Being there for your family member can make the difference between them getting sober or continuing a life of addiction. You can help them by providing support, educating yourself, and being patient.
How to Help a Family Member Dealing with Addiction
When a loved one is going through an addiction, it can be very hard to know what techniques will work and what will only make the addiction worse. Many families would prefer to deny or ignore that their loved one is dealing with an addiction but the truth is that the only way to help is to act at the first signs of as addiction.
There are several ways an individual can help a family member dealing with addiction.
Learn About Addiction
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of addiction to better understand the suffering that the loved one is enduring. When a family member takes the first step in learning about what the individual is going through, it can make it easier for them to reach out to him/her.
The earlier the addiction is treated, the easier their road to recovery will be and if the family member takes the time to read about the symptoms and signs of addiction, the early signs can be noticed faster.
The learning experience will also bring clarity and understanding, which will help to open the communication between the addict and their family members.
Offer Familial Support
A family member can express their concerns and love for the individual when they notice the signs of an addiction. It is vital to remember to remain calm and not to let tempers flare when expressing these concerns to avoid any hurt feelings, broken communication, and in some cases, rebellion against the loved one.
The most important part of this is to express your support and offer help, including a willingness to aid in their recovery by seeking professional help. It is worth noting that the family member may be met with denial, excuses, or anger, which can open an opportunity for the family member to point out specific examples of the source for concern.
Family support is an important part of recovery for the addict. According to the SAMHSA, the family members can become the champions of their loved one’s recovery and can provide essential support while experiencing the positive moments for healing.
They can help the individual though their difficult challenges with their support and feel the achievements their loved ones accomplish alongside them.
Recovery Takes Time
Remember that it took time for the loved one to become addicted to the substance and it will take at least as much time for them to recover. An individual cannot simply quit because a family member tells them to or gives ultimatums.
The only way an addict can recover is with treatment, support, and counseling to learn new coping skills that will be needed to overcome their addiction. It is not because he/she does not love their family, but becoming free of their addiction is not something they can do on their own.
While the individual is in recovery, it is important that the family members remain involved to support the ongoing process. By providing support for their recovery, the addict is encouraged to go to their meetings, ongoing care, and support groups with their family by their side.
Not only will this help the individual, but it will also help the family to open communication between parties and give a more full understanding for either side of the situation.
There are several ways a family member can help when dealing with addiction. It is important that the family learn all they can in order to fully understand what their loved ones are going through, offer support, and remember that recovery can take just as much time as it took the addiction to set in.
According to the NCBI, family plays a central role in the treatment of addiction with family therapy to improve its effectiveness on the recovery of the addict.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction and needs help, call (800) 407-7195 to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.