Menu Close

4 Ways to Support a Parent in Recovery

Seeing a parent struggle with addiction can be a difficult and painful experience. If your parent is currently in recovery, know that your support and love can make an impact on their journey. Having a strong support system during and after treatment can increase the chances of long-term recovery success. At Recovery Centers of America, we believe that addiction is a family disease and families play an essential role in the recovery process. Knowing how to support a parent in recovery can make a significant difference in their journey and strengthen your relationship with them. 

If you’re unsure of how to support your parent through their recovery, here are three ways you can help. 

1. Educate Yourself About Addiction 

One of the best ways to support a parent in recovery is by educating yourself about addiction. Understanding the science behind addiction and the challenges your parent may face during recovery can help you better empathize with their struggles and provide more effective support. 

Ways to educate yourself about addiction include: 

By educating yourself, you can also learn about healthy boundaries, communication strategies, and other tools that can aid your parent’s recovery journey. 

2. Offer Emotional Support 

Offering emotional support to a parent in recovery involves being a stable and compassionate presence in their life. A practical example of this could be setting aside time each week for open, judgment-free conversations where they can share their feelings, progress, and struggles. This regular check-in not only conveys your concern and love but also provides your parent with a safe space to express themselves. Remember, the aim is to listen and understand rather than to fix their problems. Sometimes, simply being there to hear them out can be incredibly reassuring and supportive.  

3. Participate in Family Therapy 

Addiction can take a toll on family relationships, and it’s not uncommon for conflicts to arise as a result. Participating in family therapy can be an effective way to heal and strengthen these relationships. In therapy, you’ll have the opportunity to work through any issues that may have arisen during your parent’s addiction and learn healthier ways to communicate and support one another. Family therapy can also provide a supportive space for both you and your parent to navigate the challenges of recovery together. 

4. Don’t Forget to Set Boundaries 

Supporting a parent in recovery does not mean sacrificing your own well-being. Addiction is a complex disease, and recovery is a journey that may have ups and downs. It’s essential to set boundaries for your own emotional health and well-being. Communicating your reasons for setting boundaries is an important part of this process—for example, if you need to take a break from regular check-ins or visits, talk about why you’re setting that boundary with your parent. Setting boundaries also includes avoiding enabling behaviors, such as giving money or making excuses for their behavior. 

Ways to set boundaries include: 

  • Communicating openly and honestly with your parent about what you are and are not comfortable with. 
  • Seeking support from a therapist or support group for guidance on setting healthy boundaries. 
  • Saying “no” when necessary and being firm in your decisions. 

For example, if your parent asks for money, you can respond with, “I love you, and I want to support your recovery. However, giving you money goes against my boundaries. Is there any other way I can help?” Remember, setting boundaries is not a sign of selfishness; it’s an act of self-care. 

Contact Recovery Centers of America Today 

If your parent is currently in treatment for addiction, know that you are not alone. Recovery Centers of America offers family support and resources to help you navigate this challenging time and become an integral part of your loved one’s recovery journey. Contact us at 1-800-RECOVERY or connect with us online to learn more about how we can support you and your family. 



Treatment Advisor
Standing By, 24/7