One of the assumptions about parents is that they have unconditional, limitless love for their children. And in many cases, this is true. HOWEVER, when it comes to addiction, a parent can reach their limit. Does this seem fair?

We are all human. Parents are often in denial or totally oblivious to addiction in their home. Good parents attempt to keep communication open and find quality time with their kids. Busy parents, who are also good parents, may not succeed at either communicating or spending time with their children, simply because their work commitments won’t allow it. HOWEVER, when it comes to parenting, your kids should come first. Does this seem right?

Addicts are human too. And they are our sons and daughters. They have feelings, most likely feelings of hurt, anger, abandonment, despair, and resentment, but at some point in their life they had feelings of love and hope and appreciation. These negative feelings have taken over. They are controlling every thought and action of your child, including the desire and propensity to drink or take drugs. Drugs and alcohol are an escape from reality, they are an escape for those negative feelings. HOWEVER, they are not the answer. Does this seem unimportant?

Drugs and alcohol are masters over their users. They turn loving, kind, hopeful people into slaves to addiction. When an addict child speaks to his parent, it’s often the addiction speaking, not that son or daughter the parent trusts and loves. This is what causes parents to “short circuit”, it’s hard to differentiate between the addiction and the child. HOWEVER, there is a difference, and as parents we must NEVER stop loving the child, but we most certainly can HATE the ADDICTION. Does this make sense?

Parents hit their limits when they’ve spent their savings, mortgaged their home, found missing belongings, been called terrible names by their child, and lost faith in the treatment and recovery industry. HOWEVER, nothing makes a parent reach their limit of sane and normal behavior then when they literally, physically watch their child waste away from a healthy person, to a barely living addict. It breaks their heart, tears at their spirit, and causes hope to run out the door. Does this ring a bell?

It’s time to fight addiction with every resource we have. For a parent, love is the most important resource. Not indulgent, enabling love, but the unconditional love a parent always has for their child. And, believe it or not, a child – even an addict child – wants, needs, and has in return for their good parents. It’s not always easy to love someone who’s lied, betrayed, stolen and manipulated you, but you can do it. Does this sound impossible?

It’s not.Try it. Love works. But treatment is necessary, addicts don’t “get better” on their own very often, it does happen once in a thousand or more, but it’s rare. Call for help today.

(originally posted June 10, 2015 HRI blog)