There’s not much you can do to prepare yourself for the fear, anger and pain that accompanies learning your child has a drug or alcohol addiction. Substance abuse affects the whole family, and the best way to help your child get the help needed to recover is to thoroughly educate yourself with the appropriate educational resources.
The more you know about addiction, the better you can help your child come to terms with their addiction, find helpful resources, choose the right treatment program and become involved in your child’s treatment and aftercare in the most effective ways possible.
This 14-part series is designed to help provide you with the information you need to face this struggle and help your child and your family find the path to recovery.
You don’t have to navigate the complicated world of addiction and recovery alone. Numerous resources are available for addicted individuals and their families. Arming yourself with as much information as possible about addiction and seeking support for yourself and other family members are crucial for helping your child—and your family—recover from a drug or alcohol addiction.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s online store offers free, downloadable books and brochures covering a wide variety of topics that may be of interest to you. The navigation bar along the top of the page allows you to quickly identify the topics you’re interested in, including information about specific substances of abuse as well as various treatment and recovery issues.
The National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence provides a wealth of information for family and friends of an addicted individual. Topics range from the best ways to help an addicted loved one and the importance of hope in recovery to talking to younger children about substance abuse and how family involvement in treatment can improve outcomes.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has a library of free books and brochures that you can download to learn more about the science of addiction, specific drugs of abuse, finding a treatment center and a large number of other addiction-related topics.
Support Groups for Your Addicted Child
When combined with professional treatment, 12-step programs are known to improve the chances of successful recovery. If your child is resistant to treatment but willing to attend a self-help group, doing so may help her realize that without professional treatment that includes intensive therapy, the addiction will be much more difficult to overcome.
The best-known 12-step programs are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, but there are also 12-step groups for cocaine, crystal meth, and marijuana. Dual Recovery Anonymous is helpful for those who have a mental illness that co-occurs with the addiction.
Alternative to 12-Step Programs
For people who are adverse to 12-step programs, Smart Recovery is a four-point program that helps people overcome addictions by teaching them how to replace self-destructive beliefs, attitudes, emotions and behaviors with healthier ones.
“When Your Child Has an Addiction” Continues
In the next entry in this series, learn about what support groups are available for family members, how to get help finding a suitable treatment center and individual and options for family therapy. Continued in “My Child Has an Addiction, Part 5: Family Support Groups, Treatment Centers and Therapy”.