It can be heartbreaking watching your child struggle with addiction, and it’s no less heartbreaking when that child is an adult. Having an adult child who struggles with addiction presents special challenges because you have less control over what they do and getting her or him into treatment is largely a matter of persuasion. If you’re the parent of an adult with a substance use disorder, here are some strategies for getting her or him into treatment.
Have an honest discussion.
Any attempt to get your child to enter treatment should begin with an honest discussion of the problem. Let her know you’ve noticed her problem. It’s crucial when discussing addiction to avoid judging, criticizing, and sermonizing. That is the fastest way to make her shut down and become defensive. First and foremost, show concern. Try to understand what she’s going through. Make it clear that you only want her to be safe and happy. Listen to what she has to say and try to understand. The conversation should mostly be you listening and occasionally asking questions. After your discussion, keep the lines of communication open and let her know that you want to help in any way that doesn’t enable her addiction.
Be open about your own problems.
Addiction tends to run in families and there’s a good possibility that if your child is struggling with a substance use disorder, you might be too, or you might have done in the past. Being defensive about your own problems can sabotage your efforts to help your child. Instead, take responsibility for your problems. Although it may be hard, acknowledge your own role in your child’s addiction. If you still have problems with substance use, be willing to seek help. Don’t ask your child to do anything you aren’t willing to do yourself.
Consider organizing an intervention.
A well-organized intervention can be an effective way to get someone into treatment. An intervention is when a few family members and friends close to the person give a factual account of the effect addiction has had on all their lives and ask the person to enter treatment. It’s a good idea to enlist the help of an experienced intervention counselor to organize and facilitate the intervention. Although there’s no hard data on how effective interventions are, counselors estimate that about 90 percent of well-organized interventions result in the person entering treatment.
Many states do allow involuntary commitment, but it should probably be a last-ditch effort. For one, the standards for involuntary commitment are typically high. You have to prove your child is a danger to herself or others and the process may take a while. More than that, you’re essentially using force to lock up your child. In extreme cases, this might be the only thing you can do, but it may irreparably damage your relationship.
Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance abuse, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.
For information on our programs,
call us today: 561-841-1296.