Drug Abuse in Children

Drug Abuse in Children – How Parents Unknowingly Contribute

Drug abuse in children and co-dependency go hand-in-hand. Some parents unknowingly raise a drug-abusing child or contribute to their relapse.

Here are some indicators that you might be raising a young drug-abusing child or contributing to a relapse if they are in treatment or sober living. Parents who naively take on the following roles will raise a young person who will never be able to take responsibility for them selves:

  • Be a lawyer…defend him against every authority.
  • Be a banker…..let her know funds are unlimited to satisfy her every whim.
  • Be an insurance policy…..stand in the way of consequences.
  • Be an agent…..negotiate for him. Pull strings so he is always first.
  • Be a mechanic…..fix everything so she won’t learn to solve problems.
  • Be a butler…..he needs a clean room and food. Don’t you live in a luxury hotel?
  • Be an administrative assistant…..organize her life so she won’t have to.
  • Be an apologist…..make excuses for him.   Let him learn he is never wrong.
  • Be a doormat…..allow her to take her frustrations out on you.
  • Be a fairy godparent…..spend to meet his every wish so he will rely on you.
  • Be a wimp…..never enforce your values or beliefs. She’ll learn society has no rules.

In order to break the cycle of addiction that a drug-abusing child is ensnared in we have to tell the truth – we have to get honest – we have to be willing to feel uncomfortable. Life is relentless, when it becomes time for our children to learn the lesson at hand – the lesson will not go away! There will be more and more consequences and it will get harder and harder for the addict to get away with anything. When we attempt to come between a Higher Power and the addict – between a Higher Power and anyone – we don’t let our loved one learn the lessons their Higher Power intended them to learn. We wouldn’t take our children’s joy away, we can’t take their pain away either.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom for letting go of a drug-abusing child that will encourage recovery and support sobriety:

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring. it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it is to realize I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another, it is to make the most of myself.

To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.

To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destines.

To “let go” is not to be protective,

it is to permit another to face reality.

To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.

To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To “let go” is to not regret the past, but to grow and to live for the future.

To “let go” is to fear less and to love more.

Drug abuse brings out our instinctive reactions as parents – to solve problems and save lives – but this is where we have to pause and admit our own powerlessness.   Controlling takes all of our energy, all of our time and all of our efforts. Especially where substance abuse is concerned, whatever we are trying to control is really controlling us.


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