Parents are identified as supporters, as authoritative figures, as leaders of life. However, in some situations, parents can in fact deter the quality of life of their adolescent and adult children, but what role do parents play in Addiction Recovery?

Behaviours are commonly taught. We are also conditioned by our environments, by our associations, by our values. Down to these strong influences, many parents can in fact unknowingly fuel the excessive use of drugs and alcohol. Are you concerned that enabling drugs and alcohol in your home has affected your children?

In tandem with this, parents can also play a significant role in addiction recovery, standing as the voice of reason. From motivating initial addiction recovery, to easing the acknowledgment phase, parents can improve the recovery process for their children.

Down to this blurred line, understanding the role of a parent when considering the entire spectrum of addiction can be challenging. Many parents will believe they are crossing the line, while others will hold a tight rein on antisocial and habitual behaviours. Due to this inconsistency, it can be difficult to appreciate the help and hindrance that parents can cause throughout the development and rehabilitation of addiction.

To support all parents, here’s our take here at Ocean Recovery Centre on answering the commonly asked question of ‘what role do parents play in addiction recovery?’, along with steps you can activate to ease the rehabilitation process.

Here’s to increasing awareness on the taught behaviours we develop as families, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worst; in this case, drug and alcohol addictions.


How can parents influence initial drug and alcohol abuse?

Addictions are fuelled by both nature and nurture. For some individuals, a cognitive weakness will be present, usually passed down through genetics, causing an organic susceptibility of addiction. In tandem, the conditions that we live in, the right and wrongs we are taught, the behaviours that we mirror can lead to an addiction.

This is the role that parents play in the initial influence of drug and alcohol abuse. From passing down the genetic footprint of addiction, to normalising drug and alcohol consumption in the house, there are many factors which can motivate and enable an addiction.

The way that parents respond to antisocial behaviours and drug and alcohol fuelled attitudes also play a large role in the development of an addiction. If parents are viewed to accept this form of behaviour, as an outsider, as an onlooker, this can result in mixed signals, known to fuel addictions in early teenage years and adulthood.

What role do parents play in addiction recovery is a prevalent question. Yet, it’s also important to know how their initial response to drugs and alcohol can fuel underlying causations. Similarly, to mental health issues, by enabling habits, by following a laidback approach, there is risk that the duty of care as a parent can slip, soon turning children to drugs and alcohol.


What role do parents play in addiction recovery?

Alongside fuelling an addiction, parents can play a significant role in addiction recovery. Understandably, not all families share strong bonds. However, in situations where an active relationship is formed, parents can sometimes act as a lifeline.

Firstly, parents are viewed as trusted members of the family. Down to this perception, it’s likely that their recommendations will be sensible and respected. In the case of an intervention, in place to kickstart addiction recovery, a parent’s concerns can sometimes motivate the acceptance of professional addiction treatment. With this in mind, taking action as a parent if you believe that a child is suffering with an addiction is very important.

Secondly, in the case where self-referrals are unlikely, parents can play a big role in the acknowledgment of necessary addiction recovery. While living through the motions of a drug and alcohol addiction, denial, blurred perceptions of reality and low confidence in rehabilitating can stop individuals from sourcing processional support. What role do parents play in addiction recovery will commonly fall down to the role of an initiator. They will spot the signs and symptoms that addiction recovery is mandatory, in order to save the future of their children.

Lastly, parents can offer unconditional support. Some individuals will judge the diagnosis of a drug and alcohol addiction. Yet, parents in most cases are accepting, they are caring, loving and encouraging. Throughout addiction treatment, parents are known to offer a helping hand, an empathetic ear, a strong foundation to develop through addiction recovery.

If you’re a parent, hoping to enable addiction recovery, this is how you can support your child through rehab. To strengthen your part, below is the best way to approach addiction recovery as a parent.


How to support a child through addiction recovery

If you’re hoping to support your child through addiction recovery, it is important that you firstly approach the topic sensitively. An addiction can develop from a number of causations, whether that’s mental health issues, stresses, environments or genetics. With this in mind, you should follow a non-judgmental approach.

Before an addiction does have the potential to develop, we do recommend that parents discuss the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse at an early age. From here, the boundaries are set, reducing the enablement of substance abuse. If you’ve however bypassed this stage, where an addiction is already present, it’s time to talk to your child about the next best steps.

Listen to their feelings and experiences, share your natural concerns, empathise, support and encourage addiction recovery through professional treatment centres. If this approach does fail, you can stand as the voice of reason via a family intervention, helping to increase the acceptance of addiction recovery.

Please keep in mind that this acceptance can take some time. As a result of this, as a parent, it’s your role to be patient, to understand as much as you possibly can, to help your child see how drugs or alcohol are changing them as a person.

Through this approach, addiction recovery will hopefully be activated, where treatment will also be available for you as a parent; in place to strengthen bonds and understandings.

We hope that the above has answered the question of ‘what role do parents play in addiction recovery?’. Unfortunately, parents can fuel the initial development of addiction. On the other end of the spectrum, they can assist with motivating addiction recovery. Opting for the latter is highly recommended, by ingraining the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse from an early age.

If you require advice with this, if you hope to activate a family intervention, if you’re looking for greater advice on how you fit into addiction recovery, reach out to our team. We are addiction recovery specialists, understanding what you are going through. As a family, we are here for you.


John Gillen - Author - Last updated: January 13, 2022

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.