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5 Truths Every Parent Of An Alcoholic Or Addicted Adult Child Needs To Understand

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The heartbreaking and infuriating journey of watching a child suffer through addiction is the worst plight of any parent. Here are 5 truths you need to understand.


  • No matter how they blame you, it isn’t your fault: No parent is perfect and no child is perfect. You want to take the blame as a parent so that at least you know whose fault it is that your child has become addicted. There is no one area to point the blame. Addiction is a combination of biology, psychology, and social factors.
  • There is nothing you can do to make them choose recovery: As the old adage goes, you can drag a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. You can send your child to treatment over and over again, pleas with them, threaten them, set ultimatums, and even cut them out of your life in hopes that they will choose recovery. Recovery is their personal choice and their personal journey. Whether or not they choose it is completely up to them.
  • What you consider to be the worst, might not be the worst to come: Watching a child go through addiction is like making it through a hurricane. After the peak of the storm eventually comes the eye of the storm. The eye is never the end. Once the eye passes, the other side of the storm has to be reckoned with, which could be worse than the first half. Addiction knows no end. If you think you’ve seen the worse and your child is still using, the worst might be yet to come.
  • Guilt never, ever works: You might be able to emotionally manipulate your adult child into getting help or seeking treatment by making threats, using guilt, and shaming them for their addiction. Ultimately, it cannot be emphasized enough, your child will have to be the one who choose recovery for themselves. As a parent, you want it, and you might even need it, to be about you. Recovery is about them, and you get to be a part of that.
  • Expect the unexpected: But my child would never do that. You know your child well. You’re certainly the one who raised them to become a certain kind of person. Addiction can unravel all the years of work a parent puts in. Reducing your state of shock will help your child work through their treatment without added amounts of shame and guilt for their behaviors. Lower your expectations of perfection and angelic like behavior for  your child and make room for surprises. Addiction can cause people to do things they themselves never thought they would.



The most important truth to remember is that there is hope and freedom in recovery and absolutely everyone is capable of change. Design For Change helps clients change their lives by taking action one step at a time. Our long term treatment plans help clients transition through their recovery journey while completing the 12 steps and building a solid spiritual foundation for living. For more information call us today at (877) 267-3646.

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