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Being A Parent In Recovery

Being a Parent in Recovery

Alcoholism and drug abuse have been called “equal opportunity destroyers.” They destroy everybody the touch, without discriminating. But what the touch most powerfully is the family in general and parents specifically.
Parents who facilitate or enable their children’s choice to engage in substance use have been called “codependents” by the empress of codependency treatment, Melody Beattie, and “coaddicts” by one of our associates, the same one that filled in for one of Melody’s keynote addresses circa 1986.
They both professed essentially the same stuff, such as essentially all addicts are coaddicts and coaddicts are behavioral addicts with the high risk for cross addiction. And active coaddicts need to stop loving their children to death, while recovering coaddicts/addicts make up the bulk of the counselors that have been honored to treat you. Recovery coaddicts/addicts love you to longevity.
Regardless, a conceptually important question remained: We understand how dopaminergic “feel-good” drugs forces and compels chained-drug addicts to keep coming back. What we don’t understand about behavioral addictions such as coaddiction is what compels chained-coaddicts to keep trying to lovingly fix and heal their adult-childrens’ drug addiction?
That is the key question that most family programs have never thought about, asked or answered.
Let’s do this together.
There are three fundamental types of love:

  1. Thanatos
  2. Non-erotic love
  3. Erotic love

They each can be wholesome, self-fulfilling, contagious, satisfying, functional, and associated with electrochemical surges in predominantly proton or positively-charged or alkaline metabolism, along with endogenous opioid-related-dopamine. Huh? The amazing feeling associated with helping or fixing drug addicted people’s pain and suffering is associated with a surge of opioid-driven-dopamine (ODD) within a positively charged (the “+” side of a D/C or direct current battery that neutralizes the free radical negatively charged electrons associated with hate) reward center (ODD). The promise of another hit of ODD+ reward is what joyfully wakes our staff up in the morning and gets them to work.
Coaddict-parental non-erotic love is an ODD+ addiction and that keeps them compulsively coming back for more to help buffer their adult-children’s pain and suffering.
Once coaddicted parents savor the stunning totality of their failure, the unjustified horror of guilt and shame (coaddiction or ODD+ withdrawal) rushes in like a rough 100 ft wave and leaves them stressed to say the least. This particular variety of stress is instantly associated with dopamine depletion (DD) and body fluids with more electrons or free-radicals shooting-up your mind/brain cells to death, which leans towards a negatively charged or acidic reward center (DD-) according to the laws of reduction-oxidation or redox biophysics.
Huh? DD- driven feelings of guilt and shame prompt many parents to give-in to adult-children requests for, for example, money for a car so they can get a job. The untreated coaddicted parent frequently forks over the money in hopes of regaining that ODD+ rush.

Can thanatos highs increase the risk of behavioral addictions, such as religion abuse?

Thanatos is the ODD+ associated love of God, higher power, the Universe, or collective wisdom within self-help rooms. ODD+ thanatos is the high recovering drug and alcoholics, and parental coaddicts strive for. Recovery without thanatos is drug or coaddict dopamine-depletion, without a non-addictive dopaminergic replacement.
Can thanatos lead to a behavioral addiction? Most definitely. We have learn from Father Leo Booth decades ago, how religion abuse can control or manipulate otherwise wholesome thanatos seekers into religion addicts.

What about Eros?

Dysfunctional erotic sex and love addicts find recovery in the rooms and programs that incorporate the traditions and steps associated with Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Like drug addicts, thanatos addicts and coaddicts, sex and love addicts endure the dysfunctional alternating electrochemical currents that are ODD+/DD-.
Know that intimacy-relationship conflicts are one of the most frequent triggers to drug and alcohol relapse.

Parental Connection

Parent-child love is a majestic and amazing interface. Regardless of whether your dad is XY or XX, you’re biological dad or not, your connection to your dad can shape your future relationships in many different ways, especially when you are XX, gonadally female. Similarly mothers tend to have and extra special relationship with the XY sons.
Of course the secrets housed within the hearts of parents often go unexpressed for eternity. In general, the love parents have for their children, and pet owners for their pets, is often beyond unconditional.
Regardless, most parents no very little about drug and alcohol prevention and treatment. A license is needed to drive a vehicle. Child rearing requires absolutely no training, permit of license.
A good example of why many parents can benefit from their own codependency treatment program can be heard roundabout the time airplanes take-off. The flight attend indicates that oxygen masks will drop if the cabin pressure decreases. The flight attendant proceeds to advise: If you are traveling with a child, place the face mask on yourself before putting your child’s on.
Good codependent parents often cringe at this idea because they typically think of their child’s needs before their own.
In codependent recovery meetings and programs, parents learn how trying to get their child’s “oxygen mask” on, before putting their own “oxygen mask” on is more likely to result in two deaths, instead of none.
This is the plight of paternal codependence treatment: Run it by your coaddiction counselor or group before you make any decisions or do anything regarding your adult-child’s recovery and your own coaddiction recovery. Otherwise two people are likely to suffer and never recover, where both could have.
Regardless, the adult-child is responsible for their own recovery and parents are responsible for their own recovery.
So let’s look at how paternal codependency evolves. Why and how parental codependency presents, and how codependency often responds to recovery-sensitive cognitive and behavioral therapy (RS-CBT).
Let’s begin with one of their most dysfunctional attributes, not understanding parental poisons, voluntary parataxic distortion and forced parataxic distortion.

