In this interview, Rachel McClure offers solid advice to parents and grandparents of alcoholics and drug addicts.
What are the DON’Ts and DOs?
Rachel has worked with the children, parents, grandparents and other loved ones suffering from the impact of someone else’s addiction.
Being a parent or grandparent may not be how you imagined it.
“All mental health experts are helping in some capacity because these family issues have no boundaries. It’s a common conversation with patients,” explains Rachel.
Drugs and Alcohol Touch Every Family and Reach into Every Neighborhood
It’s not unusual to find grandparents today raising young children rather than enjoying their retirement years working on their bucket list.
Fortunately, Rachel McClure gives tips to handle this tricky situation!
DON’Ts for Parents and Grandparents of Alcoholics and Drug Addicts
- Don’t Nag The addicted individual has to be ready for help. You can air your concerns, but the person must want to seek treatment, or it’s wasted energy and won’t hurry their process.
- Don’t Beg Express your feelings of concern without begging and without trying to force your agenda.
- Don’t Get Dragged to their Low Level Addiction brings out a high level of emotions. Loved ones will have frustration, anger, and fear.
- Don’t Clean Up Their Messes Whether it’s just a mess of clothes on the floor to legal matters or incarceration, let the addict manage his or her own consequences.
- Don’t Seek Out Their Recovery Venues An addict needs to be accountable for their own recovery. Their independence is the best way for them to work through their own problems and build self-confidence as a successful person.
- Don’t Give or Lend Money As much as we want to help, this is typically NOT helpful. They might really need money for rent but that money probably won’t make it as a rent payment.
- Don’t Allow Guilt and Self-Blame You can’t take responsibility for someone else’s addiction. Everyone needs to own their own decisions and be accountable for their own lives.
DOs for Parents and Grandparents of Alcoholics or Drug Addicts
- Do Seek Professional Help Once again, don’t minimize how hard the situation is. It’s probably the hardest thing a parent or grandparent could ever deal with. In order to be one’s best self, we need new tools or an advanced skill set.
- Do Find Community Support Community support prevents isolation and allows the conversation to flow, so you don’t feel alone. It also allows opportunities to be helpful to someone else
- Do Set Personal Boundaries You wouldn’t tolerate stealing, lying, and other outrageous behavior from a child, so why not have boundaries with an adult! Boundaries help you remember what you’ll tolerate and what you will not.
- Do Find Ways to Create Joy It’s still ultimately your responsibility to find happiness. Addiction problems can feel all-consuming but what was once important needs to remain in life. Working through feelings of guilt is important.
- Do Remember that Self Care is VITAL to Your Wellbeing From basic needs to creating or maintaining a social life, this is an essential step to wellbeing.
- Do Release with Love You have your own life and can still love the addict, but you have to keep loving yourself, as well. In fact, you have to love yourself more.
Please share your thoughts in the comment box below…
If you are a parent or grandparent of an alcoholic or drug addict, do you have additional advice to offer?
Here are a few organizations that may be useful to you or your loved one…
- Al-Anon: for family members who are impacted by addiction
- National Substance Abuse Hotline (for the individual AND family members: (800) 662-4357
- National Suicide Hotline (800) 273-8255
Please read this article if you still think you can get him (or her) to change.