Is it possible to help an adult child who does not want your help?
While you may think that the situation is hopeless, you can help your adult child to recover from addiction. Parents of addicted adults can do a great deal to give their children a better chance to survive. In fact, you may be surprised to know that your child really does want your help. You simply need to learn more about how to help an addict.
Threats are not the answer.
Threatening to send them to treatment or kick them out of your home may seem like the right thing to do. When you do practice “tough love”, you may cause more harm than good. Hence, you must find other ways to try to get through to your child. As described in this article, there is much that you can do to support your child without “enabling” them.
Parents of addicted adults should show love, caring and compassion.
No matter how old your child is, they are still your baby. If you want to know how to help an addict when it is your baby, you must practice love and support. In fact, harm reduction practices do save lives. So, stay close to your child and keep the lines of communication open. Let your baby know that you are prepared to help them when they are ready for your help.
Support your child’s decision to seek medical help.
Many people are ready to give you advice about how to help an addict. Yet, much of this advice is wrong. For example, we have proven medical treatment for certain types of addiction. Therefore, you must avoid letting misguided opinions affect your judgement. Parents of addicted adults should be involved in their child’s medical care. Ask if you can come to appointments. If your child is willing to let you be fully involved, ask to speak to the doctor to get more information and ask questions. If your child has not yet found a doctor, offer to help them find a doctor who is accessible and easy to speak to. A doctor who will listen carefully to your child is of the utmost importance.
Invite your child to family therapy.
Addiction is a family problem. Hence, you should try to set up a family therapy session with your child. In fact, family therapy is a great place to start healing as a family. Addiction is a chronic illness, not a moral failing. Let your child know that you understand this.