How to Deal with a Drug Addict Daughter? Learn About the Disease of Addiction
Learn About the Disease of Addiction
Many individuals don’t understand how or why other people become addicted to alcohol or drugs. They may wrongly think that those who use drugs or alcohol lack willpower or moral principles and could quit their alcohol or drug use simply by choosing to. In truth, alcohol and drug addiction is a complicated disease, and quitting often takes more than a strong will or good intentions. Drugs and alcohol change the brain in manners that make stopping difficult, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how substances affect the brain and have found substance abuse treatments to help individuals recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.
Drug addiction and alcoholism is a chronic mental disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive or hard to control, despite destructive consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is unforced for most individuals. However, repeated alcohol or drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense desires to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why alcohol and drug addiction is considered a “relapsing” disease—individuals in recovery from alcohol and drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to alcohol or drug use even after years of not using the substance.
It’s typical for someone to relapse, but relapse doesn’t suggest that treatment doesn’t work. As with other chronic mental health disorders, addiction treatment should be constant and should be modified based on how the individuals respond. Addiction treatment plans need to be studied often and adjusted to fit the person’s changing needs.
Do you have an adult alcoholic daughter living at home and don’t know what to do? Do you know the right way how to deal with a drug addict’s daughter? Are you concerned about your adult son or daughter’s drug addiction? Do you believe that your adult daughter might have a substance use disorder? Knowing how to deal with a drug addict’s daughter in healthy ways can be especially challenging for parents. This is because parents want to help rather than hinder their recovery process. However, the addiction problem is not an uncommon one, as drug addiction affects a significant number of Americans.
Don’t Blame Yourself for Your Adult Daughter’s Addiction
Watching your adult daughter struggle with drug addiction is heartbreaking in a manner that is nearly unspeakable. In the midst of that heartbreak, many parents turn inward to find answers to their adult daughter’s pain. You may compulsively retrace the course of your life in an attempt to analyze the roots of addiction and identify where your mistakes were made. Was I too stern on him as a kid? Was I too forgiving? Did I not say the right thing? Did I not listen enough? What did I miss? Should I have stayed home? What didn’t I see? Where did I go wrong? When could I have stopped it?
The second-guessing of your past can become all-consuming as you helplessly search for answers in the smallest of details, leaving no stone unturned, desperately scrutinizing for an origin account and someone to blame, especially if that someone is you. The fact that drug addicts too are often looking for something to blame doesn’t help. Their desperate urge to pin fault for their pain on someone else and your own instinctive aim to take the blame for your child often join together to confirm your worst suspicions about yourself.
Self-blame can be a psychological trick to give yourself the illusion of control. The real causes of drug or alcohol addiction are too powerful, messy, and out of reach. However, identifying the roots of addiction within yourself puts it within your sphere of influence. It also gives you a concrete target at which to direct your anger, which can, in its own masochistic way, give you some small measure of comfort.
Drug addiction is a disease caused by a complex mix of biological and experiential factors that connect to form a compulsive drive for substance abuse. Etiologically speaking, “bad parents” has yet to be recognized as the point of origin. For some parents, understanding this is liberating and immediately helps them reorganize their approach to both their addicted adult daughter and themselves. But for others, blamelessness equates to powerlessness and brings no comfort.
No one ever said that parenting was easy. However, no one ever said it would be this hard, either. If you believe your adult daughter is addicted to drugs, you know this feeling firsthand. You may have spent many sleepless nights thinking if your daughter is safe. You may have spent many days wondering why and how this happened – Why did she turn to drugs? What did I miss? How can I help her now? How do I learn how to deal with a drug addict daughter?
As a parent, it is crucial that you don’t blame yourself, or your adult daughter, for this. Drug addiction is a disease, not a choice, and it can happen to anyone of any gender, age, or upbringing. Moreover, it’s vital to know that you can make a difference. National research shows that parents have the greatest influence over their children’s propensity to use drugs. Parents also play a pivotal role in recovery and treatment.
