Being the child of a drug addicted parent is a hard thing for anyone to endure. When a person has a parent who is addicted to crack, there is almost no way to explain the kind of emotional pain he/she feels. A parent is someone we want to look up to and turn to in times of trouble.
Unfortunately, when a parent is addicted to crack that role often reverses, making the parent the one who is needy. This can take a major toll on the child mentally, no matter how young or old that child may be. Dealing with this heartbreaking issue can be a challenge to say the least. For children who still live in the home with the parent who is addicted to crack, getting through each day can be an almost unbearable task. In many cases it doesn’t take long before social services steps in and take the kids out of the home. For the adult child of a parent who is addicted to crack, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Don’t Take Your Parent’s Addiction Personally
One of the worst parts of having a parent who is addicted to any substance, including crack, is that you wind up feeling as if you are not as important as the drug. You don’t understand why your parent cannot just stop using crack and get back to being the person you once knew and loved. Unfortunately, what you may not realize is that in most cases, your parent is hurting too. Not many people enjoy alienating their children and families with their addictions. While it is hard, try not to take your parent’s addiction personally. No one has ever set out in life to become a drug addict and hurt the people they love. Try to realize that your parent is in a black hole and probably wishing he/she had a way out of it.
Allow Your Parent to Hit Rock Bottom
Sometimes we can hurt a person by helping them too much. You are probably a little bit confused by this statement but let me explain. In the world of addiction there is something known as “enabling”. When we give a drug addict money or help cushion the blow by bailing them out of jail or other things of that nature, we may be helping them to stay sick for a longer period of time. Every drug addict has what is called a “bottom” that they must hit. For some people it may be going to jail, for others it may be over dosing and getting sick. For some people the bottoms are much worse and take longer to hit. Some people resort to prostitution, stealing and all sorts of undesirable things in order to get their drugs. This can take people to places they never thought they would go. Unfortunately, even though it is hard to watch someone we love suffer; sometimes you must do just that.
Tell Your Parent How You Feel
If your parent does not have a full understanding of how they are affecting you, it may not sink in for them. Tell your parent how you feel about what he/she is doing and what it is doing to you. Let him/her know that you love him/her very much and that this is breaking your heart. Sometimes a child’s appeal can be the one thing to make a difference. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away, sometimes it takes a long time for our efforts to be seen. You can choose to stay away from your parent while he/she is actively using crack, in fact it is highly recommended that you do. There is no reason a child, no matter what age, should ever have to see his/her parent in active addiction. Minor children with parent/parents who are smoking crack should consider speaking to a family member to seek guidance.
Don’t Be Taken Advantage Of
Tough love is almost always necessary when dealing with drug addicts. You love your mom or dad and want what is best for them; this may cause you to be just a bit too forgiving when it comes to his/her problem with crack addiction. Some people have reported being stolen from, physically abused and treated very badly by their addicted parents and for some reason they chose to allow it to continue. The problem with this is that it offers no consequence. Many drug addicts target their family members specifically, when looking for a quick fix in the form of money or property, because they know their family will not take legal action. In some cases, it’s alright to take legal action if you think your parent’s life might be in danger. Crack addiction is always life threatening and sometimes a little time in jail is what it takes to wake people up. Don’t allow the love you have for your parent to get in the way of what you must do.
There are many people who seek treatment for crack addiction everyday. If you can find a way to help your parent realize that he/she needs help, that’s a step in the right direction. Remember, you cannot “fix” your parent. All you can do is offer support and suggestion. Ultimately, it will be your parent’s decision as to whether or not he/she gets clean.