What to Do When Your Addicted Adult Child Relapses? 5 Tips for Lasting Recovery

When your adult child relapses you may feel like you are helpless in preventing the relapse, but there are things you can do to support your child and help them get back on their recovery path. Helping your adult child find the right treatment path, encouraging them to commit to ongoing care, understanding what triggers can cause a relapse, and building a strong support system are all things you do today to help your child live a sober life.

Relapse is the recurrence of a past addiction. The cause of relapse can vary from person to person but generally a relapse happens due to a trigger, withdrawal symptoms, untreated mental illness, or a lack of support. Relapses can be extremely dangerous as they may lead to a life-threatening overdose. The road to addiction recovery is a long one, most addicts will relapse along the way, fortunately, there are things you can do to help your adult child avoid relapses and remain sober. To recover from a substance use addiction a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your loved one’s needs is the best option for long term recovery success.

As a parent, I have always wanted the best for my children. Sally was a good kid growing up, but somewhere along the way she fell into a bad crowd. She began drinking a lot, she was able to graduate college successfully but her drinking continued to increase. It was hard for me to find the best way to help her, she was an adult but still my child. In her late 20’s Sally finally admitted she had an addiction to alcohol and vowed to quit cold turkey. Sally insisted she did not need residential treatment, she was confident she could kick the addiction on her own.

Unfortunately, she had numerous relapses, some worse than others. Sally lost her job during the last relapse. That was when I knew as her mother that I needed to step in and help. I was able to help Sally find a residential treatment facility specializing in addiction recovery. She received a customized treatment plan where they were able to address all of Sally’s symptoms. It turned out Sally not only had an alcohol addiction but she was also diagnosed with major depression. During treatment, Sally’s team treated both conditions, in an effort to help prevent future relapses.

Being a mother unaware of what I could do to help my daughter it was important to me to find a treatment facility that was best for Sally and also offered family programming. I wanted support and help in learning the best ways to support her as well as help her prevent relapses.

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5 Tips for Lasting Addiction Recovery

Residential Treatment

Addiction is a chronic disease that can not be treated overnight. Residential treatment is the best option for treating your adult child’s addiction. In addition to therapy and medication, if necessary, residential treatment centers offer alternative and holistic therapies, group support, family counseling, and help with exercise and nutrition. During treatment, your loved one will learn the skills and tools needed to maintain recovery in life after active treatment has stopped.

Commit to Ongoing Care

Successful outcomes for addiction treatment are achieved when patients follow the exact treatment plan provided by their mental health professional and commit to ongoing care. Long term therapy is an important part of the recovery process. Encourage your adult child to find a therapist that they feel comfortable with so they will commit to seeing them regularly.

Know What Can Cause a Trigger

A trigger is anything that can cause an addict to want to use again. For many addicts avoiding certain people, places, and situations can significantly help in preventing a relapse. Most likely these triggers will never fully go away, so understanding them and the best ways to prevent the triggers is crucial for long-term recovery success.

Communication is a key part of understanding and recognizing the triggers. Listen carefully to your adult child without judgment, allowing them to be open and honest with you. Together you can create a plan for how to best avoid their triggers. You can also learn healthy coping mechanism for when you cannot prevent a trigger from happening.

Check for Co-Occurring Disorders or Substance Use Addictions

Once Sally was diagnosed with depression, as well as alcohol addiction, she was able to get on a treatment plan that addressed both conditions. Just having the depression treated alone was a huge help in preventing further alcohol relapses.

Find a treatment center that will evaluate all symptoms, so you can rest assured that your adult child is on the best treatment plan for their unique needs.

Build a Strong Support System

When anyone is going through recovery it is important to have a strong support system. You alone can not be the support system. Make sure your adult child feels comfortable and confident with their therapists, other family members, friends, and support groups.

Make sure to keep open communication with your adult child and continue to check in on them regularly but avoid nagging. Engaging in family therapy sessions can be of great support to both of you. Building a well-rounded support team of family, friends, and professional mental health clinicians are essential to maintaining a successful recovery.

Alta Mira offers comprehensive treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders and process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Bay Area programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward lasting recovery.