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How to Support the Parent of an Addict

It’s so hard to know what to say to someone who gets terrible news and is in great emotional pain. If you know someone who just found out his or her child is an addict, you’re probably searching for the words to say, wanting to reach out to them but unsure of what would be helpful. We want to provide you with some meaningful information you can give your loved ones to help them cope with the stress and sadness they are feeling.

This Is Not Your Fault

This is one of the most important things to remind parents whose children are struggling. Parents often remember small things they should or shouldn’t have done when their children were growing up, questioning small statements or events and analyzing every detail. It is important to emphasize that while no parents are perfect, and all make some mistakes, there are many factors that go into a person’s addiction, including genetics, personality traits, traumatic experiences, and peer groups. A child’s upbringing will not necessarily cause or prevent addiction just by itself. Even if parents already know this, it is good to continue helping them let go of any guilt they have.


It is imperative for parents to have boundaries so that they protect themselves and do not enable their children. The following are some examples of boundaries:

  • Don’t let your life revolve around what an addict is doing.
  • Don’t provide money to your child for matters not related to treatment.
  • Your child cannot stay in your home if they are using.

This is not an exhaustive list and these specific boundaries may not apply to each individual case, but it is important for parents to have boundaries and make sure their children are aware of them.

Here you can find the best treatment center for your son.

The 12 Steps Aren’t Just For Addicts

The 12 Steps have been part of many addicts’ recoveries, but they can also be helpful for loved ones of addicts. Some of the concepts are very helpful for parents to apply to their own lives. For example, the first step lets addicts know they are powerless over their addiction, and parents also need to believe that they cannot fix their child through their own striving and energy. There are also groups that use 12 Step concepts to help loved ones of addicts, such as Al-Anon, where parents can receive further support and advice.

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