As a family member of someone struggling with addiction, it may seem as if you don’t know how to help your loved one. There are ways you can help, however, and other things that you should avoid.
How Families of Addicts Can Help Their Loved One
When your child, spouse, or other family member is suffering from addiction, things get very confusing and sometimes, the pain and fears become too much to bear. It all seems like it would be so easy to just ignore it, give up, and hope it goes away. Yet, most families go on for years of suffering needlessly and jumping the hurdles to make sure the addict is ok long before they take care of themselves. This is not helping the addict to be sure. Instead, it’s a form of enabling that allows them to continue spiraling down the path of destruction. For help finding treatment call (800) 407-7195 toll free anytime.
So what can families of addicts do to help their loved one? The following, are some suggestions:
Offer to Help
The first “rule of thumb”, per se, is to get the addict into treatment, but, this is most often easier said than done. Talk to the person about your concerns, offer to help and support them throughout their recovery. Be honest, but, don’t try to blame or shame them, try to be a martyr, preach, bribe, or lecture lest you push them away and give them a perceived excuse to use. Don’t try to argue with them while they are using, this will get you nowhere, but, like any other chronic disease, the earlier treatment is obtained the quicker your family can be restored.
Get Others Involved
Families of addicts can help locate addiction treatment facilities and do the research necessary to pave the way, but, should get others involved including extended family members, friends, pastors, counselors, doctors, etc. Addicts can get used to the frequent turmoil they cause in the family home, put up a front, and avoid making treatment decisions, but, once others are involved, it gets harder to avoid treatment necessity. Call (800) 407-7195 toll free to find treatment anytime.
Take Care of Yourself and Your Family
Neglect, distrust, abuse, anxiety, worries, shame, denial, depression, isolation, and guilt are just a few of the problems families of addicts have to deal with. Consider going to a Nar-Anon or AL-Anon family group meeting to get with people who know a little bit about addiction and obtain valuable resource information. These mutual aid groups are non-judgmental, free, and highly advocated for their honesty, knowledge, and concern for the recovery of others with addicted loved ones.
Trying to hide a family member’s addiction, cover for their mistakes, or make excuses will get families of addict’s nowhere and doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Stop giving the addict money, rides, or any other resources that they can use while maintaining their habit.
Learn all you can about addiction and the consequential aspects including the common behaviors so you can be prepared, protect yourself and other family members, and know what resources are out there for help.