Addiction and the Family: 5 Ways to Help a Struggling Loved One

The disruptive connection between addiction and the family is undeniable. When one family member struggles, everyone suffers. Here are five things you can do to help your loved one recover so your family can start to heal.

5 ways to help a struggling loved one

It can feel impossible to intervene in the life of a loved one going through addiction. This person is going through their own struggle, making their own decisions, and possibly ignoring your advice.

While it can be difficult to have any effect on their decisions, there are actually things you can do that will benefit them. No matter what state a person is in right now, keep in mind the person they really are– the person they were before.

The relationship between addiction and the family is complicated, but following these 5 tips may help you to change things around.

The path to recovery can seem long and endless, but there is little a family can do to change that fact. It’s a long haul, and it’s our responsibility to help those in our lives who can’t help themselves at the moment. These tips should help in your efforts to make the change a little smoother.

1. Find Them the Resources They Need

You may be in the first stages of approaching the addiction. The person in your life may be hesitant, or even resistant to the idea of going through any rehabilitation. That being said, you need to have a decent understanding of what the resources are and how to utilize them.

Christian rehab has great facilities in most cases.

There is usually a number of resources for rehabilitation within your community, and there are certainly places in nearby cities. Get an understanding of the different areas within your community that could be of help. Understand their procedures, their timelines, their requirements, and how people have generally responded to these places in the past.

It may also be beneficial to look into different therapists and counseling services in your area.

The real issue may lie deeper than the drug, and a lot of good could potentially be done by going through regular counseling.

In the same vein, many cities have a lot of counseling services that extend into inpatient and outpatient programs. Inpatient programs require that a person stays in the facility for a predetermined amount of time. These are places for a person to relax, detox, gain the skills needed to combat their addiction upon release, and take positive steps in a closed environment.

Outpatient programs are less intensive but effective for people who can’t take a few days to stay at an inpatient facility. These programs have occupational therapy, group sessions, personalized care, and discussion of medication.

2. Understand the Addiction

It is extremely common for a family to misunderstand a person’s addiction. The disappointment and guilt cast by family members can be one of the most disheartening elements in the whole equation.

Understanding a person’s addiction on any level improves the relationship that you will have with that person. On an emotional level, you might become less affected by personal jabs and reactions, seeing them more as a side effect of withdrawals or cravings.

This will help you to empathize, recognizing patterns and actions as results of the person’s addiction and not their lack of willpower to change. Additionally, you will have a better understanding of how difficult it is to change and be released from the throes of addiction.

Putting in the time and effort necessary to understand this person’s addiction will show that you genuinely care, and are not simply waiting around for them to change for themselves. Even if these efforts aren’t recognized immediately when the person recovers they will be eternally grateful for your dedication to getting them help.

In order to understand the addiction, you should research the drug, the experience, and the usual process of recovery. A lot of this information can be found online, in books, or in conversation with someone who knows a lot of the subject matter. Your best option may be to engage in some counseling or talk therapy.

A therapist can help you to deal personally with the trauma of addiction, as well as turn you on to resources that will inform you.

3. Go to Family Therapy

A family develops as a unit with each individual feeding and growing off all of the others in the group. Over time, this turns into a cohesive unit that needs each member in order to function properly. It follows that when one member of the family falls to addiction, the other members can be very distraught and troubled by the experience.

The problem is that many people don’t know how to express those feelings, and the trouble turns into arguments and screaming matches. The logic is that you can pound the right actions into someone’s head by screaming at them, and this just doesn’t work.

It can be extremely helpful to seek professional help if this is the case within your family. You can’t expect everyone to want to come immediately, especially the person suffering from addiction. If they do come, that’s great, but don’t expect everyone to be on board right away.

Many people see counseling and therapy as something to be avoided, thinking that it makes them crazy or flawed in some way. Those who have actually been to therapy know that this is entirely wrong. Therapy is a way for any person to talk and work out internal issues in order to become a better person.

This process works exceptionally well when you are able to talk with loved ones in the presence of a licensed professional. Not only will the counselor be able to help with the problem of addiction, but they will be able to help everyone in the family’s ability to cope with the entire process.

4. Don’t Enable Them

In many cases, addictions develop within a system of support and enabling. This means that there are other people in the person’s life that allow him or her to find and use drugs. Whether this means having a place for the person to be while they are high, or going out and finding drugs for them, or simply avoiding conflict and not talking about the issue, make sure you are strict with them.

You should not be supporting this person’s habit in any of those ways. It may seem like a better option to have someone stoned in the safety of your home, but the reality is that this is only fueling the problem. If a person needs a reliable place to use their object of addiction, they have reached the point of needing professional help and should be treated.

There are millions of excuses that we all make to avoid the tough questions and answers in life.

Remember that you are the sober one, and your head is not diluted by the use of addictive drugs. You need to make the decision to do what’s best for the ones in your life who are struggling.

5. Be Kind to Yourself

It can be a full-time job to look after someone who is struggling with addiction. Many people become drained, resentful, and unhealthy while they are setting aside their needs for someone else’s. While being that helpful is admirable, you can only do it for so long before you are too weak to be helpful.

Make sure that you aren’t doing all of the legwork on your own. There are surely other people in your life that would be willing to share the load of lifting your loved one out of addiction, and this is the time for them to step in for you. Take a step back every once in a while and recoup.

Self-care is essential for everyone, but especially for those who are under a large load of chronic stress. The stress will create real, physiological effects on your body and mind. You will become ineffective as a support system, and you will eventually start to experience changes in mood and attitude if you don’t take care of yourself.

Do your best to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and engage in a spiritual practice. Doing these things regularly is the basis of a healthy lifestyle, but all of them can be easily skipped or avoided in order to focus on more important things.

Skipping every now and then is understandable, but when it becomes a regular thing, your health will start to come into jeopardy. Additionally, try to have some fun once in a while!

Remember the good times that you and your family had before the addiction and try to recreate some of those memories.

There are ways for you to be happy, enjoy yourself, and enjoy the company of your family again.

Looking to Improve Your Life in Other Ways?

The relationship between addiction and the family can be difficult to navigate. it can certainly be a lot easier when the other areas of your life are properly handled. The great thing about the modern age is that there are endless tips and tricks to improving yourself and your life.

If you’re in need of a little life inspiration, we have all the information you need.

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