Though addictions undoubtedly have a significant impact on the individual suffering, they also affect the entire family. For many families, navigating addictions and the challenges they bring can be overwhelming. Here are 5 Tips for Families of Addicted Loved Ones.
With little understanding surrounding addictions, families often find themselves unsure of what to do, say, or think. For this very reason, it is entirely normal for different emotions, such as sadness, frustration, fear, and possibly even anger, to emerge.
But don’t panic. Instead, trust that you will get through this one step at a time.
If a loved one is struggling with an addiction and you are unsure of what to do, use the five tips listed below for families of addicted loved ones.
1. Educate Yourself
If you have never met someone with an addiction before, everything you imagined about them may not always add up to the reality you face. In this instance, it is helpful to educate yourself and learn more about substance abuse disorder (SUD), how people become addicted, and its effect on the body. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to begin to understand what your loved one is going through.
Researching suitable treatment facilities, treatment programs, and addiction support groups will also be helpful. This will also show your loved ones that you care about them and are dedicated to helping them overcome their struggles.
If you are looking for further information, the National Institute on Drug Abuse may be a good place to start.
2. Reach Out to Other Families
Although educating yourself and learning more about addictions is beneficial, it could be valuable, not to mention comforting, to speak to other families who know what you and your family are going through.
Addiction can be daunting and isolating, but you don’t have to tackle it alone. Find people who understand your worries and who you can turn to without judgment. Speaking to families of recovered substance abuse sufferers can bring the hope you need to push onwards and keep going.
A good way to find other families facing addiction is through support groups. There are many support groups out there for families of addiction sufferers. For example, Al-Anon offers “help and hope for families and friends of alcoholics”.
3. Attend Family Therapy
When a family member suffers from an addiction, it impacts the whole family. Even the most understanding and loving families will find themselves shaken by this challenging time. It won’t always be smooth sailing, and there will be testing times that you need to overcome.
Though many families attempt to deal alone, family therapy is a suitable way to smooth out any creases on the journey to recovery. Family therapy provides a safe space in which an open dialog is advocated. Here, many families can talk honestly about what has happened and how they can move forward. It is not about blame. Instead, family therapy can help heal any wounds opened by the effects of addiction.
4. Consider Private Therapy
In addition to obtaining family therapy, securing private one-to-one therapy is recommended. Although you may not have considered attending one-to-one therapy, doing so will provide you with a safe and confidential environment to talk about anything that is on your mind.
Not only will this offer you an outlet to process what is happening, but it will enhance your own well-being and enable you to reduce some of the pressure and stress you may be feeling as you help a loved one through recovery.
5. Turn Anger Into Advocacy
Although many families have a family member who suffers from an addiction, your story will be unique to you. You will have gone through something that you wouldn’t wish on anyone, and only you will have your specific insight and experience.
But you can use this knowledge and passion to help others. You can be the family that other families facing addiction turn to for help and hope. You can advocate for those with addiction, and you can tell them that they too will get through this, one step at a time.
If you are a loved one are suffering from addiction, contact us at Cirque Lodge for more information.