May 5, 2015

Did I Say the Wrong Thing?

Say wrong thing - 100Pedals

You just found out your child is addicted to drugs or alcohol or both. Wow. No parent ever expects to receive news like this. Whether you discovered it yourself or someone told you, it’s always a shock.

Once you regain your balance, you immediately fire a million questions at your addicted child. You want to know why this happened, how it happened, and who did this to your child? As a parent, you want addiction to make sense. There must be a logical reason for it, right?

Wrong. Addiction is a complicated issue. It changes the brain of your child in illogical ways. Don’t expect addiction to make sense. It doesn’t.

This becomes very clear when your child attempts to answer your questions. It’s as if your child is suddenly speaking in a foreign language. It sounds like nonsense to you, and it probably is. But it makes perfect sense to your child.

When parents try to rationalize addiction they jump to the wrong conclusion by turning it into their issue. They begin to think the addiction must be their fault. They failed in some way as parents. Somehow, someway, they said the wrong thing. Or they made a mistake. I mean, addiction only happens in the families of bad parents, right?

Wrong. Your child’s addiction is not a reflection on your parenting skills. You can’t stop your child from abusing drugs or alcohol. Addiction happens in good families, as well as dysfunctional families. It’s an equal opportunity nightmare.

The best way to help your addicted child is to remove yourself from the addiction equation. This isn’t your problem. You didn’t create it, and it has nothing to do with you as a parent.

This is your child’s problem. Your child made the decision to become addicted to chemicals.
Loosen your grip and drop this addiction back into your child’s lap. That’s where it belongs.

When you release ownership of the addiction, you’re free to focus on what’s important: finding professional help for your child. Now you can move forward from a place of strength and do what needs to be done for your family.


Is your child addicted to drugs or alcohol? Is your family trapped on the emotional rollercoaster of addiction? Dave Cooke is an Addiction Coach and an internationally recognized speaker. Let him show you how to create an action plan that will move you, your family, and your addicted child back on track in a healthier direction. Contact Dave today for private coaching or book him to speak at your church, parent’s group, business organization, or neighborhood association. Go to for more information or email

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.