One of the most difficult conversations a parent can have with their child is about drugs. It can be an uncomfortable topic and one that leads to more questions than answers. Some may even worry that the mere conversation will actually prompt the child to experiment. However, this conversation is a necessary one for every family, especially when one or more individuals in the family struggles with addiction or is in recovery. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when speaking with a young person about a parent’s addiction.
Addiction is a Disease
First and foremost, a child of a parent with an addiction needs to understand that their parent is suffering from a disease. If they don’t understand how their family member fell into addiction, it can be easy for a child to feel responsible in some way or begin to dislike their parent. It may be useful to use terms like “sick” and” getting better”, especially for younger children. While the parent is away in treatment, expressing their condition in medical terms can help children to not see their parent as a bad or dangerous person. Verbalizing the “c’s”: (you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, you can’t cure it) can be beneficial in the case of children that have witnessed a parent doing or saying something regrettable while under the influence of a substance.
The Addiction is Not Your Fault
Studies have shown that parents that use substances have a tendency to be over-involved in their child’s life in a negative way while also showing fewer outward signs of affection and responsiveness. Children may already be feeling abandoned, neglected, or rebellious because of this and may desperately miss the “old version” of the parent or wish things were different. It is imperative to let them know they are not alone. By speaking openly about these issues with the child and encouraging them to share their thoughts and emotions openly, you can start a dialogue. That dialogue, in turn, shows mutual respect and trust, something the child may feel is lacking.
The Difficult Conversation About Substance Abuse
At Broadway Treatment Center, we know these conversations are tough to have. You might feel scared or ashamed to speak with your child about your addiction, but our team of dedicated staff members can help make it easier. We can guide you through these healthy discussions and help you acknowledge your addiction. Through every step of the process, we remain focused on your recovery and assist you in identifying the triggers that might lead you back to your addiction.
Adult Addiction Treatment Center in Huntington Beach
At Broadway Treatment Center, we strive to offer a personalized treatment experience in a comfortable and inviting setting. As you begin your path to recovery in our residential treatment program, your family will be glad to hear that you are taking the positive steps to improve your life and theirs. Call us today at (714) 443-8218 to learn more about our state-of-the-art programs and premiere facility. Your son or daughter will be proud, and so will you.