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Although the topic is often teen drug abuse, it is important to recognize that parents can have drug addiction issues as well. According to the National Library of Medicine, drug addiction can affect everyone even parents. It is important to remember that addiction is a disease and is extremely difficult for a person to control. However, there are ways that a child can help a parent with their recovery from drug addiction. You can help by being able to recognize the addiction, care for yourself, and find the help that you need to develop a support structure.
The first step to helping someone with an addiction is recognizing it. Addictions are not always easily apparent. Most of the signs gradually grow as the addiction grows. Some signs you can watch for are:
- rapid mood changes,
- glassy eyes,
- strange irritability,
- shaking hands, and
- flushed face and neck.
It is important to be careful because many of these signs are signs of normal things as well. If your parent drinks too much too often consider talking to them about it. If they disappear often without explanation and come back looking or acting different, they could be addicted to a drug.
Talk to Someone
If you suspect your parents are using drugs, talk to a trusted family member or adult friend of the family. Ask their advice and see what they say. It is important for someone who is addicted to drugs to seek treatment but it is also important to be sure they are addicted. Some conditions mimic drug addiction. There could be a medical condition or something else going on.
If your parent is in recovery, a counselor may help you develop a support structure. It is important to talk about how the addiction affects you and makes you feel. You can then deal with those feelings in a healthy and productive way.
How to Care for Yourself
Self care is extremely important when dealing with someone who has an addiction, even if they are in recovery for that addiction. Caring for yourself does not necessarily mean cooking meals or doing your own laundry. It means making sure that you have the support that you need.
Dealing with an addict or recovering addict is extremely stressful. It is difficult to keep up with the mood and symptom changes and this creates anxiety and stress in someone close to the addict. Going to counseling, using your support network, and using relaxation techniques are all ways to practice good self-care. Self-care can be a lifelong habit and help with problems aside from your parent’s addiction.