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What to Do If You Have Parents Addicted to Drugs

by Nick

If one or both of your parents have a drug addiction, it can bring challenges to you no matter your age. Even as adults, we want our parents to stay safe and healthy. A substance use disorder can threaten their well-being and have an impact on your relationship. Learn more about parental drug addiction and what you can do.

Signs of Substance Use Disorder in Parents

Substance use disorder comes with similar signs throughout different age groups. Whether you have adult or senior parents, they could have an addiction if they show any of the following:

  • Violent or angry outbursts
  • Unexplained financial problems
  • Sleep issues such as irregular sleep patterns or daytime tiredness
  • Drug paraphernalia around the home
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Problems at work

Some of these behaviors can have another cause, such as a mental illness. However, even if your parents have mental health disorders, they could use drugs as a way to self-medicate. Everyone shows the signs of drug use in different ways.

Facing Parental Drug Misuse as a Teenager

When your parents have substance use disorders during your teenage years, you can face extra difficulties. Since you don’t quite count as a child or an adult, it can become hard to understand what you should do. If you don’t feel safe or your parents need medical assistance, get help from the right source. A trusted relative or another adult can assist with the situation if you don’t require medical intervention. However, if you think your parents need immediate medical attention, don’t hesitate to call 911.

Senior Parents and Drug Addiction

Seniors have an increased risk of substance use due to multiple factors. They tend to take more prescription medications than younger adults and have a higher chance of isolation. If your older adult parents show the signs of substance abuse, you can help by giving them added emotional support and talking to them about their treatment options.

Does Substance Use Disorder Have Hereditary Factors?

You may wonder if you have a risk of substance use disorder if one of your parents has it. Individuals who have family members with addictions do face an increased risk of developing an addiction themselves, but that doesn’t mean you definitely will. Most children of parents who have substance use disorders don’t develop an addiction. If one of your parents has a substance use disorder, you can discuss it with your doctor so that they can factor it into your treatments.

How to Intervene If You Have Addicted Parents

Everyone who has a substance use disorder has unique needs. Your parents may ask you for help, or you may need to encourage them to go to a doctor. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a comprehensive guide that helps people assist their loved ones with substance use disorders. You can also contact a treatment center like Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC) for advice.

Get Assistance From HCRC

HCRC can help you find ways to support your parents through this difficult time. We welcome you to contact us using our online form or by calling us at 866-758-7769.

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