4 Ways to Cope as the Parent of Adult Addicts


If your child is dealing with a drug addiction, you may feel helpless. You watch them fall further and further into their addiction every day, and they don’t seem to care. Even if you offer to help them get into a substance abuse treatment facility, they may decline. We know how difficult and heartbreaking it can be to watch your child go through this. The unfortunate truth is that you can’t force them to get sober. They have to make that decision themselves. While you’re encouraging them to seek help, here are some things you can do to help yourself cope and get through this difficult time.

It’s Not Your Fault They Aren’t in Rehab

While you can do everything you can to help your child seek rehab, it’s not your fault if they don’t. Even if you can pay for everything and physically take your adult child to drug rehab centers, you can’t make them walk through those doors and dedicate themselves to getting sober. This is one of the hardest things to accept, but you do have to recognize that it’s the truth. It’s not your fault if your child isn’t accepting the support and resources you’re offering. You have done everything you can do in this situation. Blaming yourself isn’t going to make your child seek help.

Love Your Child, but Don’t Enable Them

Remind your child regularly how much you love them. Let them know that even though they may have said and done horrible things due to their addiction, you will always love them. However, also remind them that your love for them doesn’t negate any consequences they face due to their behavior. Loving them doesn’t mean you need to enable their habit. You must hold them accountable for the actions they’ve taken while using drugs. This is very much a time when you’re going to have to practice tough love. Let them know that you are there when they are ready to seek help, but you won’t do anything to encourage their drug use.

Remember You Have Needs, Too

When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, the affects go beyond their life. Their addiction affects their family and their friends. As the parent of an adult addict, it’s especially difficult for you. You may find yourself thinking about your child and creating hundreds of different “what if” scenarios in your mind. Doing this will certainly affect your emotional state. You may find yourself becoming depressed, or you may start to resent what your child has done to your family.

While you certainly don’t want to ignore your child or their problem, you also have to recognize that it can’t take over your life. In order to cope with their addiction in a healthy manner, you have to make certain you don’t neglect your own needs. Worry and depression can lead to not eating or exercising. It can have an impact on your job and on the rest of your family. Remember, you can’t help your child if you’re not doing very well mentally or physically. Always set aside some time to take care of yourself.

You’re Not Alone

Remember that every person out there who has abused drugs or alcohol is someone’s child. You’re not alone in dealing with this. There are support groups you can reach out to. You can find support from other family members, your friends, your church leaders, and others. You don’t have to cope with this yourself. In fact, it’s best if you don’t. Getting an outside perspective or something having someone to will listen can be incredibly helpful.

We’re Here, Too

If your child is ready to seek help or if you want to learn more about what rehab offers, contact Good Landing Recovery today. We’re here for you and your family.