According to The Times, Bev and Ed McCombs distinctly remember the night when their daughter, who struggled with opioid addiction for several years, asked for help and they had to refuse. A lesson of tough love, Heather Thunberg’s mother Bev had to say no when Heather and her boyfriend asked for a place to sleep. Bev stated,

As a mom, it killed me – killed me – to tell my child that you cannot stay here. And she took her car and she went across the street, and she parked the car where I could see it. She stayed in that car all night, knowing I could see her. I offered her blankets. I offered to make her hot chocolate. I offered her all of it, but you can’t come into my house. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night. I was up all night.”

This is a similar story to many parents who have to exert tough love over their adult children who are struggling with addiction. As a parent, this is such a difficult time because many want to provide the safety and love they have always provided to their child. Psychology Today states this is an appropriate approach, however, because tough love makes way for growth and responsibility; if a parent provides too much for their child who has an addiction, that child may come to rely on the parent and may never learn to stand up for their recovery. The following are situations that imply a parent is enabling their child’s addiction:

  • If the child is acting entitled to or demands you give them things you once enjoyed giving, such as car privileges, gifts, perks at home, money, etc.
  • If you feel like you are living from crisis to crisis with your child
  • If you sacrifice too much to meet your child’s needs
  • If you’re afraid of hurting your child
  • If you’re feeling burdened, resentful, or burnt out

Parents of adult children with an addiction may experience frustration, guilt, anger, sadness, depression and more. Many parents want the best for their children, and this can be devastating to not have any control over the situation. The best approach for parents in this circumstance is to stage an intervention and attempt to give their child resources to aid their recovery rather than to enable their addiction. Along with an intervention, finding a reputable treatment center to suggest is an appropriate step to take.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.

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