As the parent of a child struggling with a drug or alcohol use disorder, you are almost certainly experiencing a distressing mixture of concern, frustration, confusion, and fear. And among the myriad questions going through your mind right now, the most pressing may be, “What do I do first?”
You are not alone in your worry, and you are not alone in your hope. The fact that you are experiencing such an uncomfortable collection of emotions is proof that you have become willing to acknowledge the reality of your family’s situation. This is a huge step.
When you call, we will, of course, discuss your child’s situation to help determine an appropriate level of care, but we will also begin immediately helping you to understand the illness of Addiction and what you can do to help your child and yourselves.
Once your child has started receiving treatment, we will move to get you enrolled and involved in our Parent Program. Your participation will serve three purposes: 1. We need information that only you have; 2. We need you to tell us what you have experienced as your child’s addiction has progressed; 3. Your involvement in your child’s recovery will be critical, and we need to prepare you for the family sessions that will occur throughout your child’s counseling. Your questions will be answered, and your feelings will be explored.
The parent program consists of six to eight 90-minute sessions with a counselor and yourselves. We will explain:
- The progression of substance use
- The reasons for rapid progression in adolescents and young adults
- The reasons for your child’s denial
- The family’s role at the beginning of the counseling process
- The reasons for the family’s denial and enabling
- The importance of drug testing your child
- The importance of setting boundaries for your child
- The 6 stages of recovery
- The New Directions treatment model
As a result of your participation in this program, you will come to several important conclusions regarding addiction and its effects on you, your child, and your family.
First, you will understand that the illness of addiction, if left untreated, neither improves nor remains the same; it only changes for the worse.
Secondly, you will grasp that your involvement in your child’s recovery is essential, that without your involvement your child will not only lack emotional insight into their problem, but their addiction may obscure from them the possibility for profound positive change.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, recovery goes far beyond the walls of a counseling office or treatment facility. Your willingness—as a family—to create an environment that fosters two-way trust and accountability through personal discovery and growth is the surest path to health.