Voluntary Parataxic Distortion and Parental Codependency

Shortly after the Vikings arrived to the New World and just before there was power point, there were these things called slide projectors. They were pretty much pains in the glutei. One reason was that sometimes two slide images would drop into the projection chamber. The audience would see one picture superimposed upon a different photo, leaving the audience and professor conceptually schizophrenogenic.
Parents often build their own armory of parenting skills using parataxic distortion. When their mind “envisions” how they are going to raise their own child, parents often mindfully superimpose “visions” of the satisfying, not necessarily survival oriented, parental skills their mother used on them. Newbie parents also often superimpose their liked “mind-images” regarding dad’s, their grandparents, siblings, friends and associates parenting skills onto their own way of raising their own child.
This method of not consulting with drug and alcohol dependence experts often is the perfect breeding ground for poor coping skills and poor decision making skills which often launch and propel substance dependence.

Forced Parataxic Distortion and Parental Codependency

Once upon a time, Coca Cola elixir contained cocaine. Yup, cocaine.
It soon was sold over-the-counter as a soda or beverage.
Then they were forced to remove the cocaine but were permitted to continue using their proprietary cocaine leave extract to deliver Coke’s signature flavor. The possibly triple dopamine enhancing beverage went from cocaine and sugar, to caffeine and sugar.
Didn’t you say “triple”? Yes, we haven’t seen any studies determining whether or not coca leave extract was self-administer more rapidly than food void of coca leave extract. Nope, looks like nobody called Purina Laboratory Animal Cow division and asked them to make control, coca extract with sugar, and coca extract without sugar containing rat chows.
Perhaps Coca Cola was one of the first food companies to realize that dopamine enhancing or addictive foods sell better than non-addictive foods.
Regardless, sales evidently were not brisk enough so they devised a way to force parataxic distortion onto drive-in movie goers.


This marketing special-op requires some film industry background:
Truly amazing Thomas Edision took still shot photos as people walked in slow motion. He spliced together the transparent photos and ran the film through his newly discovered motion picture projector. Without a sound, Charlie Chaplin hysterically (very very ODD+) drew crowds to see Charlie bust Hitler’s and Edgar J Hoover’s gonads. Just like today, First Amendment protected whistleblower like Charlie Chaplin did not go unpunished. By the time Charlie Chaplin was making talkies, motion pictures with sound, he was forced to leave the United States. Indeed, no good deed will go unpunished.
So, what did motion pictures have to do with Coke’s sales surging special-op and forced parataxical distortion.
Coke (think parent analog) forced its ideal onto consumers against their will by encrypting their message with in media, just like pundits of all persuasions are doing today.
What? Coke took a picture of Coca Cola on ice in a frosty glass and spliced it into the movie. None of the “viewers” could isolate and see the encrypted message. Evidently, their mind’s eye saw it, because the majority of people would go to the refreshment stand and grab an ice cold Coke.
Similarly, parents “pick” a religion or repel religion based on their parents’ encrypted biases.
Parents “pick” a political party or repel a political party or are a-partisan, based on their parents’ encrypted biases.
These parents in-turn knowingly and unknowingly program their children regarding their own psychosocial biases.


Regardless, parataxic distortion does not usually prevent substance dependence, it often cultivates it.
This is absolutely not to say that an adult-child’s addiction is the result of the corresponding parents’ ignorance.
It is to say that each adult-child substance dependent person needs to take responsibility for their own choices, actions, and recovery.
It is also to say that each parent of substance dependent people needs to take responsibility for their own choices, actions, and recovery.
That’s why addiction is a family affair. Your adult-child’s dependence influences and is influenced by their family, and it will influence your grandchildren and their families.

Reach Out

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse problem, please reach out to our addiction specialists for guidance and support, at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.

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