To Dads – Our Addiction is not your Fault

For the parents of children struggling with substance abuse disorders, it can be tempting to blame yourself for your child’s addiction. You may be reflecting on your parenting style during your child’s adolescence, or the amount of quality time you spent with them, wondering what you should have done differently in order to have avoided this fate for them. The truth is, addiction is a genetic predisposition triggered by a myriad of environmental factors, most of which are entirely out of your control. As the father of an addict, blaming yourself does nothing to cure the disease of addiction plaguing your child. On this day honoring your status as a father, look instead to some positive actions you can take to help your child with their struggle with addiction.

First, you need to take care of yourself in order to be healthy and strong enough to take care of others in your life. Your child’s addiction has likely taken a toll on your mental and emotional well-being, and you should seek help in repairing this damage through Al-Anon meetings and/or therapy. Al-Anon meetings are excellent sounding boards for the ideas you have about your child’s addiction – the more seasoned members of the group will filter out the true from the false for you, as well as provide advise on how to handle any situations you may find yourself in with your child.

Once you are on solid ground mentally and emotionally, you can support your child in healthy, positive ways. Ultimately your child will decide whether or not they are willing to make an attempt at sobriety. This decision may be encouraged by your setting some boundaries when it comes to the aid you are willing to offer, both in terms of finances and housing. It may seem hard-hearted, but if you make it clear to your child that you do not support their continued substance abuse and will not tolerate it in your home, that may be the catalyst that convinces them to seek help and attempt to get sober.

Being the father of a child with substance abuse disorder is a heart-wrenching, harrowing ordeal. You feel helpless as you watch your child destroy the life you worked hard to help them build, and often cannot help but feel partly to blame for their addiction. As a recovered addict myself, let me assure you I would have gone down the same path of addiction regardless of any actions my father took to prevent it. You are not to blame for your child’s addiction, and you are not completely helpless when it comes to encouraging their recovery from this disease. Be sure to take care of your own mental and emotional health, and offer your support to your child in the context of their attempts at sobriety. At Evolutions Treatment Center, we strive to maximize our client’s chances at attaining long-term recovery. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and let us guide you in the process of getting your child on the path of sobriety today.


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