A lot of pain can come to a parent when they see their child struggling with some form of substance abuse. Little by little you watch it take over their life until there’s little left of the person you once new. But there are some things you can do to help that person re-emerge from the darkness and become whole again.
Provide a Safe Place
That safe place is rarely their own bedroom. Addicts often need to be removed completely from their current situation in order to recover. Recovery centers such as the sober house MD residents rely on for help are more effective for those needing to overcome addiction to alcohol or drugs. Trained staff at these centers know what to look for and how to help in ways that an overly sympathetic family member cannot.
Empower, Don’t Enable
Bargaining with someone struggling with a toxic lifestyle will not help – in fact, it frequently drives them further down the rabbit hole. When they leave a recovery center they may feel a bit lost and be unsure of how to transition. They may see little hope of gaining control over their life again. If you look the other way for even one instance of backsliding, you are enabling them to continue using. Empowering means helping them to see their own value and contributions, building confidence and self esteem.
Ownership – a person’s ability to make their own choices with a full awareness that the consequences will be due to their actions – is a big step to overcoming the problem. Helping them to develop talents and skills that will empower them to become responsible adults and to be able to say no to the substances that have run their lives before is critical.
When your loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem, you cannot just look the other way. Get the help you need for them and please self to be able to move forward with a clean lifestyle and a new sense of purpose and accomplishment.