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Adults and Addiction: Your Child Isn’t the Only One
As a parent, you want to do the best possible job raising your children. It’s completely natural. When your child is an addict, however, you can feel that you have failed them in some way. That isn’t the case. Your child didn’t become an addict solely because of your parenting.
When your child is an adult addict, you may also feel like your parenting role has been lessened, but that isn’t the case either. Most people who seek drug and alcohol treatment are adults and most people who finish treatment and remain sober are able to do it because they have a strong, giving support system. As a parent, you can be part of that support system, but there are other activities you can do as well to help your adult child seek and remain in treatment.
Your time as a parent isn’t over. You can still play an important role in getting your adult child into treatment. For treatment recommendations and to be connected to important resources, contact Centers.com at 800-256-3490 and speak with an addiction specialist today.
Drug and alcohol addiction is, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs.” The addiction isn’t in your child’s control and it isn’t a reflection on your parenting.
Adults 18 and over obviously make up the largest number of drug and alcohol abusers because there are more of them than there are minors, so more people equals more addicts. Or does it? Interestingly, young adults (18-29) are growing to match the numbers of middle aged people struggling with addiction and seeking treatment even though the number of addicts does not match the number of overall citizens in that age range.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) reporting of the characteristics of admissions and discharges from substance abuse treatment facilities in its Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS):
- The proportion of admissions aged 18 to 29 years increased from 29 percent in 2003 to 34 percent in 2013.
- The proportion of admissions aged 30 to 44 years decreased from 43 percent of TEDS admissions in 2003 to 34 percent in 2013.
- The proportion of admissions aged 45 and older increased from 19 percent in 2003 to 26 percent in 2013.
- The age distribution of TEDS admissions differed considerably from that of the U.S. population. Adolescents aged 12 to 17 years made up 6 percent of TEDS admissions but 9 percent of the U.S. population. In 2013, some 68 percent of TEDS admissions were aged 18 to 44 years compared with 43 percent of the U.S. population. Admissions aged 45 and older made up 26 percent of TEDS admissions but 48 percent of the U.S. population.
Statistically more people age 18-44 are seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse than their make-up of the population would indicate.
What does that mean to you? It means, firstly, that your adult child is far from the only adult suffering from addiction. Secondly, it indicates that people 18-44 make up the bulk of admissions and this is likely the age range that your child falls into. It is encouraging that people in this age group are more likely than those in other age groups to seek treatment. That is encouraging. Your child could be one of them.