To the Mom of an Addict This Mother’s Day

mother of an addict

Mother’s Day can be a mixed holiday for mothers of addicts.

For many parents of addicts, holidays can be a reminder of damaged family dynamics or the struggles their children are facing. As the parent of an addict, you may be feeling alone, depressed, ashamed, or like you’ve let your child down. Our drug and alcohol treatment team is here to support addicts and their families along the road of recovery. This Mother’s Day, we’re sharing support and insight for mothers of addicts and alcoholics.

For the Mom of an Addict – Forgiving Yourself

As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want them to grow into adults who will live happy, productive, and fulfilled lives. But the disease of addiction does not allow for this, and it does not discriminate. Sons and daughters of all ages, educational levels, parenting styles, and demographics face the difficulties of addiction.

As the parent of an addict, you’re likely blaming yourself for what your child is struggling with. But we need to remember that addiction is a disease. As the American Society of Addiction Medicine puts it, “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” [1] When these systems aren’t working properly, a child will seek drugs or alcohol, no matter the cost.

While you may have done everything in your power to help your child avoid the perils of addiction, the disease found them anyway. Mothers of addicts need to remind themselves that though they’ve done everything they can, their child has still made the choices that put them in this situation. If you have a grown daughter or son, you need to realize that you cannot control their behavior, and if they continue to make bad decisions, this is not your failing anymore. It is a grown adult’s decision. [2] You must forgive yourself and recognize what you have done within your power to help your child throughout their life.

Helping vs Enabling an Addict

Mothers want to do everything in their power to keep their daughters and sons from suffering. This can often mean bailing your daughter out of jail, paying her medical bills, or giving her money so she doesn’t wind up on the streets. While you mean well, some behaviors are actually enabling the addiction to continue.

Many mothers exhibit enabling behaviors that they don’t even recognize. Rather than enabling your child’s addiction, help them get healthy by connecting them with options for residential addiction treatment in Tampa.

For more support and guidance on healing from your child’s addiction, call 888-280-4763.


  1. American Society of Addiction Medicine – Definition of Addiction
  2. Psychology Today – 7 Tips for Mothers of Adult Addicts

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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.