How to Shield My Child from Addicted Family Members

How to Shield My Child from Addicted Family Members

Children often blame themselves for issues in their family

Shielding people from trouble may seem like the best option, but is it? For instance, perhaps you may intend to keep your child safe, but are you truly doing so by keeping her in the dark? How and when you share a loved one’s addiction with a child can govern how that child perceives the addict and addiction, so seek help with this vital task.

How Families Can Shield Children from Addiction

Children often think they cause issues in the family. When it comes to addiction, they may think the addiction could have been prevented if they did better in school, cleaned their room or even listened better. Furthermore, children notice small details about people, even more so when they love someone. Although they may not know about addiction, they notice changes in someone’s appearance, activity level and how people interact with others. In response, shield children from someone’s addiction in the following ways:

  • Don’t sugarcoat the issue
  • Keep all information age appropriate
  • Share only what’s relevant

You may want to sugarcoat your answers to mitigate pain, remorse or sadness, but such deception makes the problem seem easier than it is. As a result, a child may think everything is ok, that there are no issues with the addicted loved one.

Children should only be informed of information that is age appropriate. They should not know about adult matters, nor should they care for an addicted parent or loved one. Children often blame themselves for issues in their family, but they will understand that they did not cause the addiction if the information they know is age appropriate.

In effect, not all information needs to be shared about the addict. Some information does not pertain to children, such as how bad an addiction has become or the resulting financial issues. A child is not to be burdened by a loved one’s addiction, so remember that fact before discussing the addiction.

Addiction Treatment Options

Seeing a loved one struggle with addiction can be difficult enough, but the following treatment options can help your loved one overcome addiction:

  • Inpatient detox
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Intensive outpatient care
  • Residential treatment

Inpatient detox is available for alcohol and drug addicts, and it provides psychiatric care for children while they live in a medical facility. The length of such treatment typically lasts only a few days; it aims to transition patients into treatment that addresses substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Although typically available for patients with a substance-use disorder and a mental health disorder, partial hospitalization provides structure and support in a drug-free environment. During their stay, patients address the challenges of mental health disorders without turning to their former coping mechanism of drug and alcohol abuse.

Intensive outpatient treatment occurs either during the day or night, which allows patients to experience the benefits of daily treatment while fulfilling responsibilities at school, work and home.

If someone struggles to maintain sobriety, residential treatment may be the best option. It provides addicts an intense level of treatment in a comfortable, safe and secure environment. Medical personnel are available around the clock to support people through the daily challenges of addiction recovery.

Drug Addiction Treatment

If it seems impossible to keep your child from a drug addict, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions and to help you find the best treatment available. We’re here to help you in any way we can, so call today!

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