Helping Your Child Get Addiction Treatment
Addiction can have a profoundly negative impact not only on the person with compulsive drug or alcohol issues but on their loved ones as well. Parents of adult children struggling with substance use often have unique emotional, financial, and social battles to contend with that can take a serious toll on their own personal well-being.
While there’s no cure for substance use disorder (SUD), it is a treatable condition.1 This page will provide guidance on how to recognize addiction in your adult child, encourage them to get help, and support them during treatment.
Is My Child Doing Drugs? How to Identify Addiction Signs in Your Son or Daughter
It can be difficult to recognize signs of addiction in your son or daughter, especially if you are unsure of what to look for. Here are some signs, symptoms, and behavioral changes that may indicate your adult child is struggling with a drug or alcohol use disorder:2
- They have the desire to stop using drugs or alcohol, but attempts to do so are unsuccessful
- They continue to drink or use drugs despite the negative social or interpersonal consequences that such use can cause
- They fail to uphold responsibilities or obligations due to substance use
- They spend a great deal of time using or acquiring substances, as well as recovering from substance use
- They develop drug or alcohol tolerance, which means that they must continue to increase the amount of the substance they are using over time in order to obtain the desired effects
- They experience withdrawal symptoms when not using drugs or alcohol, or need to continue using to prevent the onset of such symptoms
Addiction is Not a Choice: The Disease Model of Addiction
While addiction can cause someone to exhibit distressing behaviors, it’s important to understand that the compulsion to drink or use drugs has progressed beyond being a choice for someone with SUD. Addiction is a chronic condition that develops in association with certain types of brain changes. Some of these changes strongly reinforce compulsive substance use— resulting in someone continuing to seek and use substances despite the considerable damage to areas of their lives, such as health and relationships, that may result.1
People with substance use disorder may experience relapse, or setbacks in their recovery, in a way similar to how those with diabetes or hypertension may. It is quite common for people who have successfully quit drugs or alcohol to relapse at some point.3 Rather than signaling failure in recovery, a relapse could serve as an indication that some treatment adjustments need to be made to get recovery efforts back on track. Lasting recovery is possible through treatment, as it helps patients develop the skills necessary to remain sober over long periods of time.1
My Child is Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol: How Can I Help?
Sadly, substance use disorder is not a condition that you can fix on your own. You can, however, encourage your adult child to get the help they need in an effective manner.4 Here are some tips to help them start considering professional treatment:
- Choose a time and place, free of distractions, to bring up your concerns for them.5
- Avoid confrontational interventions like the ones shown on television. There’s no proof this approach is effective, and it can backfire and even erupt into violence in some cases.4
- Be direct and honest when explaining how their behavior affects you. When they respond, listen actively, and avoid judgment.5
- Facilitate a conversation with a professional if you can. Many people are less reluctant to take the advice of an impartial expert.4
- Set boundaries and do not engage in enabling behaviors. Enabling your child’s substance use prevents them from feeling the consequences of their actions, which may delay them from acknowledging their problem and seeking help.6
- Exercise patience.5 It is unlikely one conversation will convince them to get help.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that your child will get the help they need, even if you do everything right. It’s important to understand that your and the rest of your family’s well-being don’t depend on their actions. Therapy or community programs such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon can help you set boundaries and process these emotions, regardless of whether your child ultimately embraces recovery.7
How Do I Find the Right Rehab for my Child?
Addiction treatment is a process that is best tailored to the individual, as an approach that works for some may not work for others.1 That said, there are several important things that you can ask when considering a rehab center for your child:
- Does the rehab center use evidence-based treatments? Many patients find alternative therapies helpful in addiction treatment, but these approaches should be used in conjunction with techniques that are backed by science.8
- What levels of care are available? Detox is an important step for many people, but it alone may not be effective for lasting recovery.1 For example, in addition to detox, Oxford Treatment Center provides inpatient treatment, various levels of outpatient care, and transitional housing to support a more thorough, comprehensive recovery.
- Does the rehab center modify care to each individual’s needs?8 Effective treatment facilities will evaluate each patient upon admission and outline a unique path to recovery. This can affect the setting for treatment, the combination of treatment methods, and the duration of rehab. Additionally, Oxford offers specialized treatment programs for Veterans, first responders, and trauma survivors.
- Does the facility accept your child’s insurance? Laws require insurers to cover addiction treatment, but the level of coverage and which facilities accept this insurance will vary. Choosing an in-network rehab center is often the most cost-effective route.9
Don’t let the devastating side effects of addiction go on for another day. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and are ready to start the treatment process, call us today at . Oxford Treatment Center, American Addiction Centers’ rehab center in Mississippi, is ready to help you get the treatment you need today.
What Can I Expect During My Son or Daughter’s Stay in Rehab?
