Love Alone Can’t Treat Addiction, But It Can Make a Big Difference

When your child is struggling with substance use, it’s not uncommon to hear advice that feels at odds with your instinct to offer love and support. You can trust that instinct. What was true when they first started to challenge you as a toddler is just as true now: We don’t have to love the behavior, but we never stop loving our children.

We know this isn’t always easy. But when parents find ways to stay engaged with their child in positive, loving ways, the evidence points to better outcomes in addressing substance use. It’s not only the clinical research that bears this out, it’s something we hear from families time and again. Parents’ love alone is not a treatment for addiction, but for many in recovery, it made all the difference.

"So many people have told me that one of the major reasons that they're in recovery today is because their parents never gave up on them."

Mary Ann B., Masters Addiction Counselor

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, find hope and inspiration from three young people in recovery. Their stories are a love letter to the parents who never gave up on them.

“I’m addicted to heroin, and I need help.” After acknowledging his addiction and asking for help one Christmas Day, Keegan Wicks’s parents sprang into action. Eight years later, Christmas has become a time for celebrating his recovery.

Read Everything My Parents Did to Get Me Addiction Treatment and into Recovery >>

Finding the right type of help for your child is no easy task. Timothy Rabolt credits his parents with with finding a “middle” that was right for him, and one that would help him reach recovery. “Nothing was black and white; they always helped find the gray area.”

Read What Saved Me from My Addiction? My Parents and Collegiate Recovery >>

On her way to recovery, Jessica Clay discovered a “different, stronger love” between herself and her parents, and she wants other families to find hope in her story. “Just because someone you love is struggling does not mean you did something wrong or you didn’t love them enough.”

Read If Love Alone Could Have Saved Me, It Would Have >>

Learn More About Using CRAFT to Stay Engaged In Positive, Loving Ways

CRAFT principles come to life in this short series of videos focused on positive reinforcement, natural consequences, active listening and behaviors making sense.

CRAFT skills to overcome addiction
    User Picture


    November 16, 2018 at 11:22 PM

    Hi I am looking for support with communication with my daughter.

      User Picture

      Josie Feliz

      November 19, 2018 at 9:59 AM

      Thanks for your message Tammy. We have forwarded your message to one of our helpline specialists who can help better answer your question, and she will be reaching out to you shortly. Our Helpline is a good place to start if you’d like to talk to someone about what you’re going through. Feel free to connect with us in whichever manner you choose in the future:

Leave a Comment

Please leave a comment below to contribute to the discussion. If you have a specific question, please contact a Parent Specialist, who will provide you with one-on-one help.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *