Try to hear what they have to say without judgment or “I told you sos”. This can be very hard to do. They may have things to say that are painful or hard to hear. They may be involved in things you find unacceptable.
Remember that respectful listening does not mean you agree with their view of things. Respectful listening does not imply that you condone their behaviours or activities, either. It simply means you are showing respect and caring by listening to what someone has to say.
Remember, you may be the only stable person in your adult child’s life—if you can’t listen to them without judgment, then who will? Addiction tends to isolate addicts from healthy people. As the addict’s problem intensifies, there are fewer and fewer support people around them. You don’t have control over your adult child’s addiction, but you do have a choice about whether you will listen. That may be a lifeline for your adult child in the future, so do what you can to keep the lines of communication open.
Talk over the situation carefully with friends or family you trust. Sharing your reactions to your adult child’s addiction with trustworthy understanding people is necessary and healthy. Supporting someone struggling with addiction is a tall order, so make sure you take care of yourself. You may want to consider joining a support group or seeking the services of a professional counselor.
With addiction comes chaos. Part of coping with your adult child’s addiction involves insulating yourself from the chaos. It is very easy to get wrapped up the addict’s problems. However, if this happens our own stability and wellness will be threatened. Make sure to detach from your adult child’s problems from time to time. Do things for yourself that you enjoy.
It’s important to educate yourself about addiction. Knowing more about addiction will help you understand your adult child’s struggle with substances. Knowing more will also help you look after yourself as you provide support to your addicted adult child.
Families play a strong role in substance abuse recovery. Many people who have recovered from active addiction state that what made the difference in their recovery was the non-judgmental support of family members. That non-judgmental support is only possible if you leave fixing and self-blame behind. Most importantly, educate yourself about addiction and develop strong supports for yourself.
Since 1972, the renowned Clearbrook Treatment Centers have been providing effective treatment programs for adults and adolescents who suffer from alcoholism and/or chemical dependency. Clearbrook’s rehabilitation program is based upon the belief that alcoholism and chemical dependency is a primary disease and that the suffering addict and his or her family members deserve immediate help.