What Parents of Addicted Children Need to Know

Parents of Addicted Children

Written By: Molly Groo

Molly is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Case Manager and Vocational Services. She has a Bachelor’s in International Relations, is a Certified Addiction Counselor, and it’s currently working towards her Master’s in Social Work. Molly’s experience allows her to provide expert knowledge about solution-based methods to help people in recovery maintain long-term sobriety.

Published on May 1, 2019 | Get Help For A Loved One

Parents of Addicted Children

Parents of Addicted Children

Parents of addicted children often experience denial, fear, and anger. Drug and alcohol addiction impact every generation, and parents of addicts are in dire need of support.

With the drug and alcohol epidemic taking the lives of young people every single day, parents around the nation often wonder what they should do regarding their child’s addiction. Thus, admission into an alcohol recovery center often provides optimal family therapy services.

Some advocates want to blame pharmaceutical companies for the massive drug addiction rates plaguing the youth of today. However, there is another silent battle for parents of addicted children- denial. Understandably, the addict will experience the various stages of denial, but what about the family?

What To Do When Your Child Is Addicted To Drugs and Alcohol

In the early stages of drug abuse or misuse, many parents downplay or overlook many behaviors that indicate a problem for a loved one.

Denial is, by definition, the avoidance of the truth. It’s a commonly-used tool for addicts and alcoholics who want to avoid addressing the problem. Not only does avoiding the truth protect the addiction, but it puts the recovery process on hold. This pattern of avoidance presents some difficulty. Most addicted people struggle with honesty, nor are they capable of having a full understanding of the underlying issues that contribute to their addiction.

Parenting Is Your Way Out of Addiction

In most cases, the severity of the addiction doesn’t surface until the consequences become severe enough that it’s impossible to ignore. Addiction thrives on secrecy, and addiction recovery involves facing the issue head-on. Then the addict can acknowledge that something is not working and begin to change. Many addicts and alcoholics are attached to denial because it’s a defense against a painful reality. Parents often experience the same thought process during the early stages of their child’s addiction.

Parents of Addicted Children

If you are a parent, the following questions can help shed light on denial:

  • Have you ever searched your child’s car or bedroom for drugs or alcohol?
  • Did you find drugs or alcohol in the car or bedroom and not know what to do?
  • If the drugs were “only marijuana,” did you put them back?
  • Were you concerned there would be an argument about snooping?
  • When you confronted your son or daughter about their behavior, did they have an excuse that did not make sense? However, after an argument, you began to believe them?
  • How many times has their behavior been justified in your head as “normal adolescent” behavior or “part of growing up”?
  • If you are honest with yourself, do you believe what your child is telling you about what they are doing?

Generally, these are some examples of questions that parents can ask themselves to have a self-assessment about potential denial of addiction in a child.

The good news is that there is a process of breaking through denial for any parent who may be struggling. If you are looking for the best drug rehab for your family call now or verify your insurance below.

Getting Your Child to Accept Treatment for an Alcohol or Drug Addiction

There are five stages of change that directly correlate to the addiction recovery process and breaking through denial.

  • Pre-Contemplation: In this stage, the addict or parent does not see any issues regarding how they live. They do not identify any problematic behaviors or distorted thoughts.
  • Contemplation: The stage where change becomes a fleeting thought. The addict begins to entertain the idea that something is “not quite right” and become open to seeking another path.
  • Preparation: One begins the process of gathering information about treatment, asking questions, and beginning to seek recommendations.
  • Action: While in addiction treatment programming, both parties will begin confronting distorted belief systems.
  • Maintenance: This stage is where the transformation occurs. The addict and the family will need a healthy support system to maintain the progress made during the action phase. 

Our Drug Rehabilitation Center

Do not be discouraged if, after these five steps, your loved one still struggles with addiction. Most people that are unsuccessful after working through these stages may have missed critical components due to limited insight or experience. If you find that you do not have the results that you are looking for, go back through the process with a new perspective. Thus, with the help of our qualified clinicians at Lighthouse Recovery Institute, you and your loved one can break through the barriers of denial and addiction and find real recovery.

Cite This Article
Molly Groo. "What Parents of Addicted Children Need to Know." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on May 1, 2019, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/what-parents-of-addicted-children-need-to-know/.


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