How to Deal with a Drug Addict Daughter: Steps to Help Her
Women face a unique and complex set of physiological, cultural and lifestyle circumstances throughout their lives that, along the way, can jeopardize mental health and contribute to the onset of substance use disorder. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that over 19.5 million females (or 15.4 percent) ages 18 or older have used illicit* drugs in the past year and that 8.4 million females (or 6.6 percent) ages 18 and older have misused prescription drugs in the past year. We can examine these macro numbers all day, but if one of these women is your daughter, you may already be painfully aware of the impact that addiction can have on her, as well as the rest of your household. While each person’s care needs and journey to addiction are different, and will thus require different types of intervention from loved ones, there are a few universal things that can be done to guide your daughter toward the drug addiction treatment that she needs.
Take Control…Starting with Yourself
When you find out that your daughter is addicted to drugs, it’s very easy to feel powerless, alone, and ashamed. It’s also very easy to let these feelings prevent you from acting to save your daughter’s life. Whatever doubt, guilt, or uncertainty you may be experiencing, it’s important not to get crippled by these feelings and let them stop you from helping your daughter. You should absolutely seek help for yourself to address the trauma this situation is causing, but you can’t let it stop you from helping your daughter. You need to acknowledge the problem and face it head on.
Your Daughter 101: A History Lesson
When initially talking to your daughter about their drug addiction, make an effort to identify and understand the issues that are contributing to it, whether it’s issues at school, work their social life and other members of their families. This will not only help to position you as an ally, rather than an enforcer; it will also help you determine what kind of help they actually need. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that over eight million people suffer co-occurring addiction and mental illness, and it’s very possible that your daughter can be counted among this particular population.
Women just like your daughter face extraordinary circumstances in all aspects that can lead to and sustain addiction, including but not limited to:
- Higher Risk of Professional Discrimination
- Higher Vulnerability to Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence
- Societal Pressures to Conform to Certain Body Images
- Increased Burden of Parentage Versus Male Involvement
- Generally Smaller Bodies that Make Larger Amounts of Drugs More Dangerous
- Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that 14,724 women succumbed to fatal drug overdose in 2018.
Don’t Confront, Engage
It’s important that your daughter feels like you’re trying to help her, rather than trying to solve a problem. Addicts routinely encounter judgement in stigma as they seek help and even during recovery, and it’s one of the primary barriers to treatment, relapse prevention and sustained recovery. Your daughter is much more likely to ask for or accept help if they feel valued and respected. Having said that, you still need to be firm in your position and make it clear that it’s essential that they get help and make it clear that there will be consequences if they don’t. Strike a balance between compassion and firmness.
You can’t, nor should you have to, take this on all by yourself. If your daughter is an older juvenile or an adult, make an effort to involve the people who are closest to your daughter and understand what she is going through. This can include other members of your family, friends or anyone else whose opinion they value. Eventually this core group can get together to organize an intervention, which is a gathering of concerned friends and loved one’s in an effort to get an addict treatment. An intervention can be an especially effective tool for older teenagers and adults. Participants can include anyone close to your daughter; but it should be kept as small as possible.
Contact A Professional Interventionist
As much as you may want to help your addicted daughter, it can be difficult to know best practices for a successful intervention. For however well-intentioned these gatherings are, they can quickly turn into name-calling, denial, hurt feelings and lasting resentment with no real result beyond escalation of family tension and addiction. A certified professional addiction interventionist is a qualified, experienced and objective third party who can help to keep the meeting on track. Many interventionists are trained in conflict resolution and can help your group to “stay on script” during the gathering. They can also assist with logistical coordination and treatment arrangements if your daughter accepts help.
Have A Treatment Plan In Place
Addiction is a time-sensitive issue in all respects, right down to the window of time you have between your daughter accepting help and the moment she starts to reconsider, as she inevitably will. This is why it’s important to have treatment arrangements made the moment she says yes to care so you can ensure she gets into a program immediately. The Ridge Treatment Center is ready to assist you and the rest of your loved ones with coordinating treatment for your addicted daughter so you can hit the ground running immediately.
Contact our admissions professionals today at 513.613.4026 for a full insurance verification so we and help you get your daughter back from drug addiction. We look forward to helping you. Call now.