Having children is one the hardest things a person can do, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. When your female adult child falls prey to drug addiction, you’ll go through a terrifying array of emotions. It’s completely normal to blame yourself and feel angry and frustrated with her.
However, none of these emotions will encourage her to get the help she needs — and they’re ultimately detrimental to your mental and physical health.
If you’re ready to help your daughter make a change, call Calusa Recovery today at 844-254-9664. One of our friendly addiction experts can talk you through the intervention process or offer advice on how to speak to her.
Find a Support Group
Before you can help your daughter fix her life, you need to make sure you’re looking after yourself as much as possible. If you put her needs before your own, you’ll end up burned out and resentful and could ultimately do more harm than good. We’d recommend seeking out a local support group like Al-Anon to help you through the process, as well as ensuring you focus on self-care first.
One of the most constructive things you can do is set a healthy example. If she sees you getting enough exercise, eating healthy and taking care of your mind and body, she’s more likely to adopt this behavior in the future.
1. Learn About the Disease of Addiction
The next crucial step you should take to help an adult child get into rehab is conducting extensive research into the mechanism of addiction. Even if you feel you already understand a lot about the condition, if you haven’t studied the DSM-5 and looked at reputable sources for information, it’s definitely worth doing.
In the past, people thought of addiction as a lack of self-control or a moral issue. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most scientists agree that substance use disorders are partly a result of a disordered motivation and reward system in the brain and partly an issue with impulse control, among other things. The good news is that even though it’s a chronic disease, your daughter can bring the symptoms under complete control with professional help.
2. Don’t Blame Yourself for Your Adult Child’s Addiction
When you introduce blame, judgment, shame or guilt into any situation, things tend to get distorted. It’s important you delve into your emotions so you can approach the situation from a healthy place. That’s why it’s so vital that you have a support network and understand addiction. If you’re not looking after your mental health, it’ll be hard to help your addicted child.
Sometimes people develop substance use disorders without experiencing any trauma, and lots of people who have had traumatic experiences don’t become addicts. As such, you can’t directly connect your actions to a loved one’s behavior. Plus, there’s nothing constructive in ascribing blame. Therapy and guidance from addiction treatment professionals can help you identify issues within your relationship, if there are any, and help you fix them.
3. The Long-Term Effects of Substance Abuse
Without blaming or judging your drug addict daughter, you can draw her attention to the dangers of drug abuse. Over time, alcohol abuse and drug use can have the following consequences:
- Breakdown of relationships
- Job loss
- Perpetuation of criminal behavior
- Poor performance at school
- Dental problems
- Premature aging
- Mental illness
- Physical health problems
- Significantly increased risk of chronic disease
4. Avoid Enabling Behavior
Even family members with the best of intentions have a strong chance of becoming enablers. Enabling comes in a variety of forms, from giving them money to not letting them live their own life. Another type of enabling that occurs frequently is making the daughter feel bad. Although there’s no reason to reward her for bad behavior, making her feel bad about herself won’t help either.
Try to use “I statements” when you talk to her instead of “you statements” and you’ll avoid a multitude of arguments and confrontations. She can use anger and judgment as an excuse to delve further into addiction. The best course of action isn’t usually tough love. Instead, it’s a whole family approach that includes cutting off financial supply to anything but rehab and doing everything within your means to help her start a rehab program.
5. Set Boundaries
One of the main behavioral health coping skills you can help your child develop is healthy boundaries. These are healthy rules that help you relate to the people close to you in the best way possible. You can set boundaries for personal space, emotions and thoughts, time and energy, culture and ethics and possessions.
When you’ve put boundaries in place, speak to the rest of your family to ensure everyone is on the same page. This way, no one is susceptible to her addiction’s deceptive and single-minded intentions.
6. Being a Drug Addict Doesn’t Make Them a Bad Person
Always bear in mind that the problem is the addiction, not the individual. While everyone experiences substance use disorders differently, there is a clear mechanism at work. Try to focus on how predictable addictive behavior is — particularly note how her only real priority is obtaining and using substances. This isn’t behavior anyone would choose to display, which is why addiction is included in the DSM-5 among other mental health disorders.
7. Choose a Treatment Center that Offers Family Therapy
Make sure you select a rehab facility that includes family therapy as one of its treatment options. Young adults can change their course of their life with a stint in inpatient or outpatient drug rehab. A family therapist can help you communicate in a constructive way, where everyone can express their feelings without it becoming a confrontation. They can also assist you in understanding and setting boundaries.
Get Help With Drug Addiction Today
Help your daughter start the addiction recovery process in one of the excellent addiction treatment programs here at Calusa Recovery. Call our Fort Myers outpatient drug rehab today at 844-254-9664 to find out more about how to deal with a drug addict daughter.