Having an adult child in addiction treatment can be a relieving but uncertain time. On the one hand, they’re taking a necessary step toward a brighter future, but on the other you may be nervous and worried about how they will do in the program. Understanding what they’ll experience and how treatment works can offer some assurance.
When your child first enters treatment at Oxford, they’ll undergo an evaluation to ascertain the severity of their addiction and physiological dependence, as well as the psychological and social factors contributing to it. This evaluation may include:10
- A drug screen to determine which substances have recently been used and potentially remain in their system.
- A physical exam to assess for any health conditions that might need additional attention and medical management.
- A psych evaluation for any co-occurring mental disorders that may benefit from an integrated treatment approach.
- Learning about their living environment and social situation (e.g., legal trouble, trauma, domestic issues).
Staff will use the information gathered to determine whether your child needs medical detox and how best to stabilize them during withdrawal, which methods should be used in rehab, and to help begin forming a possible aftercare plan.
There are several types of treatment provided by Oxford. It is not unusual for people to complete one type of treatment and return home to begin their new life in recovery. But, it is also common for people to move between several levels of care throughout their recovery journey. These treatment types include:
- Medical detox.
- Residential treatment.
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP).
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP).
If your adult child undergoes inpatient treatment at Oxford Treatment Center, they’ll benefit from 24-hour supervision from medical staff trained to respond to emergencies, several features and amenities to make their stay comfortable, and treatment that gives them the skills to maintain sobriety once rehab ends. Family visits are conducted from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. each Sunday.
For others, outpatient treatment at our nearby Resolutions campus allows certain patients with less severe conditions and safe, supportive living environments to receive quality treatment before returning home each day.
Outpatient and inpatient care utilize many of the same the treatment techniques like psychoeducation, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and behavioral therapy.1 Common forms of therapy used in addiction treatment include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). With CBT, patients learn to recognize and change problematic behaviors that could lead them to substance use, as well as to use positive coping mechanisms for better relapse prevention.11
- Motivational interviewing (MI). MI encourages patients to express their goals, highlighting how substance use stands between them and a more fulfilling life. This form of therapy is effective in raising a patient’s self-esteem and improving their dedication to sobriety.12
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). DBT is a type of CBT that teaches patients to use opposing coping strategies of acceptance and change.13
- Family behavior therapy (FBT). Participating in FBT is an excellent way to support your adult child’s recovery. FBT involves sessions with the patient and at least 1 family member. During these sessions, patients and loved ones examine their coping behavior and interactions, set goals and strategies, and evaluate how well they uphold them.14
The duration of rehab is highly variable. Research supports relatively longer treatment durations for the best recovery outcomes;1 however, any duration of rehab—short-term, month-long, or long-term—can be helpful, especially when supplemented with aftercare.
How Can I Help Pay for My Child’s Rehab?
Sometimes people misinterpret the concept of enabling to mean providing any form of financial support to someone with a substance use problem. On the contrary, enabling means preventing someone from experiencing the negative consequences of their actions.6 Encouraging and supporting someone when they make a positive change is not enabling.
If your child is insured, the most effective way to keep costs down will be helping them find a rehab facility that is within their insurer’s care network. You can verify insurance coverage at Oxford Treatment Center by submitting the confidential . This will require their:
- Email address.
- Insurance policy number.
With or without insurance, addiction treatment can be expensive. There are several ways to pay for rehab that can make costs more manageable. Additionally, Oxford Treatment Center offers financing options. Our admissions navigators are happy to help you learn more about the different ways to pay for rehab, as well as begin considering which way may work best for you. You can start this process by completing the questionnaire below to see if you qualify.
How Can I Support My Son or Daughter’s Long-Term Sobriety?
Having a supportive network that is conducive to sobriety can make a huge difference in the success of someone’s recovery. Naturally, loved ones play a huge part in this regard. Being an attentive listener, refraining from judgment, and acknowledging their positive traits and actions can go a long way.
Following treatment, many people continue therapy, which, when appropriate, can involve and benefit family members as well.14 Learning about addiction—through counseling, classes, or reading materials from trusted sources—can help you understand your adult child’s behavioral patterns and how better to react to them.7
Patients often benefit from aftercare programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Similarly, you and your family can benefit from the help of Al-Anon and Nar-Anon, which are support groups for the loved ones of people with SUD.7
Oxford Treatment is run by American Addiction Centers (AAC), which means they abide by the 90-day brand promise, guaranteeing the success of any AAC rehab program (inpatient, outpatient, or combination) that involves 90 days of consecutive treatment. If someone suffers a relapse after 90 days, they’ll qualify for a complimentary 30 days of treatment in an AAC facility, located throughout the United States.
Please call an admissions navigator at to learn about the programs at Oxford and how starting treatment can change lives.
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