Figuring out how to support your child is no doubt an overwhelming experience. An experience that can have you questioning yourself, your instincts and some of the fears you might have as well. Please know that you are not alone. Unfortunately, when it comes to supporting families, most traditional treatment services, clinicians and too many so-called experts have adopted a one-size-fits-all “tough love” approach coupled with a soft hand-off to a twelve-step support group. The message heard loud and clear is, “You are part of the problem; you must detach, and there is nothing you can do to help your child.”
Contrary to this approach and advice, evidence tells us that parents and families play a critical role in helping their loved ones get well. The evidence also tells us that families can set the stage for positive change with a more effective approach: CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training), for example, can provide you with better tools to help you understand your child’s use of substances, ways to better communicate with your child and many skills that can help improve the overall family unit. With tools and strategies, parents can be part of the solution in helping their child towards positive change.
It is also important to get help as early as possible. When I hear people say, “Let them hit rock bottom,” I say that we can raise the bottom to a healthier place. For some, “rock bottom” is a tragedy.
Want to connect with another parent who's been there?
Denise is one of our volunteer Parent Coaches. Like all of our coaches, she knows first-hand the challenges of helping a child with addiction. In addition to their own experiences, all parent coaches receive extensive and on-going training.