How to Deal with a Drug Addict Daughter? – Understand You Can’t Undo or Redo
In the Serenity or Sobriety Prayer, recovering addicts say “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” The same desire should be present in the parents of drug addicts. For rug addicts who don’t confront the truth of drug addiction, recovery may not be possible. For parents who don’t confront the truth of drug addiction, self-healing may not also be possible.
Self-blame works to keep you trapped in denial, blind to the reality of your adult daughter’s struggle as well as your own, and drifting from the actual path to healing as you chase phantom solutions. Only when you quit blaming yourself will you see the real picture of drug addiction and be able to move ahead with renewed strength.
As parents of drug addicts, you should educate yourself about drug addiction, treatment, and recovery, regardless of where an adult child is in her or his journey. Having the knowledge and understanding of what is happening and the ability to provide meaningful support is priceless. At the same time, understanding how drug addiction affects families can help you make sense of your experience and break through the isolation, self-blame, and shame you may feel.
Set boundaries with your adult child to keep you safe physically, emotionally, and financially. For some, this is a complicated process that needs you to act against your strongest desires, but it is vital in order to protect both you and your adult child.
Find resources designed to support you, whether in the form of therapy, support groups like Al-Anon, Narc-Anon. Learning from and sharing with others who know what you are going through can be a healing and powerful experience and give you natural ways of coping.
How to Deal with a Drug Addict Daughter? – Understanding the Long-Term Effects of Substance Abuse
When your adult daughter becomes addicted to drugs, her entire life becomes absorbed by the substance abuse. Your adult daughter may spend her time using, seeking, and recovering from her drug of choice. In turn, she has likely removed herself from everyday family dinners, conversations, old friends, and once-loved activities. This is a common behavior for someone who is addicted to drugs. Addiction to drugs – from prescription pills to heroin makes physical and lasting changes in the brain. Over time, they change how your adult daughter thinks, behaves, and prioritizes her life obligations. Quite simply, they take control.
You can learn more about how to deal with a drug addict’s daughter. What this means is that your adult daughter’s drug addiction is not a choice or moral failing and that she likely cannot climb out of this on her own. Because of the effects drugs have on the brain, they are very hard to quit cold turkey. Those who are addicted generally need professional intervention and long-term therapy to overcome it fully. By recognizing this, you can start to have more productive, and blame-free discussions with your adult daughter.
How to Deal with a Drug Addict Daughter? – Most Common Patterns of Substance Abuse
As the parent of an adult child, there are a number of physical and behavioral signs your adult daughter may display if she is dealing with a substance use disorder, be it full-blown addiction or a lesser form. The following signs or patterns of substance abuse can help you identify whether your adult daughter may have an alcohol or drug problem.
Physical issues and appearance effects of alcohol or drugs
Substance use disorders can manifest in many ways, including through changes physically and to one’s appearance, such as:
- Lack of proper grooming
- Red eyes, pupils appear larger or smaller than usual
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Unusual odors on breath, body, or clothing
Changes in behavior
Is your adult daughter behaving differently? Have you seen significant changes to her personality? Common drug addict behavior indicators include:
- Mood swings and extreme irritability
- Secretive and suspicious behavior regarding where he or she is going
- Lying about activities and whereabouts
- Barring family or friends from entering his or her room
- Drastic changes in friendships or relationships with family members
- Extreme hyperactivity or lethargy
- Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination
Alcoholism and drug addiction can cause a person’s primary focus to be feeding his or her habit rather than meeting professional and personal responsibilities. Take a closer look at your adult child’s present educational or work situation. Has she displayed any of the following behaviors?:
- Frequently missing school or work
- Inability to maintain jobs
- Drop in a work performance or grades
- Lack of interest in school, work or other activities
Alcohol and drug habits can be very expensive to sustain. The financial cost of regular drug use can be steep. Also, drug addiction can make it challenging to continue to earn money, as one’s focus becomes buying and using, rather than meeting work responsibilities. Have you noticed any of the following issues?:
- A sudden lack of money
- Missing money or other valuables
- Sudden or increased requests for money without reasonable explanation
If the patterns and warning signs of addiction ring true for your adult child’s behavior, you are probably wondering, what now? What can I do to stop my child from abusing alcohol or drugs? Know that their addiction is not your fault, and you alone cannot make them be sober. Rather, sobriety can only be accomplished if she is an active and willing participant in the process. However, there are steps you can take to help her and yourself.
