Drug and Alcohol - Relapse Prevention - Relationships in Recovery

What Can I Do if My Adult Child Relapses?

When your adult child has a relapse after treatment, it can feel like a major blow. It isn't. Here's how to get them back on their feet. Call today!

What Can I Do if My Adult Child Relapses?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 9, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Supporting their children usually comes naturally to parents. When your adult child relapses, it can make you feel hopeless, thus causing you to feel as if you cannot support them as you were supposed to. Luckily, there are many different things that you, as a parent, can do to support and encourage your child to return to a healthier lifestyle.

Committing to yourself and your child's care can further progress their sober life and get them the help they require.

Past Addiction Reoccurrence

Relapse can be a scary moment in time for any parent. It can differ from person to person, but it is generally because of a stressful situation or a trigger. Relapses can also occur because of mismanaged withdrawal symptoms or an untreated mental health disorder. Some parents find out the relapse is dangerous, and it might have stemmed from a lack of support.

Substance use among young and high school-age children is distressingly high. NCDAS, the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, states that 46.6% of children try illicit substances by the time they are in 12th grade. Also, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports 45% of foster children have used substances in the last month. 

Relapse can be a life-threatening occurrence, but fortunately, there are ways to help you and your child prevent it. Thankfully there are also ways to help your child if they do relapse. Comprehensive treatment plans and strategic goals are dedicated to you and your child's life to meet your needs and deliver long-term recovery success.

As a parent, you are always going to want the best for your child. Relapse occurrences can be lessened or eliminated with preventative strategies and coping mechanisms being implemented into you and your child's life.

Avoid Expectations and Delivery Support

It is easy to expect your child to be a certain way or live a particular style. However, when addiction or substance use is part of the choices made in your child's life, getting addiction recovery treatment is a primary element to reducing dangerous situations. 

If your child has recently been through drug and alcohol recovery, one of the first things you as a parent can do is not engage and cause unnecessary stress. Additionally, when you tell yourself not to have expectations regarding your child's return home from treatment, it is easier to manage the situation and plan to stop it from happening in the future. 

The child needs as much support as you can give them, and by educating yourself and setting up boundaries, you are meeting their needs. Moreover, when you know that your child just went through an extensive change in life to get help for addiction, remember that they have to recover in their unique way. Not everyone's recovery path will be the same, and some will make the same mistake of using substances again. 

When these times of relapse occur, it may seem stressful to you, and you may feel that your support is lacking. However, you can work together with healthcare professionals that enhance your child's chances of long-term recovery success.

Options and Engagement

A child who has been through addiction recovery will alternate their mindset and choices. Typically, the entire family helps in the situation by creating boundaries, setting up goals, creating activities, and engaging in the process of recovery. All are able to support your child along this journey. 

Your child may want to engage the recovery process further. That is a positive step forward; however, when relapse occurs, you have a chance to repair family bonds and set a new boundary of acceptance for yourself and your child. Recovery is an ever-evolving process, and it is not easy to go through. Try to remember to not view the relapse as a failure but rather accept it and find means to help prevent it from happening in the future. 

Many children use substances to hide their feelings when they do not have enough strength to get through a situation or emotional imbalance. However, the recovery process teaches each individual to face themselves and take baby steps every day. If you encourage compassion and gratitude, you can help prevent this from occurring. 

Being Prepared and Ask for Help

As a parent, you want to be prepared and resilient and not underestimate any substance use disorder. Substance use disorders can happen to anyone, and when an individual learns that they can move past their mistakes and move forward, the risk of relapse reduces.

Furthermore, you can learn to establish boundaries and engage in the recovery process by attending therapy sessions to help preserve mutual respect within your relationship with your child.

Bottom Line: NEVER Give Up

One of the most critical elements to avoid is giving up on your child. It will most likely cause triggers, stressors and promote substance use engagement. Instead of throwing in the towel, use the relapse as an opportunity to improve your personal growth and their growth.

If you struggle with finding ways to cope with the relapse yourself, or if you notice that your child continues to relapse, you can reach out to addiction professionals who understand addiction at its core and how to help you the best. The Forge Recovery Center believes that the recovery process requires counseling and treatment planning to fit each situation.

If your child struggles with substances inside your home, finding resolution through the use of an outside resource is a good decision. If you need more education or want to know what you can do now to prevent the dangerous situations of relapse, reach out to The Forge today.

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