dealing with the addiction of a child is hard, but there is help for parents of drug addict kids.

Financial Ruin

The consequences of addiction are expensive. There may be legal fees, the cost of replacing things the addict loses, or sales to get the substances he abuses, medical bills, and other costs.

Ways to Handle Your Child’s Addiction

Dealing with the addictions of a minor child is different than dealing with an adult child’s substance abuse. There is help for parents of addicts. 

Here are a few ways to deal with an older child’s addictions.

  • Remember (and remind your child) that it was his or her poor choices that resulted in the addiction.
  • Attempt an intervention. This can empower other family members and remove the addiction from the shadows. Confronting an addict, however, should be done under the guidelines set by a professional in addictions.
  • Don’t bankrupt the family to “afford” the addiction. Don’t mortgage your home or your car. Don’t throw cash into the addiction. Addicted kids will use well-intended funds to get more drugs. Help only as much as you can afford to help.
  • Suggest resources for help but realize you cannot make your child use them.
  • Keep on loving your child. He has a disability, and like parents of any disabled child, you must encourage him to be independent and accountable. Enablement is not love.
  • Realize that you cannot “fix” the addiction. You cannot rescue your child from the abyss. To attempt to do so only leads to disappointment.
  • Protect your family. Set boundaries and keep them. Your marriage and your other children as well as your extended family should not be filled with uncertainties. The adage that people have to “bottom out” before they seek help is not always true, but even if it were, your family should not have to hit bottom in terms of their well-being.
  • Be kind to yourself. Certainly, you made mistakes raising your child. Everyone does. Still, there comes a point at which people, even your children, must make their own choices. One of the requisites for help for parents of drug addict kids is to love and accept the person you see in the mirror every day.
  • Find resources for your child and your family.

Reasonable Boundaries

So, one of the suggestions is to set boundaries. What kinds of boundaries are we talking about? Professionals that offer help for parents of drug addicts say the boundaries must apply to you and the addict. You, however, have to set them. Boundaries for the addict may include things like no drug usage in the home, not bringing addict friends to the home, or not allowing drug-using friends around siblings.

Boundaries that you set for yourself may include not bailing the addict out of jail, not allowing yourself to be verbally abused or belittled by him or her, not giving the person money for any reason and other limitations. The thing is that you have to follow through with consequences for the boundaries to be respected.

Resources Available

There is help out there. Whether you are a parent of alcohol addictive child, parent of a drug addict, or other addictions, you don’t have to go through it alone. In Florida, where do you go for help for parents of drug addicts?

Family Therapy

One of the best resources is family therapy. Confronting an addict is not an easy thing to do, especially if you are a single parent. Attempting intervention alone may result in the violation of one or more of the boundaries you have set, and the consequences may put an end to the intervention. Additionally, families are networks of complicated relationships and addictions affect all of them. Family therapy can involve grandparents, siblings, and other people involved and offer help for parents of drug addicts or help for parents of drug addict children.

Treatment Programs

Help for parents of addicts can also involve treatment programs. These can be outpatient programs, intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment. Often the best help for the parent of drug addict kids is found through counseling sessions they attend with their children in a rehab hospital. Besides, the hospitalization of the addict means temporary respite for the family. The average duration of an inpatient rehabilitation program is from sixty-to-ninety days.

Holistic Treatment

This resource involves the use of acupuncture, massage, meditation, yoga, and dietary changes, among other things. Holistic treatment is a good adjunct treatment with other approaches.

Sober Living Homes

These homes help addicts who are coming out of treatment facilities to transition back into “normal” life. They can be excellent resources for the addict but also, for parents of addicts, the homes afford time for them to understand how much accountability and commitment they can expect from their child.

Relapse

No program offering help for parents of addicts can leave this point out. There will be relapses. Long-term addiction causes physical changes in the brain that can affect their ability to resist cravings. Statistics show that more than 85 percent of addicts relapse within the first year following the completion of their treatment programs.

Confronting an addict who has relapsed should be done with an eye to a specific plan to address the issue. People who offer help for parents of drug-addicted kids also assist with dealing with relapse. Parents may feel betrayed when their child goes back to drugs. Recognizing the signs of relapse is vital, and often the person is best-served by going back into a treatment program.

Paying for the Programs

Most drug abuse treatment programs have payment plans or accept insurance. If your child is a teenager and still on your insurance plan, you should investigate whether your plan covers this treatment and how long they allow the person to stay in treatment. If the addict is an adult, his or her insurance may cover the cost, or he may qualify for Medicaid or another assistance program.

Many experts point out, though, that addicts spend a lot of money feeding their addiction. Treatment may be less expensive in the long run.

Finding the Help

Not all drug treatment resources are the same. Whether you are still hoping you are wrong and there is no problem, or at the point of confronting an addict, you need someone standing beside you. If you live in Florida, and you are living with the monster of addiction, contact us . We can help.

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/drug-use-illicit.htm

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