When Your Parent is Addicted

3 min

Dealing with a parent that is a drug addict can be a real challenge. Being an addict’s child alone is complicated. It means you might not experience or understand normal childhood. That’s because life is typically filled with secrets, fear, lies, instability, and abuse in some cases.

The responsibilities of a child whose parents are addict stretch beyond those of children with sober parents. A child with addicted parents has to take care of the household and siblings. In some cases, children also take care of their addicted parents. Some children are even forced to keep the secret of the addictive substances that their parents have at home.

Nevertheless, there are many resources that children whose parents are addicts can find quite helpful. For instance, they can call AddictionResource drug and alcohol hotlines to seek assistance. These are numbers that are manned by experienced professionals that know what such kids go through. Whenever they call these numbers, they get information and the guidance they need to deal with any situation.

Children with addicted parents can call these numbers whenever they believe they are in danger or the addictive parent needs medical help.

Signs That a Parent Is Suffering From a Substance Use Disorder

When a parent is battling drug addiction, children want to have them healed. It’s also crucial to remember that addicted parents love their children. Essentially, addiction is a chronic illness. Therefore, an addicted parent needs professional medical assistance. But, how do you tell that a parent is battling an addiction or whether it’s the time to call an addiction hotline number?

Well, signs of addiction vary depending on the abused substance and the amount. How often a person uses an addictive substance can also influence the symptoms they exhibit. Nevertheless, some signs are common among people struggling with addiction to different drugs.

They include the following:

  • Financial problems
  • Violent or angry outbursts
  • Memory issues
  • Sleep problems
  • Glazed over eyes
  • Body marks
  • Slurred speech
  • Being excited without a reason
  • Heavy drinking
  • Dozing off when doing things or speaking
  • Strangers out and at home
  • Having paraphernalia at home

A person can also exhibit these systems when struggling with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. However, a person could be using addictive drugs to self-medicate. Research has shown that some patients use illicit drugs and misuse alcohol and prescription drugs to self-medicate pain. Unfortunately, prolonged or misuse of these drugs can lead to addiction. If a child suspects that drug abuse or misuse is an issue, it’s crucial to communicate their fears and come up with a productive way to have them treated.

Talk about Drug Use

Finding the right time to talk about addiction is not easy. If approached when sober, a parent can be irritable. They may be unable to pay attention or concentrate due to withdrawal symptoms. In that situation, their focus is on obtaining the addictive substance.

And, approaching them when under the influence of the drug, they may not be coherent individuals. But, if a parent acts more normal some days than others, this is the ideal time to approach them. This is particularly important if you had to call a drug helpline number seeking emergency help after an overdose.

Ask questions about their drinking or use of the addictive substance. Let them know your concerns and thoughts about the addiction problem. It’s crucial to ensure that the addicted parent sees how the problem affects them and the entire family. Do so lovingly and calmly regardless of how angry their addictive behaviors make you feel. Discuss the addiction problem without getting into a fight. That’s because arguing with an addicted parent will worsen the situation since they might opt to resist your suggestions.

Involve Trustworthy People

Research indicates addicts can be emotionally fragile and even deny the existence of a problem for which they should seek assistance. Therefore, reach out to trustworthy family members if possible. That way, you can convince the addicted parent that they have a problem for which they need to seek assistance. Always remember that you are a child to the person you want to talk about addiction to. A trustworthy and mature family member can help you articulate your concerns respectfully.

Avoid Blaming Yourself

If a parent overdose and compels you to call rehab numbers several times, you can get upset when you see them struggle with a substance use disorder. But, it’s not your fault that they are struggling or your family is falling apart. Being an adult, your addicted parent is responsible for their action and your siblings.

Talking to your parents about addiction can make them decide to seek treatment and this will make things better. Therefore, stop blaming yourself and focus on helping them.

The Bottom Line

Dealing with an addictive parent is a challenge but it’s possible. If unable to address the issue alone, seek the help of a trustworthy family member. You can also seek professional help by calling the national drug abuse hotline.

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