Addiction Intervention for Parents
If you have a parent who has a problem with drugs or alcohol, it can be one of the most challenging experiences. Maybe this is a recent development, or perhaps this has been going on since you can remember. You know that deep down at the root of everything, your mom or dad is an awesome person. You have seen glimpses of it, or perhaps if this is an addiction that just developed, you've seen it for decades since birth.
It's not a secret that addiction changes people. You know your parent's personality and all of the good characteristics that come with it. All you want to do is help them get back to that person that they once were. Staging an Addiction Intervention for a parent is the best way to move forward.
Having an Addicted Parent
There are lots of feelings that come along with this situation. You feel scared, alone, tired, helpless, angry, and confused. It is normal to go through these emotions when you are the child of a parent that is battling addiction. You may be living in a constant state of fear as you think about what might possibly happen to them.
Is tonight the night you will get the call that they have been in an accident or overdosed?
How many more years will I have left with them if they continue down this path?
Having a parent who is in active addiction can not only be worrying but the fear can also be downright debilitating.
The Impact of Parental Addiction
No matter how long a drug and alcohol addiction has been present in your life it is likely to have had a tremendous impact on you.
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, children who are raised by parents in a state of active addiction to drugs or alcohol are more likely to experience abuse and neglect.
It is likely that you have had to take a backseat, at one point or another, to your parents’ addiction and that in itself can frustrating and painful.
Not only that but according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health services administration, having a parent who struggles with addiction can have many effects on a child that can make it harder for them to cope.
These include things like lower socioeconomic status, increased risk for mental illness or behavior disorders, impairment disorders, and are also at a higher risk for developing an addiction themselves. If you suffer from one of these things it is possible your parent’s addiction is to blame.
The Trauma is Real - But You're Not Alone
Watching a parent decline into addiction is another aspect that can be traumatizing to see. A parent changes from one person to someone you may not even recognize or like.
If this is something that sounds all too familiar to you, you are not alone. There are many other people out there who have experienced the same roller coaster of pain and hopelessness that you yourself have experienced. There are many who have experienced it, and many who have been able to get their parent back after many years of riding the waves of addiction.
Early Intervention for Addiction is Always Best
It is a popular belief that early intervention is essential for recovery when it comes to addiction. The problem with this belief is that it stops many people who have had issues with an addiction for years from getting help. Although the earlier the intervention the better, it does not mean that intervention that happens later will not be successful. Especially, when that intervention is a family intervention staged by those who are closest to the addict.
In fact, an intervention can help at any stage of addiction. But the longer it is put off, the longer you and your loved one will have to suffer. Not only will you have to continue living with your worries and other negative emotions, but they will also continue to abuse their body and create more damage.
The Parent & Child Dynamic
It is scary to seek addiction intervention for a loved one, especially a parent. It is normal to worry that they will be upset or lash out at you. It can feel as if it is just easier to let them live their present life and ignore the problem. But this doesn’t help you or them. If you choose to ignore the problem and do nothing, it is only going to make it much harder when the addiction gets out of hand.
The situation will come to an end eventually. However, with earlier intervention, you minimize the number of people who can potentially get hurt by the addiction. The sooner you act, the sooner you could have your parent’s back.
What Staging an Intervention for a Parent is like
Planning an intervention can be nerve-racking for everyone involved. When you are planning an intervention it is important that you involve a professional with vast experience of the same. Interventions involving trained professionals are more likely to have successful outcomes.
This is because they are able to guide the intervention in a healthy direction. Not only that, they can be helpful when planning the next steps for the treatment of the individual with the addiction.
A professional can also help with planning who should and should not attend the intervention. Those individuals who are closest to, and are impacted the greatest by the individual’s addiction should be present.
These are most often close family members or friends. Everyone at the intervention should be there to help the individual with the addiction. They should not be there to place blame on the individual.
Placing The Focus Where It Should Be
During an intervention, it is important to focus on the negative consequences of the person’s behaviors that are directly linked to the addiction. The focus should remain on how the addiction itself is affecting those who love the individual. It is important to acknowledge that addiction has now become a disease affecting both the patient and the loved ones.
The individual needs to know exactly how their negative actions are impacting those they love and specific examples should be given if possible.
What Are Some Unique Challenges in Staging an Intervention for a Parent?
If you have lived with an addict for a long time, it is likely that you are well aware of the manipulation tactics involved in justifying the addiction. Those who are in the throes of addiction are often able to manipulate or persuade their loved ones into thinking that the problem is non-existent.
This is especially the case when the addict is a parent and the one intervening is their child. If they are unable to convince them they move on to other manipulation tactics. These manipulation tactics can be hard to recognize and that is where an expert can help.
Our experts are professionally trained to recognize these tactics and help teach you to recognize them as well. By recognizing these tactics, you will have a one up on your parent and will be able to stop the manipulating as soon as it occurs.
Sources Understanding the Diverse Needs of Children whose Parents Abuse Substances. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3676900/  Children Living with Parents Who Have a Substance Use Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_3223/ShortReport-3223.html