I ran across an email I had filed away several years ago and felt I should share it with you.
I am not sure who the author is and there were some of the 99 original suggestions that were no longer usable. Others needed updating, so I took the liberty to do that.
My suggestion is to read through this and pick out those suggestions you find helpful. Forget the rest.
The ideas (part 1 of 3)
* Consider removing the addicted child from your will. You can always place the money, etc., in a trust based on certain conditions. You might wish to encourage other family members to do the same because you do not want the the money to go to his drug dealer.
* It is not recommended that you send your addicted child to a inpatient treatment program that does not have a “family component.” The treatment program should be authorized to make weekly contact (updates on strengths and weaknesses) with your child’s alcohol/drug counselor. Asked to be advised by the treatment program if there are non-compliance issues with your child and he may be asked to leave. You do not want a “surprise” call that your child has been kicked out and is on the curb!
* It is usually recommended to send your addicted child to an inpatient program outside your state.
* If your child threatens to kill himself, etc., tell him he is loved but all the pain and suffering he is feeling will be released once he accepts recovery, ask him to accept recovery. If he says no, keep repeating that first sentence.
* Parents, please consider not using and/or abusing any mind altering substance. It is best to eliminate any mind altering substance from your environment forever. Consider asking other family members to join you.
* Pay for only one formal inpatient treatment program. Program should be at least ninety days with a “step down” program after that. Exception: In dealing with adolescents intervene early and often. Send the adult child to the same program they send CEOs, doctors, attorneys, as well as other professionals. It is advised to send a child to a gender-specific treatment program. When your child calls you from treatment and tells you his roommate is gay, the food is bad, the counselor threatened him, etc., just tell your child you that you know there are procedures to handle the situation and you know he will make the best choice.
* Find a alcohol drug counselor (CADC or LADC) who is knowledgeable and street smart.
* Parents, continue to see your counselor until he/she says it’s no longer necessary.
* Find a parent support group, work the steps, get a sponsor by your third meeting.
* Once your child has “fully accepted recovery,” consider helping other parents for as long as your passion allows.
* Find a church that understands addiction and provides support. Review http://www.celebraterecovery.com/
* It is generally accepted that if you do not seek out the truth of addiction and come to a understanding of the truth neither you or your addicted child will find peace.
* Pray frequently for all parents and their children.
* Understand that doubts and fears prevents everyone’s recovery. Faith replaces fear. The acronym for “fear” is False Evidence Appearing Real.
* Try and read every book you can find on addiction and co-occurring disorders. Become an expert.
* Consider donating your time and money to support groups and other recovery oriented institutions/organizations.
* Seek guidance in order to grieve the loss of your child, release yourself from the dreams and expectations you have. This is one of the most important aspect of your recovery. The five stages of grief are: denial, anger, surrender, depression and acceptance.
* Counselors will tell you that parents are usually too quick to accept what may not be true — Investigate fully from “reliable” sources.
* The chronically addicted cannot continue to abuse drugs unless someone is helping them.
* It is wise to avoid entering into a conversation with your child if he is high.
* Investigate a family boundary/expectation/consequences agreement. It is best to have the agreement reviewed/approved by a qualified alcohol/drug counselor. ALWAYS follow through with the consequences described in your family agreement.
* Attend “open” AA/NA meetings. To find a local AA meeting, go to: http://www.aa.org/lang/en/meeting_finder.cfm?origpage=29. To find a local NA meeting, go to: http://www.na.org/?ID=home-content-fm
* It is generally agreed that keeping secrets allows the addiction to grow. Inform everyone of your child’s disease. Educate them and ask for their support. The time to break your silence and inform others of your child’s addiction is when consequences no longer matter to your child.
* It is rarely wise to give your child money either directly or indirectly, including providing money while he is in jail!
* Never cosign a loan or rental property, etc., for a child who is abusing alcohol or other drugs. Never purchase a home for your child.
* Never have your name on the car title that your child owns.
* Keep a detailed journal, with the good, the bad and the ugly. Be sure your journal has names, contact info and notes on who has helped or hurt in your journey. Very important.
* Come to believe that addiction is a disease — a brain disease, a primary disease.
* Order the DVD “Pleasure Unwoven” by Dr. Kevin McCauley (http://www.addictiondoctor.com/) and share with family/friends.
* Read the book “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie.
* When reading books on addiction, you highlight the important points and make notes in the margins. Share this information with family/friends.
* You are most likely neglecting your spouse and other family members. Everyone deserves much better!