Parents are generally people we can rely on. They’re the ones who provide us with sensible advice and pick us up when we fall down. But what can we do when it’s our parents who have the problem? For example, how should you react if you have a mother addicted to prescription drugs?
To say the least, it’s a very difficult situation. Just broaching the subject can be incredibly awkward for the average son or daughter. You may not think you have the right to question your mother or simply go into denial to avoid confrontation. Like many people with drug problems, your mother could get defensive and tell you that it’s ‘none of your business’.
But it is your business. It’s your mother and you’re watching her suffer. Port of Call is here to guide you through how you can help your mother and steer her towards recovery from her prescription drug addiction.
Drug addiction doesn’t always involve the most obvious stereotypes. Everyday drug use can be invisible, particularly when it comes to prescription drugs.
Your mother may have started out simply taking medication for back pain, but even medically prescribed pain killers can be powerfully addictive if overused. Without any warning, she may have become an addict without considering that she’s an addict.
Prescription drugs that can create addiction include:
• Central nervous system depressants
Drugs such as codeine also involve a high risk of overdose and death. It’s easy to take too many and the effects can be devastating.
Recognising the symptoms of prescription drug addiction can be difficult. But there are likely to be signs of erratic behaviour and problems with communication. When you have a mother addicted to prescription drugs, she may become secretive and hide her guilt with anger and denial. Younger children in particular suffer, thinking that they might have done something wrong to cause this behaviour. It’s key to remember that this isn’t your fault, you can’t control your parent’s behaviour and you won’t be able to cure the problem by yourself.
Learning how to deal with a drug addicted mother will be one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. We strongly recommend that you seek advice and support from other family members where possible. This isn’t something you should take on alone and siblings or other relatives can offer the support you need at a difficult time. They may be able to help you convince your mother that she must get help.
You may need help yourself. Coping with a mother addicted to prescription drugs or other substances can lead to long term problems for the child concerned. There is also evidence that addiction can be inherited and that children of those with drug problems can be particularly vulnerable.
There are people who can help. A range of treatments are available, from counselling to rehab. At Port of Call we can arrange family counselling sessions to talk through the issues, as well as provide you with the means to carry out interventions and ensure that your mother (or any other relative) is then given the treatment needed to break the habit.
Prescription drugs can destroy families and do as much damage as heroin or alcohol. As with all drugs, the right help is needed at the right time. If you think your mother is in need of that help, then get in touch with us and we’ll give you all the support you need.
Port of Call is here to offer you guidance on how to deal with a drug addicted mother. She may need to take part in a detox programme and enrol at a drug rehab facility. Talking to us will help both you and your mother establish what course of treatment she would benefit from. You can turn to us and say – ‘my mother is a drug addict’ and we will know how to proceed. We can give you advice on what steps to take when you have a mother addicted to prescription drugs.
For more information on how to help your mother with her prescription drug addiction, call one of our team for confidential, non-judgemental advice on 0800 002 9010.
Alex is our admissions team leader. Over the last 5 years he has spoken with more than 10,000 people via our helpline and has organised over 1,000 detox and rehabilitation placements.
We’re specialists in UK rehab options and can advise you on alcohol rehab in the North West, drug rehab in the North West and other addiction support services in the area.