Tips for Parents of Addicted Loved Ones

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Parents of addicted loved ones have one goal in mind for their children. They want to find the best treatment possible in order to help their kid overcome addiction to drugs or alcohol. We understand how important it is to provide evidence-based care that focuses on adolescents. We offer treatment in a residential setting that provides different types of therapy designed to help  young people beat their substance use disorders. Additionally, we include the parents in order to give the entire family well-rounded care that aids the young person in recovering.

Addiction in The Family

Families often share traits like eye color, hair color, and food allergies. Sadly, addiction can also run in families. Genetics can be a powerful reason why more than one generation has at least one family member with a substance use disorder. In fact, genetics account for about 60 percent of a person’s tendency to end up dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. 

Additionally, a person’s environment can influence the development of an addiction. As a result, someone growing up with parents or other family members who abuse drugs or alcohol has both genetics and the environment increasing the odds that they will follow in those dangerous footsteps. 

Parents of addicted loved ones should also know that:

  • Children of addicts are eight times more likely to develop an addiction.
  • Approximately half of those who have a substance use disorder also deal with at least one diagnosable mental illness
  • About 20 million people in the U.S. aged 12 and older have used an illegal drug in the past 30 days
  • When one family member gets treatment for their addiction and becomes sober, it can change the future of other family members who might otherwise go on to develop an addiction or see no point in getting help for an existing one.

Is My Loved One Addicted to Drugs?

It can be hard for parents of addicted loved ones to truly realize when their child is in trouble. They may want to believe they are okay or they may be tempted to buy excuses their child gives because it makes it easier to avoid the truth. However, when your loved one is addicted to drugs, certain signs and symptoms typically occur. Physical signs can include:

  • Red eyes or flu-like symptoms
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Lethargy
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty with speech or coordination
  • Change in weight
  • Shakiness
  • Unexplained illnesses

Behavioral and emotional signs that your child may be addicted to drugs include:

  • Isolates
  • Change in friendships
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and pastimes
  • Moodiness
  • Signs of depression or anxiety
  • Becomes secretive
  • Poor performance in school or work
  • Hostile when questioned about drug usage
  • Unexplained use of money
  • Unexplained absences for periods of time
  • Locks bedroom door 

Tips to Help Parents of Addicted Loved Ones

One of the biggest challenges of being parents of addicted loved ones is feeling like there’s nowhere to turn. Fortunately, help for parents exists that can help them feel less alone and able to help their kids get better. Effective resources include Al-Anon, which helps family members of alcoholics. Al-Anon also has a group for teenagers affected by someone’s alcoholism called Teen Corner. Narcotics Anonymous helps individuals with a loved one addicted to drugs. 

Another good resource for parents is Teen Safe, which provides extensive resources related to teenagers and the abuse of drugs or alcohol. For families struggling with a teenager addicted to opioids, CLOUD can help with needed resources. provides a helpline for parents as well as tips on dealing with their children and getting them treatment for substance use disorders. 

In addition, parents can consult their child’s physician for ideas on how to help their child. They can find out about treatment programs and types of therapy that help young people admit that they are in trouble and begin to work towards recovery. 


Some tips for parents of addicted loved ones

Tips For Talking To Your Teenager

When talking to your teenager about their addiction, there are a few important tips to keep in mind:

Talk to them when they are sober: An adolescent under the influence is not likely to listen to or comprehend the conversation.

Make it clear that you want to help them: When a teenager feels under attack, they often close their ears and their minds. Let them know you understand they have a medical condition and that you want to help them get better.

Ask questions: Ask your child when they started using substances and what made them decide to do it. Helping them explore what the payoff is for using drugs or alcohol can help them realize there are healthy ways to achieve the feelings they attempt to get by getting high or drunk.

Contact Our Addiction Treatment Center for Your Family Member

Nothing makes a mom or dad worry more than knowing their child is in danger. If you count yourself as parents of addicted loved ones, you are probably looking for professional treatment for your child. Zenith Behavioral Health in Phoenix treats young males aged 13 to 17 for substance use disorders. Our staff understands how to communicate with adolescents in trouble and show them how to become sober. Our residential program provides a safe space for your child to get well.

Please visit our admissions page now for more information about how our program works.