Parent’s Guide to Drug Addiction

WHAT TO DO:

Help your child find treatment and take rehab seriously. Call the number of the back of your insurance card and research the facilities available to you.

Be honest with them about your child’s experience. Ask questions and find out the models of treatment each facility uses. I like the behavior model.

Go to Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, self-help groups for loved ones of addicts. Don’t be shocked to hear worse case scenarios. But who do you think those parents were seven or eight years ago? YOU. They were you. Now their child is in prison, or worse – dead. They want you to learn from their mistakes.

Teach your child autonomy over their bodies and their lives. Reassure them.
Talk to other parents. Know that far too many parents in America are going through exactly what you’re going through. There is real turmoil in this generation of young adults. Be open to finding community and keep yourself informed.

WHAT NOT TO DO:

Don’t lend them money. They are going to buy more drugs.

Don’t answer the first time they call you, if they have been off the grid for a few days. Make them wait.

Don’t be outraged when they lie to you. They have a disease. Cautiously love them.

Don’t be held emotionally hostage by a grown adult. They will threaten to harm themselves. If they do, call the police.

If you think that if your child is bad, then that makes you bad. It’s not about you. It’s about the drugs.

Don’t let them live with you. You are not sheltering them from their addiction. They will die in your house.