When looking at the elements of a parent’s role in their child’s life it is clear that the job doesn’t stop on their 18th birthday. Many parents provide financial and emotional support to their adult children who aren’t addicts. But, what happens when an adult is suffering from addiction and your support could actually be enabling?
Participating in Recovery Processes
We mean your recovery not the recovery of your child. Although you should support them as long as they’re working toward a long and happy sober life, you have to focus on your recovery as well.
Parents blame themselves, have years of guilt, and can sit there ruminating over a simple mistake that happened years ago. Maybe there are big mistakes in your family’s history and you feel responsible. The thing is, you’re not responsible. You need to recover from the years self-blame and guilt.
Another element in the codependency recovery is acknowledging that your child is an adult and that you, the school system, and the greater part of your immediate community, prepared them for adulthood. Adults get to enjoy the benefit of taking responsibility for themselves and their actions. You need to learn to acknowledge that you are not responsible for their choices, but you are responsible for yours. That means you’re responsible for bailing out a son who was just drinking and driving, again.
Help Them Find the Support On Their Own
The misconception that an addict has to hit rock bottom has taken over the massive portion of the population. The truth is that one person’s rock bottom is very different from another’s rock bottom. Someone can receive an eviction notice and realize that they need to turn their life around, or be rejected for an Uber ride because they’re too belligerent. Not every addict ends up homeless and selling themselves, although some do.
Here’s the thing, there are social services in place to help people get back on their feet. Go through the process with them. If they’re ready to seek recovery then help them find the best drug addiction treatment center that they can afford. But keep that in mind. Help them learn how to find the right help, not to come begging you for money every time they need bailing out.
Understanding the Difference that Drug Addiction Treatment Centers Can Make
Formal treatment should never be “off the table” as there are plenty of centers that don’t cost tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, outpatient centers may even be able to be covered through some local assistance programs. If your child comes to you and says that they’re ready for treatment then put the ball in their court. You don’t have to pay for an inpatient center on the beach in California.
But again, encouraging your adult child to simply work a community-based 12-step program might not be the right bit of advice. Those programs don’t replace a drug addiction treatment center, they’re simply a support community for people in recovery.
Set Healthy Boundaries
As easy as it is to set boundaries for them, you need to set boundaries for yourself too. That means not calling or texting to see where they are at throughout the day and night. It might also mean not giving them cash for groceries, or rides to their probation meetings.
Boundaries work both ways, they’re healthy for you and they’re healthy for them. Some addicts have used manipulation for so long that they feel they are owed favors, and actions that they haven’t earned.
Set rules such as, I will not give you cash, but I will buy you groceries when I can afford it. Or, I will only call you on the weekends to see how you’re doing. When it comes to rides and things that seem like a matter of legal consequence remember that you can’t rush to their rescue at every chance. Your child is an adult, probably with internet access either through a phone or public library, and can find a bus route on their own.
Consider an Outpatient Program with a Drug Addiction Treatment Center
At Rehab Carolinas we work with individuals as well as families in an effort to create a recovery centered environment. To that extent you can talk to us whether you’re an addict ready to get help or if you’re a concerned family member. Our multiple addiction treatment and therapy methods allow our team to create specialized plans that fit the needs of the person suffering in these situations.
Call Rehab Carolinas to get in touch with a local counselor and recovery team.