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What Did I Do Wrong For My Son to Become a Drug Addict?

November 23, 2015 - , , , - 0 Comments

It’s so painful to have a person addicted to drugs in the family. There is sadness, worry, and shame associated with the the relationship you have to your loved one. You miss them so much, yet they have probably hurt you in some way, causing you anger and frustration. If you’re the parent of a drug addict, it’s common to also feel guilt and wonder what you could have done differently. You wonder, if I had loved him more, would he have avoided drugs? If I had been stricter, would she have stayed in school and avoided those bad influences? It’s almost impossible as a parent not to have these thoughts and regrets. For your own mental health and emotional well-being, it’s important for you to know that you cannot blame yourself for your child’s addiction.

No parent is perfect. It’s inevitable that you made some mistakes along the way. Who hasn’t? A mistake that you make in raising your child does not affect the entire outcome of his or her life. Studies show that addiction is caused by a multitude of factors, not just one. A person with addiction has certain inherited genes, personality traits, life experiences, and social tendencies. There is not one factor that causes a person to enter a life of addiction. That one time you yelled at your child did not impact the rest of his life. The time you should have kept your kid from going to that party but let her go anyway did not cause her to abuse drugs.

Al-Anon is a support group for those who have loved ones with an addiction. At these meetings the members always repeat “I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, and I can’t control it.” This is an important phrase to say to yourself daily, especially as a parent. It is alright to grieve for your child, but if you cannot let go of the responsibility and guilt you will not be able to go on with your life in an emotionally healthy way. You will continue to carry this unfair burden with you, placing unrealistic blame on yourself. It can help to talk to other people who have gone through this before so that you are not alone and can be reminded that addiction, not you, has always been the enemy.

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