How to Deal with a Drug Addict Daughter? – Set Boundaries
Learning about effective boundaries is key if you want to know how to stop enabling your adult child. Changing the dynamic of your relationship between you and your addicted daughter will need setting clear boundaries around yourself, your home, and your finances. Take a hard look at your present relationship. Consider the ways that you may be enabling your adult child’s addiction and promoting co-dependency. Are you giving them shelter, money, or solving other problems for them? Let your adult daughter know that you will no longer be continuing to engage in behaviors that support their drug addiction.
Make a list of personal boundaries, rules around your home, your finances, and yourself, as well as consequences for breaking these rules. Maybe this means telling your alcoholic daughter who is living at home that she must find her own place to live if she continues to drink. During your conversation with your adult child, make sure you kindly and clearly communicate these boundaries and the repercussions for not following them.
Let them know that these rules are coming from a place of love and out of concern for their safety and your own. You may have onetime tried to enforce boundaries and failed. This may have been because you were unable to follow through, as drug addicts can be especially manipulative and convincing when they are in need. Your adult child may become furious with you when you explain the new boundaries. Fight the desire to give in and remember these rules are for your and their own good. Once the rules and boundaries are set in place, if broken, they should be enforced, otherwise, they are meaningless.
Present Your Daughter with Available Treatment Options
When you sit down and speak to your adult daughter, let them know that help is available. Do some research and provide them with real options for alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers, rather than speaking in general terms. Although they may not be ready to listen or digest what you are saying, it is good to have something concrete available or, at the very least, to let them know there are real options out there for when they are ready. You might consider contacting an addiction treatment center to find out more about the programs they offer.
Choose a Treatment Center that Offers Family Therapy
Family therapy involves a therapist and family members to improve relationships and resolve family conflict and dysfunction. Expressing and processing feelings in family therapy improves communication skills and develops stronger and healthier family dynamics. Addiction is a family disease. Providing family support via therapy can be an integral part of recovery for both the person with an addiction and the family as a unit.
Family therapy allows for all members of the family unit to be present and active in counseling and intervention. Family therapy may include one-on-one counseling to provide individual insights with the therapist in preparation for all the family members coming together in family therapy. Family therapy provides family members opportunities to share how their members have experienced each other and their feelings related to those experiences. During family therapy in the recovery process, relatives can learn if they have been helpful as they intended or unknowingly harmful in their loved one’s addiction.
How to be a Supportive Parent During Treatment and Recovery?
For those battling drug addiction, life can feel lonely and painful at times. Encouraging positive behavior can be especially empowering and will convey all the potential you see in your child. This level of encouragement and support should be maintained throughout treatment, as it will help her long-term recovery outcomes.
Staying positive is not solely about your daughter – it also means staying positive for yourself. This means making yourself a priority throughout this process and keeping your stress levels low. Practice self-care methods like meditation and exercise. Participate in activities that you love. Join a parent support group, which may be hosted by your daughter’s treatment center. By caring for yourself, you will be better able to care for your child, lead by example, and encourage her to be the best she can be.
Look for a trusted treatment facility that provides evidence-based programs aligned with your loved one’s specific circumstances. For example, do you believe your loved one might have other co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression? Seek a program that has the capability to address mental health disorders as well as an addiction such as a dual diagnosis treatment program.
Ultimately, when you’re analyzing how to deal with a drug addict daughter, as tough as it may be, you have to let go of fear. Loving an addict frequently means that you’re tormented with persistent fear, and that can lead you to feel hopeless or depressed. You have to try and work on letting go of those feelings and taking care of yourself while moving forward.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, please reach out to a drug abuse counselor today to explore your treatment options. Call us today here at We Level Up New Jersey to get into proper treatment. Above all, recovering from a substance use disorder does not need to be overwhelming or burdensome.
 NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction