My child is abusing substances – am I at fault?


You’re in a confused panic.  You feel helpless.

Your child is reaching out to substances that even they know are harmful, like alcohol, drugs or cigarettes.

Aas a parent, you can sometimes wonder where you went wrong. This can seem especially confusing if you have healthy values and don’t abuse/ use these substances yourself, and you know your child knows better.

Instead of beating yourself up or berating your child, delve a bit deeper.

Does your child feel like they belong? Do they feel loved? Are they part of a team or cause where they feel they can be authentic and shine and know they are contributing?

If not, help your child to find something they love doing, involve them in a charity or cause that is dear to their heart, encourage fun, caring and engaging team sports or other activities.  Your child is trying to “fit in” to feel loved.

Calling it an act of rebellion, “finding their identity” is a way of explaining this behaviour away as a “normal teen” behaviour.  As parents, we are 100% responsible for helping our loved ones to live a life of great health and well being no matter how old they are.  And we are also responsible for guiding our children to know that they too are 100% responsible for the choices they make.  No one is at fault.

Reach out your hearts to a young soul yearning for love, belonging and a place in this world.  Just like you were yearning at that age.  Possibly in a different way and at a different level.


“A deep sense of love and belongingBelonging

is an irreducible need of all people.

We are biologically, cognitively, physically

and spiritually wired to love

and to be loved, and to belong.

When those needs are not met,

we don’t function as we were meant to.

We break. We fall apart.

We numb. We ache.

We hurt others.  We get sick.”

                                                    – Brené Brown