How Can I Help An Alcoholic Or Addict Parent? by Chaye McIntosh

(image: Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

When a loved one suffers from addiction, it can have just as much of an influence on your life as it does on the addicts. This is especially true if the loved one is a parent or a close relative. Children of addicts within a family are undoubtedly the most affected by addiction. This is particularly true if the addict’s children are still growing up. Unless you’re young or elderly, it’s difficult to cope as the child of an addict. Addiction has the potential to destroy a family. A parent is a glue that ties a family together; if they are addicts, the children must mature and become the house’s adults. This can have a significant negative impact on children’s mental health.

What are the Feelings of an Addict’s Children?

Children look up to their parents as role models. Parents who become addicted to drugs or alcohol, on the other hand, are only concerned with their addiction. Understanding that addiction is an illness is crucial for children of addicts. This is because long-term substance misuse changes the chemistry of an addict’s brain. As a result of this, an addict’s brain is rewired over time as a result of their substance misuse. As a result of their addiction, addicted parents can exhibit poor judgment and decision-making, a lack of self-control, and deviant behaviour choices.

What Can Children Do to Assist Parents Who are Battling Addiction?

Drug and alcohol addiction can have both short- and long-term impacts. Substance misuse can disrupt even the calmest and most loving relationships. When family members quarrel, it becomes commonplace. The level of trust begins to erode. If a relative who consumes illegal substances acts angrily or hides their condition in secrecy, relatives may grow concerned. 

Marriages may disintegrate as a result of addiction-related changes. Communication gets more difficult as displeasure is highlighted. In addition, children often take a step back from their parents to separate themselves from them. Family members may observe their loved ones endure the negative effects of drugs or erupt into rages while inebriated. Others may notice that their relatives have lost weight and are no longer recognizable.

How Can I Help an Alcoholic Parent?

Parents are blessings, so if they are addicts you can try to help them recover- but ultimately they must accept help. Here are some of the things you can do to help them. 

  1. Be Supportive

A person suffering from drug or alcohol addiction needs the support and love of family members. They need someone who will understand what they are going through. As a child, one should make sure that you are fully aware of the supportive needs of your parent- but equally you can’t fix everything.

  1. Talk to them

Talking helps a lot. An addict thinks that everyone is trying to distance themselves from them and if your parent feels like someone is trying to talk to them- they may appreciate it. Children of addicts should make sure to spend some time with their parents, where possible and if able. It can be very difficult to see your parent struggling with addiction and can be harmful also, so you will need to weigh this up. 

  1. Encourage Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment is the only way to treat drug and alcohol addiction. Children of addicts should be aware that to help their parents they should suggest an addiction treatment program near them. Here are some addiction treatments that you can recommend to your parents:

Telehealth addiction treatment is a new form of treatment where a patient can receive treatment while being in their own homes. So if your parent avoids or doesn’t want to leave home for addiction treatment, suggest they get Telehealth addiction treatment.

  1. Avoid Fighting with them

There is no need to fight with your parents. They are already going through a very tough time. Try to avoid any sort of confrontation with them.

  1. Make them Feel Wanted

Addicts need their children to make them feel wanted. Spend some time with them. Take them out and have a nice dinner every once in a while. 

In The End…

An addict’s brain is rewired, and quitting addictive substances is more difficult than it appears. When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, his or her brain becomes fully reliant on them to function. As a result, when addicts cut back or stop taking opioids, they may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Because they are terrified of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, addicts are sometimes discouraged from attempting sobriety.

As much as you may despise your parent for acting the way they do and refusing to seek treatment, you must respect their decision. Simply take a deep breath and recognise that your parent is afflicted with an ailment over which they have no control.

This article was written by Chaye McIntosh. You can see more about treatment here

What Tools Go Into Substance Abuse Treatment by Kara Masterson

(image: Darling Quote)

When you’ve developed an addiction to a specific drug or substance, it takes a lot of work to break that addiction. While there are those out there who can use a “cold turkey” approach to addiction, most people have to put in a significant amount of work in order to even begin experiencing healing.

Thankfully, that work comes with tools that can serve people in other areas of their lives. If you’ve been suffering from a substance abuse problem, consider some of the incredible tools that go into helping a person experience a better life.

Replacement Methods

While the cold turkey method works for some people, it often doesn’t work for the rest because they’ll simply hit a point where they either relapse or replace it with something just as harmful. For example, there are people who were able to break a drug habit but the replacement was that they started to overeat instead. Overeating is harmful in its own way as it can lead to different health problems such as obesity and chronic diseases. When you get professional treatments, you’re able to learn how to break a bad addiction and replace it with constructive hobbies and habits.

Professional Therapy

One of the worst things you can do is try to turn a friend or family member into your personal therapist. Their logic is only going to get you so far when you’re trying to beat an addiction. When you’re committed to getting professional substance abuse treatment, you’ll be able to sit and talk with therapists. When a professional has a specialization in treatment for substance abuse, they’re able to recognize signs and symptoms that need to be addressed in order to gain a better approach to your healing journey, along with an insight into methods that are more likely to help you cope with things like detox, cravings, and the specific stressors or triggers that turned you towards drugs in the first place.


Self-awareness is so important for each person to have. When you’re aware of yourself, you’ll be able to recognize how much you can handle something. You’ll be able to recognize where you need to course-correct. When you’re working through an addiction treatment program, self-awareness development is an incredible tool because it shows you what needs healing, how you’ve coped with trauma, and more. When you’re aware of yourself, you’ll position yourself to make better choices.

You’ll have to maintain a level of self-discipline that most don’t really want to exert. Think about the millions of people who lose weight. When you’re overweight and stuck on a plateau, weight loss seems impossible. However, if you look at the many testimonials and people who’ve lost weight, you know that it is possible. Use this same logic for your journey through a substance abuse addiction. It is more than possible. Look for examples of people who fought their addiction and won. Use their stories as tools to help you keep going. With this goal, you can dedicate your time to the process, use these tools, and experience a better life. Be kind to yourself and keep going!

This article was written by Kara Masterson.