Being a parent can be challenging. You want what is best for your child. You try to guide them along the right path, but ultimately, it is their life.
They may make mistakes or stumble along the way, but you still want to be there for them. When times get tough, they especially need you, but you may not always know how to be there for them in the way they need. Especially when it comes to addiction, you may be left feeling overwhelmed and at a loss about what to do next.
The Best Ways to Help Your Adult Child in Addiction RecoveryNow that your child completed drug or alcohol addiction treatment and is in recovery, they need your support more than ever. If you don’t know where to begin, you are not alone. It can be hard to know what to say or do, but these tips on how to support an adult child in addiction recovery can help you both get through it.
Stop EnablingBefore your child got help, you were likely enabling their addiction without realizing it. Now that they are in recovery, it is important to make sure that this type of behavior stops, otherwise you risk letting them fall back into bad habits and relapsing. Instead, make sure you draw the line between support and enabling with boundaries. Setting boundaries with adult children is important because it ensures that you stop treating them like a child and start making them take responsibility for their own actions.
Provide the Support They NeedIf you want to support an adult child in addiction recovery successfully, you need to determine what kind of support your child needs. While they were in their partial hospitalization program, they had the support of peers and staff, but now that they are out of rehab, they are faced with many new addiction triggers. Many people automatically give someone support in the way that they would want it for themselves, but everyone is different. The support you give may leave your child feeling micromanaged or, in some cases, neglected. Talk with your child and determine what kind of support is best for them.
Join ThemYour child is going through a lot of changes right now, and it is easy for them to slip up or get a little complacent. To help keep them on track, join them. When you are with them, stay sober. Help them maintain a healthy routine by exercising with them or watching your diet together. Words of encouragement for a child in recovery can be helpful, but actions speak louder than words. By changing your lifestyle with them, you are keeping them honest about their recovery while also motivating them to keep going. You will also be lucky enough to reap the benefits for yourself.
Attend Therapy TogetherJust because your addicted adult child is now sober doesn’t mean that your relationship is now perfect. When your adult child was on drugs or drinking heavily, it likely caused big rifts in your relationship. Mending these wounds takes time and patience, but trying to do this on your own can be challenging. Instead, it may be worth attending therapy together to work through these problems. A therapist can help guide the conversation in a positive and productive way.
Take Care of YourselfAs a parent you want what is best for your child, but you should not neglect your own needs. It may be tempting to only focus on your child right now, but doing so will leave you feeling drained and overwhelmed. Instead, make sure you take time for yourself. Whether it’s taking a bubble bath or attending a parents of addicts support group, you need to take care of your own mental health as well.
There is no perfect manual on how to support an adult child in addiction recovery, but it is important that you are there for your child. Early recovery especially can be an incredibly vulnerable time. A few mistakes or missteps could lead to relapse, so they need your support. If your loved one does falter in their recovery journey, do not let it be the end of their sobriety. Help them through this challenging time and encourage them to get help. Our relapse recovery program in Massachusetts helps people who relapse get back on track in their recovery journey.