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What to Do If A Parent Relapses

What to Do If A Parent Relapses

Having an addict as a parent can feel like the end of the world, but when they finally get sober, it can be a huge weight off your shoulders.

Unfortunately, they may not stay this way. When your parent relapses, it may feel like your world is about to come crashing down and your worst fear has been realized. Whether your dad relapsed after three years of sobriety or your mom relapsed for the third time in two years, every relapse can feel like a blow to your gut. The last thing you want is for them to fall back into addiction and drag you back down with them.

How to Deal with a Parent Who Relapsed

Although your parent’s relapse may leave you feeling a bit hopeless, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Our drug and alcohol rehab in Chicago is sharing some pointers on how to deal with a parent who relapses so that your life can continue moving forward.

Act Fast

The sooner you act the better. Relapses are common for many people in recovery, but you do not want this bump in the road to turn back into a full-blown relapse. The best way to keep their slip-up from spiraling out of control is to catch it early and get help immediately.

Get Them Help

A relapse doesn’t have to mean addiction, but to keep this from happening, you should try to get your parent help. A relapse recovery program can be especially beneficial as it places them back in a more controlled and restrictive environment when they are vulnerable and their sobriety is at risk.

Get Support

Just because your mom or dad relapsed, doesn’t mean you need to go through this on your own. It is not your responsibility as the child to get everything back under control. If your parent relapses, recruit the help of their sponsor, another family member, or a trusted friend for help.

Don’t Enable

Parents who are addicts often take advantage of their children’s kindness. Although you want to be supportive, your actions, while well intentioned, could cause their relapse to spiral out of control. Avoid enabling behavior so that your parent can understand what the consequences of a relapse and going back to drugs and alcohol are.

Take Care of Yourself

Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Dealing with a parent who keeps relapsing often puts the child in the uncomfortable position of taking on a parental role in the relationship, but don’t forget about your own needs. When you keep placing your parent’s needs above your own, your physical and mental health will decline. Make time for yourself and relax. It is also best to avoid using drugs or alcohol to help you cope as there is a genetic influence on addiction.

Accept the Limits of Your Control

You can only do so much. Especially if your parent relapses repeatedly, you need to accept that you cannot control them. While drug intervention services may be able to get your parent into treatment and get them sober for a short amount of time, you cannot help someone who doesn’t want help. If your parent is an addict, it may be best that you separate yourself from them until they prove to you that they are sober for good.

At Banyan Chicago, we understand that having any loved one who is an addict can be challenging, but there is hope.

If your loved one has a substance abuse problem and you do not know where to turn, reach out to us now at 888-280-4763.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.