Having an adolescent child who suffers from drug or alcohol addiction can be a difficult challenge. They may be rebellious and difficult to control. They may be reluctant to take your parental advice. As parents, it can be difficult to know how to help a person who has developed a substance use disorder.
However, for parents with adult children with substance use disorders, the challenges can be more severe. As parents, it can be tempting to offer support to your child unconditionally. However, in cases where addiction has become severe, this kind of support can often backfire.
Addiction causes people to prioritize drug-seeking behavior and drug use above all other commitments. For parents of addicted adult children, that means that your support might actually be making it easier for your child to obtain and use addictive substances. Many parents are aware of this problem on some level, but they feel helpless to deny their child the resources that they so clearly need.
It can be difficult to distinguish the fine line between loving behavior and dangerous enabling behaviors. Making a clear distinction between the two and setting boundaries, however, is essential to your child’s health and safety.
It is important to remember that setting boundaries is not the same as denying love. In fact, by setting a boundary, you are demonstrating that you care for the health, happiness, and well-being of your child. Enabling behaviors might feel better in the moment, but as parents it is crucial to look out for the long-term consequences of your adult child’s behavior. Setting boundaries is also important for your own mental health.
Allowing an adult child’s addiction to take over your own life can deplete your energy, your emotional stamina, your financial resources, and even harm your familial relationships. Left unchecked, your enabling behaviors can end up worsening your own mental health, making it more difficult ultimately for you to help and be of service to your family. Some important boundaries to set include and how to stop enabling a drug addict:
For parents of addicted children, setting boundaries can be painful. It can feel like you are denying your child the support and resources they need. However, by enrolling your addicted adult child in a structured sober living home, you can ensure that they get the resources they need while simultaneously receiving addiction recovery. Structured sober living homes are recovery residences where people who are recovering from substance use disorders can live, work, and develop life skills.
Design for Recovery, located in West Los Angeles, is a structured sober living home for young men. At Design for Recovery, your adult addicted child can live safely while developing the skills and coping tools he needs to avoid relapse and build a new life for himself. Best of all, he can do so in the context of a community of other young men who are equally committed to the recovery process. If your addicted adult child is ready to make a change, reach out to Design for Recovery today.