The Parent's Role in Recovery

Posted by Prelude on Jan 22, 2016 9:00:00 AM

15_1224_YourParentRoleIt’s been a long, rough road but you’ve finally come to terms with your child’s substance abuse disorder. The downward spiral started a long time ago, and watching your child damage themselves with their behavior made you feel helpless.  That’s ok, though. And if that pain has manifested into hurt, frustration and anger, that’s ok, too.  That’s why you’re here, right?

Now, you should know that the days of being helpless are over.  As a matter of fact, now is the time that your child will need your help the most.  After all, it is parents that play one of the most pivotal roles in the treatment of children. In order for you to provide the best assistance to your loved one, you’ll need to understand just what your role is in the recovery process.


  • First and foremost, you’ll have to understand and accept that addiction is a disease. It doesn’t matter how much your child loves you, and you’ve got to realize it has nothing to do with willpower. Your child simply cannot stop without serious help.

  • Remember that it’s not your fault! You and any other members of your family can also find and attend meetings at the treatment facility or at support groups in your area.

  • Next is perhaps the most important thing family members can do to help the addict and themselves; stop enabling and seek help now. It’s only natural to want to protect your child. The last thing you should do now is continue to make excuses and avoid dealing with this illness. You’ve got to seek help and realize that it’s the best thing you can do for your family.


The kind of drug treatment you choose should depend on your child and the substance he or she is abusing. The best treatment facilities will offer treatment designed around the personality traits of your teen, the type of addiction and the length of the addiction.

  • 24 Hour Residential treatment requires the addict stay at a hospital or treatment facility for the entire duration, staying overnight while receiving treatment during the day. It’s the most involved and comprehensive level of care, and is designed to provide an intensive and nurturing treatment experience.  A stay in residential treatment can range from 20-40 days, depending on your child’s progress toward meeting his or her treatment goals. While Prelude does not provide residential care for your child, we work with several referral sources who provide excellent care.

  • Outpatient services may be the best plan for your child. The services include assessment, individual and various group counseling sessions. Working with a counselor, you and your child will help select the level of intensity best designed to meet your needs. Your outpatient services are continually evaluated to ensure they remain helpful to you, and may be increased or decreased as your situation changes. Prelude’s outpatient counselors are specialized to help with youth substance abuse.


In order to achieve the best results, you’ll want to make sure you’re really involved in your child’s recovery. Make it a top priority to attend all sessions, even if you need to shuffle your schedule.  And most of all, remember to tell them you love them.  Hugs and kisses?  Yes.  They work wonders, too. You’ve got to do this together, with your child, in order to succeed.

You will probably be able to benefit from counseling, both as an individual and as a family. This can help you communicate, express your feelings and help bring balance back to your family relationships. If you need it, financial counseling will also be available in some cases. Getting your debt under control is a great stress reliever.

Finally, realize it’s going to be a long, hard battle.  But it’s going to be worth it.  Focus on maintaining open communication with one another, and try to live a normal everyday life including family activities. You and your family shouldn’t stop living life. In order for you to take care of them, you’ll need to take care of yourself.  Show it.  Prove it.  Let your child see that there is a great life waiting for them once they begin the first steps to their recovery…  a life that you will be a huge part of… together.

Prelude Iowa: Get the help you need with your addiction.  Recovery and rehab for yourself and your family.

We're Here to Help.

At Prelude, we work tirelessly to improve the lives of individuals, their families, and members of their communities.

From prevention to intensive residential care, Prelude offers a range of services to help you and your loved one lead a full, productive life.  Prelude Behavioral Services has been providing comprehensive services since 1969. We are committed to serving hard-to-reach and disenfranchised populations and to breaking down barriers that hinder access to behavioral health care for all Iowans.



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