If you have an addict parent, you have probably had to take on the role of caregiver for your parent for several years. As an adult child of an addict, you undoubtedly have had to help them maintain their job, meet their financial obligations, and you’ve probably had to make excuses for them with other family members. At some point, you will have to come to terms with the fact that your addict parent needs more help than you can provide. When you find yourself in that situation, understanding what this process will entail can be helpful in preparing yourself for the recovery process. The first step is to get your parent to realize that they need to get clean, and that they will need professional help throughout that process.
You can’t force your parent into rehab, but you can help them come to the realization that rehab is the best thing for them. Overall, you should try to avoid making confrontational statements or saying anything that will put your parent in a defensive position. Instead, express how much you care for them, and you should also explain that you’re worried about their future. It may help to point out the ways in which their addiction has adversely affected their career, financial status, health, and personal relationships. It may take persistence, but, if you keep addressing these concerns, your addicted parent will eventually come to terms with their problem.
Take Initial Visitations Slowly
Getting started will involve going through a medicated detox and moving into a rehab facility immediately afterwards. Throughout this process, the first few weeks will be conducted in isolation from family members and loved ones. This means you won’t have any contact with your parent until they get acclimated to the rehab environment and their schedule. When you are given permission to visit, the counselors at the addiction treatment facility will meet with you. During this conference, you’ll be instructed on how to handle the first few meetings with your parent. Essentially, your visits should be kept on a positive note. Even though you may have issues with your parent, these visits are not the time to discuss them. Instead, you should keep your parent focused on the future and on living a healthier life.
Participate in Family Therapy Sessions
Later, you’ll be invited to participate in family therapy sessions with your parent. This is an important process in the recovery of an addict, and it will take the form of group therapy with your other family members. You’ll get together with a therapist to discuss your parent’s past behavior as an addict and how that may have affected those familial relationships. You’ll also have an opportunity to engage in one on one counseling sessions with your parent. This is a chance for you to address any issues that may be specifically related to your relationship with your parent. You can discuss sensitive topics that you wouldn’t feel free to talk about with other family members present. The therapy sessions won’t completely resolve the problems you have with your parent, but they will give you a start on working through those issues.
Learn What it Will Mean for Your Parent to Come Home
Eventually, your parent will be ready to come home, and this will require some lifestyle changes for both of you. You can prepare for this situation by reaching out to a peer support group. There are many groups that involve the children of recovering addicts, which provide support and insight to those struggling with this situation. By joining a group, you can learn about the experiences of others. You’ll also have a place to discuss the challenges you’re facing with your own parent. When your parent is ready to return home, you’ll have to prepare the home for them. Your parent may have specific requests that will help them avoid the triggers that can raise the risks of their relapsing. In general, however, you should make sure there isn’t any alcohol or drugs on the property.
The home should be a sober living environment with other members of the household pledging to avoid substance use on the property. Even prescription medications should be locked away where they can’t be easily accessed. If you have a parent struggling with addiction, our counselors can help them get on the road to recovery. Call us at 844-639-8371 anytime of the day or night. We’re available seven days a week to answer your questions and help your addicted loved one start their recovery.