One challenge many parents and grandparents face is “How To Help Adult Kids With Addiction?” The adult children with “addictive habit” find it hard to live without self-destructive habits. This can sometimes interfere with raising their own children and being productive.
How to Help Adult Kids with Addiction
Addictions are complex and hard to understand. They tear apart the very fabric of a family unit. Often it looks like they don’t want to raise their own children, or that they don’t care. Their parents, who are the parenting grandparent, often feel guilty and ashamed of their adult child’s inability to break their habit. Secrets, chaos, co-dependency, lies, and untruths accompany addictions. Addiction doesn’t just affect an individual; it impacts entire families. When grandparents are raising their grandchildren because their own adult child has an addiction, three generations are impacted!
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) views addiction as a “primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social, and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.”
Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death. Associated with addiction is a person who displays co-dependent behaviors. Co-dependency is an extreme dependency by one person on another who is suffering from an addiction. Common characteristics include low self-worth coupled with a high need for approval. Not a formal psychiatric diagnosis, codependency is a psychological syndrome noted in relatives or partners of alcoholics or substance abusers.
Identifying Addiction in Your Adult Child
Parents tend to be very intuitive when it comes to those times when their children have problems. They may not want to talk about, or that might be difficult to admit. However, when it comes to adult children, it’s much more difficult to discern when your children are having problems. Even harder is knowing what those problems could be since adult children don’t usually live at home. It’s important for parents to continue being perceptive. They can do so by being aware of some of the warning signs that your adult child is suffering from addiction.
When substance abuse turns into addiction, the addict will often begin to have a marked increase in financial troubles. This might lead to adult children asking their parents to loan them money. It could be to assist in paying for rent, bills, groceries, and other living expenses. As the addiction progresses and the adult child will come to depend on assistance from parents. The financial need will continue to increase, as well. The adult child may ask for money to pay for unexpected expenses such as car repairs or speeding tickets. While it’s fine to provide financial assistance to an adult child, judgment and caution should be exercised. It’s a bad sign when the adult child begins to ask for money excessively and with increasing frequency. Especially if this occurs along with other signs
How to Deal with Adult Children Suffering from Addiction
It’s incredibly important to be aware of that as a parent. There’s no cure-all solution that will rid an adult child of his or her addiction. What’s more, there’s no singular cause for addiction. Rather an accumulation of contributors that have nothing to do with you will occur. This ultimately leads your adult child to indulge in and eventually lose control of harmful behaviors.
With that in mind, perhaps the most important step in dealing with an adult child’s addiction is for the parents to seek help for themselves. There are a variety of support groups for the loved ones of addicts. These are ideal for providing guidance for parents and other relatives during a very intense, difficult, and overwhelming experience. It’s been found that one of the most effective resources in most addiction-related situations is to learn from others who have experienced the same thing, and this is something that support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous and others can offer to parents of adult children who suffer from addiction.
Help Your Child
Parents of adult child addicts should also remember that the child’s addiction is not their fault and not something that a parent can fix. Addiction is a disease in much the same way that diabetes is a disease, which means that it can’t be fixed with a band-aid or by punishing your child for bad behavior. Addiction requires professional help and treatment, and the only person who can decide for an addict to receive drug and alcohol treatment is the addict him or herself.
When dealing with a loved one who suffers from addiction, it’s crucial to adopt a firm, resolute stance on the issue. We encourage you to love these individuals and to express that love freely. This cannot take the form of enabling the individual as enabling will only prolong the addiction as well as increase its severity. Enablers act out of love, but their actions only provide a buffer between the addict and the consequences of the addict’s behavior. Many addicts have to hit “rock bottom” before accepting their addictions and choosing to receive professional treatment, but preventing addicts from dealing with the consequences of their addiction prevents them from getting to the point of wanting to recover. As such, parents should refrain from providing financial assistance to individuals and from attempting to shelter them from the consequences of addiction.
More than half a million people die each year due to drug use. Your adult child or loved one doesn’t have to be another casualty of addiction. Call us at 8557308825 to enroll!