What you need to understand about your child’s addiction
Your son or daughter has also learned how to work the steps with a sponsor and regularly attends meetings. Hopefully, they have also begun to be less dependent on you.
You will still need to show guidance and your faith in your child so they feel there is a purpose in this new life.
Something people in recovery learn, which you should understand too, is:
- Their addiction was not their choice or voluntary behavior. It is a disease that needs treatment like all other diseases. The only medicine that you can continue to supply them is the encouragement that you have given them up to this point. Keep them motivated and try not to put them down since they’re fresh in recovery and could relapse.
- They have learned that drug addiction wasn’t a character flaw but something tragic that people struggle with every year, and they are not the only ones. Addiction is not your fault; they just need help that others might not need.
- Help them surround themselves with others that have suffered from the same disease rather than allowing them to hang out with old friends with unhealthy habits.
- Treatment might not have been a one-shot deal. For some, to get to 60 days of sobriety takes multiple tries. If they fail the first time, they are not hopeless. There is still hope for them, and each person should have an individualized treatment program because not all programs are the same. There is no magic bullet solution for all forms of drug and alcohol addiction. Each case is different and must be addressed and treated differently.
After 60 days in rehab, consistent healthy boundaries are essential.
As each month passes, the child should start to become less dependent on you and focus on job searching and saving money.
Most substance users will gain confidence and will believe they have the problem under control, but boundaries will remind them that they can slip at any point.
- If they have committed to a 90-day program, do not allow them to leave after 60 days. In their new way of living, they must learn that they must stick with it once committing. Lying and breaking promises was their old way of living and should not be incorporated into their sober life. Tell them that they need to stay for their committed time.
- Slowly start to visit less so they can become more dependent on themselves and create their happiness that’s not through you.
How do I help my child find the Support they Need in Recovery?
Support is something that they should gain more of as the recovery process continues. As addicted people start to repair broken relationships, they will grow a larger support system to help boost self-confidence, satisfaction, pleasure, and mood. Some of the things that you can do to help them find support at this stage in the treatment process are:
- Help them develop supportive friendships that will benefit their recovery.
- Stay mindful that you can support them, but they must find other supportive networks that they can rely on too.
- Support their reintegration into society by helping them find a job that doesn’t include something that can trigger old habits, like a bartender. Make sure they do the work, such as their resume and interviews.
- Don’t hand them a job. Make them work to obtain one, so they have a reason and purpose for maintaining it.
Does my child need aftercare?
Aftercare is maintaining and caring for your sobriety after treatment or milestones in your rehabilitation process.
Aftercare at 60 days should focus on enabling a goal-setting lifestyle and decreasing the cravings for drugs and alcohol.
As a parent, you should participate in aftercare programs but still allow your child to grow independently.
Sixty days is still young in sobriety, and you should still monitor their activity enough to ensure that they are not setting themselves up for relapse.
- Start to plan what life after treatment will be like for your son or daughter and how things will be different than before. This ensures that you will not return to your enabling behavior and stay focused on their future and where you hope to see them in a year or two.
- If they leave treatment and visit or come home, make sure they are coming back to a safe environment. Alcoholics do not want to come over to visit and see Alcohol bottles, shot glasses, wine glasses, or anything that can trigger them. If they used to stay in their room to isolate and watch T.V., make sure that there is no T.V. in their room anymore. This will help them not fall back into their old habits and living style.
- Ensure they find sober friends. Peer pressure is a motivator for drug use and can cause a relapse. Meet their friends and invite them to come over so you can see if they are a positive influence on someone who is trying to live sober.
- They might have to find a new neighborhood to live in. Some neighborhoods can cause relapse because of illegal activities, such as drug dealing. This is the same as an alcoholic living across the street from a liquor store. If the addiction is accessible, then it is easier to relapse.
How can I avoid enabling my son or daughter who is in recovery?
Enabling behavior in recovery is doing anything that will constrain your son or daughter from growing. Even though this might stress them out or remind them of their old habits, enabling must be avoided so they can learn responsibility.
Some think that stressing them out will only make them susceptible to relapse, which can be true, but stress is part of life, and somebody who wants to live a sober life must learn to deal with stress without using drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
- The time for overlooking problems that your son or daughter created is over. Your child must start to deal with all their problems without the assistance of a parent.
- Start to express all your feelings about your son or daughter to them. Whether you are proud or disappointed, express how you feel. This might hurt your son or daughter’s feelings, but it will also prepare him or her for struggles in the future and not to cope with drug use.
- Stop lying to others about your son or daughter’s addiction to protect or cover up embarrassment. They should be proud of getting the help needed for the disease and not be afraid to let others know that they are bettering life. Although it is your child’s right to remain anonymous, it will help them repair broken relationships if they are open and honest about it since the reason behind the failing relationships was substance and drug use. If people realize that habits have changed from the old ways and are not manipulating and lying to them anymore, then they might allow them to work on repairing their relationship.