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5 Ways to Cope With an Adult Child’s Addiction

5 Ways to Cope With an Adult Child's Addiction - The Bergand Group

When parents have to deal with a child’s addiction it can be a confusing time. When the child is in high school or college, parents have more control over their what methods of treatment to choose. Conversely, when a parent is dealing with an adult child’s addiction it can be hard to influence them to take a certain course of treatment. An adult child’s addiction can tear relationships apart, as parents have little to no control over their adult child’s actions anymore.

Addiction stems from many places. If an adult child’s addiction is mirroring their parent’s addiction, it can be safe to say that their addiction is partially genetic. While addiction does not merely stem from genetics, what a child sees while growing up heavily influences their behaviors. If parents use drugs and alcohol around their children, they are showing their children what is socially acceptable. Children of addicted parents have a high chance of having an addiction themselves. Sometimes an adult child’s addiction stems from co-occurring disorders, such as anxiety, depression and other mental health illnesses. Many times people choose to use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. Wherever an adult child’s addiction originated, the fact remains that they need help.

How to Cope With an Adult Child’s Addiction

Many parents feel that it is their fault when an adult child’s addiction takes over, while other parents feel anger and frustration. No matter what emotion a parent feels about an adult child’s addiction, there are coping skills that can help.

Tips For Coping With an Adult Child’s Addiction

  • Stop the Blame. It’s hard for a parent not to blame themselves for an adult child’s addiction, but it is not their fault that their child is suffering. When a parent blames themselves, they are taking the ownership of the addiction away from their child. This allows their adult child to put responsibility of their addiction on someone else, pushing them further away from seeking treatment.
  • Offer Support – To An Extent. It is important to remember that parents can only offer so much support. It is up to the child to accept help. Some parents try to do everything they can, including paying for treatment and being overly involved in their adult child’s life. If an adult child refuses help parents must accept that.
  • Do Not Enable. Enabling an adult child’s addiction comes in many forms. When parents become overly involved in their adult child’s life they often enable addictions. Loving their child means holding them accountable for their actions and behaviors – not making excuses for their addiction. Giving them money, support, and resources only helps if the adult child chooses to seek treatment.
  • Protect Yourself and Your Family. When dealing with an adult child’s addiction, parents must remember to protect themselves and their family. Addiction is a terrible disease and people often do things they would not normally do, such as blame their family for the addiction, steal to pay for their addiction, and lie. Parents must remember to keep some distance when supporting an adult child dealing with an addiction.

Help For an Adult Child’s Addiction

It is not easy to deal with an adult child’s addiction. This is a hard situation for everyone involved. If you are struggling with an adult child’s addiction, remember to take care of yourself. Seek help and do not blame yourself. If your adult child agrees to seek treatment, The Bergand Group can help. We are Baltimore and Harford County’s leading addiction treatment specialists and can offer your family support during this hard time. For more information on family therapy, intensive outpatient programs, and other addiction services, visit The Bergand Group today.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore, MD our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehabilitation and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.


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