Did you know that National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives? In its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million American adults, aged 12 and older, battled a substance use disorder in 2017.  Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.  Teenagers and people with mental health disorders can be more at risk for drug use and addiction than other populations.  Although drug use among teenagers seems to be declining, a recent study found that 4.3% of high schoolers had used drugs in the month before being surveyed.

Nothing can hurt a parent’s heart more than watching his or her own child suffer.  Families of children with addiction can struggle with balancing helping and enabling.  They are often left wondering if there may be a better way to financially support the child with addiction to seek recovery without giving him the means to sink deeper into the addition.

It may be tempting to disinherit a child with addition and dish out some “tough love.” Some states, however, may not allow such complete dissociation to an heir.  It can also be dangerous to leave the child vulnerable and prone to relapse.

An “Addiction Trust” can provide for the child’s basic needs without the risk of enabling the addiction.  Depending on your motive and ultimate goal, it can provide incentives to encourage recovery and control distribution of income to discourage further addition.  It could be done by predetermined conditions or a trusted trustee. 

To save a child from becoming another drug victim, parents should feel free to contact our office for more help. We can discuss different estate planning options that can allow you to provide support for your child struggling with addiction while minimizing the risk of enabling the addiction.