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How to Help an Adult Child That’s Struggling With Addiction

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How to Help an Adult Child That's Struggling With Addiction

There is little doubt that helping a family member who is struggling with addiction can be one of the most challenging experiences that you and your family will ever have to go through. Also, there will be times when it feels like there is no hope for recovery. There may also be times when you may even want to say, “Enough is enough.” The truth is that these feelings are understandable. Seeing a family member struggle is hard. This is especially true when that family member is a child, even more so when the goal is to help an adult child recover. The good news is that there is hope.

Helping Someone Get the Addiction Help They Need

When it comes to helping someone get the addiction help that they need, many times, people try to do it on their own first. Unfortunately, this is rarely as effective as these people initially think. This is because, as they say in 12-Step recovery, addiction is ”cunning, baffling, and powerful.” It usually takes a professional to navigate the intricacies and complexities of addiction to help a loved one not only recover but recover for the long term.

The good news is that there are plenty of accessible, empathetic, and effective recovery professionals and treatment centers all over the country. Now, the key is finding one that will fit your loved one’s specific needs. Also, it can be important to find a recovery center that also has a focus on helping the family heal because when it comes to addiction, everyone has the right to recovery.

Advocating for a Loved One’s Addiction Recovery: Subtraction Not Addition

As previously mentioned, a big part of advocating for a loved one’s recovery is reaching out to a recovery center on their behalf. However, there are also other ways that you can advocate for their recovery. While it may seem counterintuitive, one of the most important ways of advocating for a loved one is by stopping the current way you may be supporting them.

What this means is that many people supporting a loved one with addiction feel like they are keeping them safe by making sure that they have everything they need to stay functioning. These are the necessities of life, such as food, finances, and shelter. However, even though we feel as though we are being supportive, we are actually just prolonging the addiction “misery.” This is what is known as enabling. It is dangerous, and it specifically happens a lot with adult children struggling with addiction.

How to Help an Adult Child That Is Struggling With Addiction

When we think of how to help an adult child with an addiction, we often first think of how to help an adult child in other aspects of their life. These are the facets of life, such as getting a job, maintaining a relationship and/or family, and having a home. However, ultimately, when we help with these things, we only help an adult child progress in their addiction.

Again, this is never the parents’ fault. It is done out of love. But, it also must end because it is making things worse. When someone is struggling with addiction, that addiction supersedes everything else. So when we help with all of those other things, we are really only helping them maintain their addictive lifestyles without any immediate consequences. However, those consequences will come, and the longer it takes, most likely, the more consequential they will become.

How to Help an Adult Child: The Special Role Parents Can Play in the Recovery Process

The good news is that while trying to help an adult child with addiction is particularly challenging, as a parent you are uniquely qualified to help them recover. This is because of the bond that parents and children often have, as well as the capabilities you have of ending the enabling cycle and making life “uncomfortable” for a while. Now, this may seem hard, but it is crucial.

Parents of adult children struggling with addiction also have a special ability to help support their adult child while in a treatment center. This can happen in two ways. Because everyone is older, there is more financial stability, and often older parents have more financial means to help cover some of the costs of a recovery center. 

However, this is certainly not always the case and is not a requirement. There are many other ways to help an adult child while they are in a recovery center besides financial support. One of the biggest is being able to step up and take care of other family members until they finish residential recovery. This is especially true if there are grandchildren involved.

Helping the Entire Family Heal at Lantana Recovery

Here at Lantana Recovery, we have one primary purpose. That purpose is to help individuals and their loved ones recover from the disease of addiction.

This is not only true for those struggling of all ages. Now, we know as a parent trying to help an adult child recover, it can feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We are here to tell you that there most certainly is. As the co-founder of 12-Step recovery, Bill W., once said, “No personal calamity is so crushing that something true and great can’t be made of it.” You can get through this, and we can help.

Parents of adult children in active addiction often find themselves struggling to effectively help them. This is because they may not know how to go about helping anyone (especially an adult child) in active addiction, they still see their adult child as younger than they are, or they don’t want to cross boundaries now that their child is an adult. However, it is crucial to realize that as a parent, they have a special role that can help reach an adult child in ways that others may not be able to. For more information on the best ways to address active addiction in an adult child and what family support groups look like, contact Lantana Recovery at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.