How Should I Handle my Child’s Addiction?

It is a heartbreaking experience as a parent to watch your child struggle with addiction. You would do anything in your power to remove this burden from their life, but ultimately it is the addict themselves who must decide to make a change and work towards sobriety. This is incredibly frustrating for the parent who feels helpless at the hands of their child’s addiction. However, there are a few guidelines you should follow as you deal with your child, both in their active addiction and when they do eventually choose sobriety.

First, it is never a good idea to enable your child’s addiction either financially or through other means. It can be very tempting to support their habit in order to keep them from resorting to potentially dangerous behavior for their addiction, but this only hurts both you and your child in the long run. Let your child know you will always be there for them to support their sobriety, but that you are unable to support their lifestyle of drug use. This is a healthy boundary that should be set as soon as possible in order to limit the damage done to you and your child.

As you address your child’s addiction with them directly, avoid criticizing them personally and try to keep the focus on the behavior itself that is unacceptable. For example, rather than throwing out broad statements like “I raised you better than this!” instead address the specific behavior: “When you drive while under the influence, I worry that you are going to get a DUI or worse, get into an accident.” This is a healthy way to communicate your concerns without your child feeling attacked and shamed. Avoid lecturing your child as well, it is just as important to hear as it is to be heard.

As the parent of a child with addiction, you suffer alongside your child as they struggle with their substance abuse. Your damage needs treatment to heal the same as your child’s does, and there are resources available to you to help facilitate this healing. Al-Anon is a 12-step recovery group founded by people strongly affected by their loved one’s addiction, and has benefited countless families around the world. At Evolutions Treatment Center, we offer family therapy sessions as part of the treatment process, providing a safe space and facilitated communication in order for the family to reestablish healthy boundaries and positive relationships with each other. This is an important step both for your emotional well-being and for your child as they begin to build a foundation for their long-term sobriety.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or