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Unfortunately, the terrible consequences of an untreated drug or alcohol addiction don’t affect the addict alone. In many cases, the addict’s family suffers just as much, if not more. If your family member is struggling with a substance abuse issue, you may feel like there’s no hope of ever getting back the person you care about so deeply. Luckily, that is not the case. The right rehab can help your loved one transform into a person who loves themselves and leads a life of passion and purpose.
Help is out there
Reach out to a dedicated treatment provider and learn how you can create the life you want.
Does My Family Member Need Help?
If your family member’s drug or alcohol use is impacting their life in any way, they have a problem. Once a problem appears, it is critical that you treat it as quickly as possible. The earlier a substance use disorder is treated, the more likely treatment is to be successful and the less damage the addict will do to their life. Although every addiction and every addict is unique, there are some general signs of trouble to look for. Some of the most common include:
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- No longer enjoying previous pastimes
- Acting “shady,” “sketchy,” or evasive
- Seems to be having unclear money troubles
- Rapid and frequent mood changes
- Decreased academic/professional performance
- Socializing with a different crowd
- Increasing emotional instability
How Do I Convince My Family Member to Get Help?
One of the most difficult parts of helping your loved one find freedom from addiction is convincing them that they have a problem. There is a significant stigma attached to addiction, and it is very embarrassing, even shameful, for many to admit that they have a problem, especially to their family. Beyond this denial, many addicts are unaware of just how severely they are damaging their lives, or their addiction may have become so central to their life that they don’t care about anything else.
Just because helping your family member understand that they have a problem is difficult, it does not mean that it is hopeless. While some substance abusers come to the conclusion that they need help on their own, or after a private conversation with a loved one, many will require more convincing. In this case, an intervention may be necessary. Interventions involve a group of people that care about an addict (primarily friends and family) showing their loved one that they care about them but they have an addiction problem. Interventions must be handled carefully, ideally by a professional interventionist, or they may have the opposite intended impact.
If you would like information on how to hold an intervention, contact a treatment provider today.
How Do I Help My Addicted Family Member?
Family members of substance abusers often find themselves walking a fine line. On the one hand, they desperately want to be supportive and to protect their loved one. On the other hand, they do not want to enable their addiction and unintentionally make it more severe or long-lasting. Luckily, there are many ways to help a family member or friend who is either in recovery or wants to be.
Perhaps the most important thing is to educate yourself about addiction and dependence issues, in particular those that your family member is facing. You will then know the most and least helpful courses of action. You will also likely find that once you understand what your loved one is going through, you will experience less frustration or pain from their actions.
Help Them Find the Right Rehab
Most struggling with substance abuse issues find that the best way to achieve and maintain sobriety is by attending a top-rated treatment center, and addiction recovery providers universally agree. You can help your family member find a safe, effective rehab that focuses on rebuilding love and connection that will help them begin a new, sober life.
Attend Family Therapy
Many treatment centers offer family days where the loved ones of patients can come and visit them, and even participate in their treatment. This is an excellent opportunity to begin rebuilding love and connections. It is also important to attend long-term family therapy, as few methods have as great a chance of success.
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How Do I Help My Family Member Stay Sober After Rehab?
Sobriety is a lifelong commitment, and it requires a lifetime of support. Rehab is only the first step towards transforming your family member’s life. Most who are in recovery find that the support of their family is one of the most important factors in their ability and desire to maintain their sobriety. While every individual has unique needs, some of the most effective ways you can support their substance-free life include:
- Keeping your home free of addictive substances
- Setting firm boundaries and maintaining them
- Encouraging and participating in healthy habits
- Actively listening to them when they need to speak
- Maintaining reasonable expectations and avoiding disappointment
- Finding and enjoying healthy, substance-free activities
- Helping avoiding and escaping unhealthy situations and relationships
- Being patient
What Resources Are Available to Help Support Family Members?
The actions of someone dealing with substance abuse can be extremely hurtful emotionally, financially, professionally, and spiritually. This is especially true when their actions appear deliberate, or even intentional. Even when an addict isn’t actively causing you pain, just taking care of their needs can drain you to your core. Many family members find that they need help to cope. Luckily, there are many resources out there to help you get the aid you need. It is critical to remember, you have to take care of yourself, otherwise you will not have enough left in the tank to successfully support a family member in recovery.
Available resources include:
- NAMI Family Support Group
- Facility-sponsored groups
You know how bad it hurts to watch a loved one get trapped by addiction to the point where they feel like they can’t get out. Thankfully, transformation is possible. Don’t wait another second. Contact a dedicated treatment provider now!
What are you struggling with?
There are many different forms of addiction. Get the information you need to help you overcome yours.