Here is the final article in our mini-series, looking at the outcome of adults who have experienced living with a parent or parents who were chronically using drugs, binge drinking alcohol or had addictions to both. With their testimony, those currently going through a similar situation may benefit from the experience of those who’ve lived with a parent(s) as addicts before.
There are many adults among us, many of whom you might not recognise with intimate knowledge of what it’s like to grow up with an addicted parent.
Sadly, there are also many people who love those adults and don’t know what it is like to have become an adult who was once a child raised amongst chaos, instability, fear, shame, embarrassment, frustration and even anger.
For many of us, our entire childhood was swathed in dysfunction. As development goes, the severe dysfunction of our childhood probably resulted in severely delayed or stunted emotional, mental, educational, financial and even physical growth in certain cases.
This article is compiled by combining the most commonly felt issues that they’ve experienced when they were younger and had a parent, parents or guardians who were misusing drugs, binging on alcohol and developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Children living in homes where there is parental substance use or addiction can find life difficult, unpredictable, upsetting and confusing just to list a few examples. Sometimes they may even believe the alcohol or drug use is their fault.
That’s why purposefully preparing to speak to your kids, knowing what to say and having as much information about substance use and addiction as possible provides them with the reassurance and information they need as they walk along your recovery journey with you side by side.
This article hopes to help you better prepare and inform you about what’s happened to lead you upto this point, what’s going to happen and what’s to expect when you enter recovery and how you can mutually support each other going forward to ensure that you make the most of this vitally needed discussion.
So you’ve begun to get the cravings under control and are starting to rebuild your life. You’re changing habits, changing your thinking and feeling hopeful about the future.
As you begin to find more enjoyment throughout your days, you might also be thinking it would be nice to have someone to share all these beautiful things with.
But before you jump head first into dating or a relationship, you need to ask yourself if you’re really ready for dating in recovery?
The 5 questions in this article will give you an idea about the things to consider and the things to avoid when it comes to dating or relationships while in your lifelong recovery journey.
Studies tell us that the children of alcohol addicts and drug users are eight times more likely to become addicts than the children of clean and sober parents.
So why do the sons and daughters of addicts experience a significantly higher likelihood of developing their own addiction later on in life?
One could argue that close proximity to substance use throughout the child’s childhood gives them the idea that experimenting with using or drinking, relying upon substances to manage stress or negative feelings or using/drinking to satisfy a physical and mental dependency is “okay” or “normal”.
We discuss this issue in more detail, along with ways to help manage and overcome this issue. This article is part of our mini-series, looking at the effects substance use and addiction play in educating our children to reduce the amount of people who develop addictions and avoid recreationally using drugs and binge drinking later on in life.
The drug, alcohol and addiction education children, teenagers and young adults are receiving in schools, colleges or universities are severely lacking to put it mildly. So, in the absence of high quality education about drugs, alcohol and addiction, where are our young people getting their information from? Are they getting answers to questions they may have? Is the information they’re reading accurate and true?
In this article, we will be looking at these questions and many others to see where our upcoming generations are getting their information, advice and support from and why this isn’t always the best idea, in an attempt to prevent our young adults developing substance use issues or even full blown addictions and deaths which could have been avoided if they had the proper information, help and support from the beginning.
Now we’re in 2021, birthdays and other events will be coming, which can make gift giving a difficult process for those friends and family members who are around addicts and yet, still want to give them something meaningful, useful and with the minimum possible risk of misuse or abuse.
Whether it’s a holiday/annual event such as Christmas, a special occasion or a birthday, you may be wondering what to buy for that friend or loved one in your life who has been or is in recovery for a substance use disorder (drug or alcohol addiction).
Asking what they want can be problematic because the gifts they may ask for could be related to their substance use, or even make their addiction worse. If they ask outright for something directly related to their substance use disorder, such as money, drugs, alcohol or drug paraphernalia, it could lead to a conflict at a time when you want to strengthen and celebrate the occasion with them rather than weaken or damage your relationship with them.
These suggestions will help you to not only give them something that can be of practical use to them, but also strengthen your relationship with them by showing you care, love and support them without coming across as patronising or pushy
Sometimes it feels like society says you should be always happy and that showing your sadness is a sign of weakness. This is far from true – if you were to hold in all your sadness or anger you would explode!
Ignoring your feelings and thoughts may help you to manage in the short-term but in the long run, it isn’t healthy or productive for your mental health, physical health or your recovery.
Knowing how and when to employ various positive coping strategies is going to be your best ally when it comes to experiencing your thoughts and feelings in a healthy and constructive way.
Appreciating the little things in life means that you focus your attention on what nurtures and sustains you in life. On everything and anything that brings you even the smallest amount of pleasure. It also means practicing gratitude by noticing these everyday things that you may otherwise take for granted so easily.
Because we are going through so many major changes in active addiction and early recovery, it can be somewhat difficult to hone in and focus on being grateful for the small stuff.
This article will help you to better appreciate the little things that we may take for granted when life gets hectic and rocky by providing you with hints, tips and strategies to include this into your daily life and activities.
Using rivers and waterfalls as analogies for addiction and recovery have a lot more in common than you may realise at first, especially helping us to see those “Aha” moments.
The “aha’s” come when we realise that we don’t tend to blame people for drowning or for just treading water. We understand that sometimes people jump in over their heads, get caught in the current or get swept away by forces stronger than themselves.
If we find ourselves in this swiftly moving river, we recognise that we need more than human willpower to get back out. Much more. This is where we can find some compassion, which can be a life raft we offer to ourselves and others who are in recovery.
Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease and its rapids are fast and deep. Some of us dive in and never make it back to the surface. Others fight the current for many years. Most of us need help to make our way to shore and keep from falling in again. It takes a lot of practice to become a strong swimmer.
You can find helpful exercises and information to benefit you, no matter whether you’re still actively using or drinking, in recovery already or wish to help a friend or loved one who’s afflicted by an addiction.