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5 Things To Know As The Parent Of An Addict

5 Things To Know As The Parent Of An Addict

Addiction is an increasingly common problem in modern life. It’s a social issue as much as it is a personal or medical issue, and the negative effects can be very difficult to watch, especially if the addict is somebody close to you. For families and close friends trying to help their loved one deal with addiction, the scale of the illness can seem overwhelming at the best of times — all the more so because addictions are often long-lasting.

While the concept of being dependent on a chemical is as old as time, today we know more information than ever before about exactly what addiction is, how it can come about, and how we can best treat the symptoms and help addicts live more fulfilling, satisfying, and ultimately enjoyable lives. If you’re the parent of an addict, there’s no doubt that all you want is for your child to get better; but saying it’s a rocky road is an understatement. Here are 5 things you should know that will provide some comfort through the difficult journey ahead.

Close up of an older woman looking distressed

1: You Can’t Fix It On Your Own

This is the hardest pill to swallow for most parents, but it’s vitally important that you understand it. The reality of the situation is that ultimately, the only person who can decide that they have a problem and need help is your child themselves. Without that degree of self-motivation, they most likely won’t be able to kick their habits for good. The first step is admitting that there’s a problem, but that’s a step they need to take on their own; you can’t take it for them.

2: You May Have Been Enabling Them

Enabling is when as a result of your actions, your child’s addiction was able to continue. It’s incredibly important that you don’t blame yourself for this, however. In the vast majority of cases, enabling behaviour comes about as an unintended consequence of trying to help your child beat their addiction. Things like paying bills, bail/bond fees, and similar methods of trying to help can actually have a negative impact on the situation in the long run. It’s difficult, but sometimes the best way to help them out is by refusing to shelter them from the consequences of their actions, and by getting in touch with drug rehab centres in Toronto to help lighten your own burden.

3: Rock Bottom Can Be Unimaginably Painful

For somebody who doesn’t have personal experience of addiction, it can be tricky to comprehend just how bad things can get for the addict themselves. The cruellest part of the illness is just how alone it makes the victims feel, and the levels of desperation and despair addicts can sink to because of their addictions can be incredibly severe.

Even though there’s no doubt about the fact that you’ll be having a tough time yourself in dealing with your child’s addiction, it’s crucial to remember that for the addict themselves, things may well be much, much worse. By keeping this thought in the forefront of your mind, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance to act compassionately at all times, which is the best way to go about helping your child recover. Many drug rehab centres in Toronto have compassion-focused therapy programs, where people can learn how best to help out the addict in their lives, no matter how serious the situation.

4: Watch Out For Isolation

Addiction is an illness that isolates everybody who comes into contact with it. This is most evident when it comes to the addicts themselves, who will often forgo social contact and personal relationships in favour of continuing to feed their habit on their own. However, isolation isn’t confined to the addict; it’s important to know that as their parent, you’re at risk of becoming isolated as well. A lot of this has to do with the fact that while we’re getting better at a society when it comes to talking about things, there’s still a lot of stigma surrounding the condition, and it can be hard to open up to your friends and family because of associated feelings like guilt and shame.

It’s important to keep an eye on this kind of behaviour in yourself. If you start to notice yourself withdrawing from social contact, it might be a good idea to bite the bullet and talk to somebody about what you’re going through, and maybe even consider looking into drug rehab centres in Toronto.

5: There Is Hope

Addiction isn’t curable at the moment; there’s no magic pill, therapy, or rehab facility that can promise to get rid of the problem for good. Everybody who wants to Share in a 12-step meeting (such as AA or NA) begins their statement by admitting that they’re an addict, no matter how long they’ve been sober for. It’s a daily battle that must be won step by step by step. The good news, though, is that even though it’s not curable as such, addiction is very treatable, and by getting the right kind of help you stand to give the addict in your family the best possible chance at sorting the situation out and living the kind of life any parent would want for their child.

Therapy, support groups, and options like medication or hospitalization are all options that you may want to consider, as are drug rehab centres in Toronto. Even though it’s tough, today is the best time to be an addict — at no point in history have we understood the nature of the condition so thoroughly as we do today, and the chances of recovery are as good as they’ve ever been.

Close up of a mother and son laughing and smiling


The road ahead of you as the parent of a drug addict is a tough one; there are no two ways about it. But by keeping these five things in mind, you’ll be giving both yourself and your child the best chance of beating addiction as soon as possible. If you’re wondering what kind of drug rehab centres are available in Toronto, you can feel free to get in touch with us — we’d love to figure out if there’s some way we can help you overcome your current situation, and we’d be happy to suggest a way forward for you over the next while.


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