September 26, 2022

How to Deal with a Drug Addicted Parent

Regardless of your age, you are going to be impacted in some ways by how your parents raised you. Unfortunately, there are millions of people who are raised by a drug addicted parent. Even if your parent didn’t start using drugs until you were out of the house, that doesn’t make it any less frustrating or hurtful to deal with the situation. 

If you have been raised by or now have a drug addicted parent, there are some healthy ways to deal with them. If you have developed mental health or addiction issues as a result of your parent’s addiction, our Desert Rose team can help you today.

Get Help from Others if You Have a Drug Addicted Parent

Whether you are a child, adolescent or an adult, if you have a drug addicted parent, it is going to be tough on you. There are numerous things you can do to better deal with this environment or situation. One of the first things we want you to know is that you don’t have to deal with this by yourself. You can get help from others if you have a drug addicted parent. Some other people that you can ask for or get help from include:

  • Teachers
  • Friends
  • Family members
  • Parents of your friends
  • Police officers
  • Treatment center professionals
  • Those in support groups

There are many people out there who understand what you are going through. Even if you did develop an addiction or mental health condition as a result of your parent’s addiction, we still understand how this could happen and we want to help you.

Confide in Someone

If you are dealing with anything regarding your drug addicted parent, you should find someone to confide in. You can choose anyone from the list above or someone else that you trust. The person should be understanding, kind, empathetic and helpful. They should be willing to let you talk to them about anything you are thinking or feeling about your parent. When you confide in this person, they should make you feel like your thoughts and feelings are valid. 

It doesn’t just have to be one person either – you can confide in multiple people. If you come to our Desert Rose recovery center, you can confide in our team and others who are attending the treatment programs.


Another way that you can deal with a drug addicted parent is by journaling. Research shows that writing down your feelings about a tough situation in life can help you to experience less stress and anxiety. It can also help you to stop letting feelings build up in your heart and mind by getting them down on paper. 

You don’t have to share this journal with anyone, if you don’t want to. However, you can do so if you would like.

Journaling is a great way to express how you are feeling and what you are thinking regarding your drug addicted parent. Some of the things that you might want to journal about include:

  • How their drug use makes you feel
  • How their actions make you feel
  • Things they say to you that are hurtful
  • Things you wish they’d say to you
  • Record things that happen
  • Write down why you are scared or afraid
  • Write down song lyrics or poems you made regarding your parent or their lifestyle

These are just some of the things that you can journal about. Remember, this journal can be your way of venting, especially if there are things you need to get off your chest, but you aren’t ready to tell anyone else. 

Doing Fun, Enjoyable Activities

If you have a drug addicted parent, it is important to make sure you are spending some time doing fun, enjoyable activities. That way, your parent’s addiction isn’t the only thing you are thinking about or that is affecting your life. Having positive activities or hobbies to do can brighten your mood, relieve anxiety and show you that good things can and do happen in life.

Some of the fun, enjoyable activities that you may want to participate in include:

  • Running 
  • Photography
  • Singing
  • Writing song lyrics or poems
  • Watching comedy movies
  • Listening to podcasts
  • Reading

Even if you aren’t sure what you like to do because you have spent so much time and energy into your parent’s addiction, you can find out now. If you attend a program here at Desert Rose, our team can work with you to find out what you enjoy in life, too. 

Spending Quality Time with Friends

If you have a drug addicted parent, spending quality time with your friends is going to be crucial for your mental health. You might be ashamed or embarrassed to tell them what you are going through with your parent, but if they are your true friend, they will be there for you. 

Some of the ways you can spend quality time with your friends include:

  • Talking on the phone
  • Going to their house or having them come to your house
  • Going to dinner or a movie
  • Walking or running together
  • Going to the mall
  • Doing hobbies or other enjoyable activities

If you are finding it difficult to socialize right now, it may be a good idea to put spending time with your friends on your calendar. That way, you can make yourself do it, even when you aren’t quite in the mood. 

drug addicted parent

Have a List of Emergency Numbers

If your parent has a drug addiction, it is important to know who you can call if there is a crisis or emergency. Whether you are calling 9-1-1 because your parent overdosed, calling a suicide hotline because you are feeling suicidal, calling a family member to help you get out of the house or calling anyone else, having this list could save your or your parent’s life. 

Have a List of Safe Environments

Sometimes, when someone is living with or dealing with a drug addicted parent, they just need to get out of that environment. While you may not be able to move out or leave all the time, it would be a good idea to make a list of safe environments you can go to such as:

  • A friend’s house
  • A family member’s house
  • The local community center
  • Churches
  • Schools
  • Teen centers
  • Parks
  • Libraries
  • Shelters

If you need some relief from being at home with your drug addicted parent, hopefully, these safer environments will give that to you.

Get Help Dealing with Your Drug Addicted Parent

Right now, the number one thing you need to keep in mind if you have a drug addicted parent is that you aren’t not the reason for their addiction. Before you do anything else, know that it isn’t your fault, no matter what happens, believe this with all your heart. 

Hopefully, the tips above can give you a good starting point with how to deal with your parent and their addiction. If you have developed mental health or addiction issues as a result of their addiction or they are ready to get treatment for their drug addiction, contact us today, here at Desert Rose.

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