Opioid addiction is a serious problem for anyone but especially for a parent. Sadly, an addiction of any kind never affects just one person; it affects everyone around them. For parents, this means an addiction will almost always have a negative impact on their children. While it can be difficult to help a parent who is an opioid addict, it must be done in order to improve their lives as well as the lives of their children. Here are a few tips on how one can help. 

What is an Opioid Addiction? 

Opioids are drugs derived from opium, a naturally occurring substance found in some varieties of poppy plants or created synthetically in a lab. Opium itself is an extremely potent and highly addictive substance. This is primarily because it causes significant pain relief for those who ingest it. However, opioid use also changes the brain, rewiring a person for addictive behavior. These factors make an opioid addiction difficult to overcome but not impossible.  

How to Help a Parent with an Opioid Addiction

Helping a parent with an opioid addiction starts with an understanding of the signs of the addiction, knowing how to approach the situation, and using one’s best judgment.   

1. Look for the Signs of Opioid Addiction 

Before a person can help a parent with opioid addiction, they must be sure the parent does have an addiction to opioids. Although there are a variety of opioids available to users through the legal and illegal markets, all opioids are depressants, meaning that there are some similar effects all opioids will have on a user

If a person has consumed opioids, they will typically appear to have: 

  • Low energy
  • Slower functioning and reactions than normal
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Euphoria
  • Slowed breathing

2. Understand How to Approach an Addict

Unfortunately, an opioid addiction never affects only one person. For a parent, it means their addiction will also affect their child or children. Approaching a parent with opioid addiction can help them as well as their child or children. However, this can be difficult. Many individuals living with an addiction to substances like opioids often have trouble admitting they need help. This is why approaching them is so important. 

However, how one approaches a person with opioid addiction is important. No one can ever be forced into a successful recovery. Instead, one must encourage that an addict seeks help. If they can encourage and support an addict into recovery, their treatment and recovery is more likely to be successful and long-lasting.

If a person is genuinely concerned for the safety and wellbeing of a parent with opioid addiction as well as their child or children, they should approach them with these tips in mind: 

  • Never approach the person with an addiction alone
  • Do not try to convince them that they have a problem 
  • Do not approach them if they are intoxicated
  • Emphasize your concern and care for them
  • List behaviors and/or incidents and why they concern you
  • Ensure that the conversation is a 2-way conversation

3. Use Your Best Judgment If a Parent Refuses Help 

If a parent with an opioid addiction refuses help after being approached, one must use their best judgment when moving forward. If one feels that the parent’s addiction is not an immediate danger to themselves or those around them, it may be beneficial to approach them again at a later time. 

However, if one feels that the addiction is an immediate danger to the parent and their child or children, further action may be required. In some cases, it may be wise to contact local law enforcement. These individuals can conduct a welfare check to ensure that a child or the children are okay or contact child protective services if needed. While this course of action is not ideal, it may be the best option to ensure the safety of everyone involved. 

Looking for Treatment for Opioid Addiction? 

If you or a loved one is living with an addiction to opioids, help is available near you! At Knoxville Recovery Center, our team of addiction specialists provide several effective treatments and therapies to specifically address opioid addiction. Contact us today for more information! 

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