3 Things You Should Do If a Family Member is Addicted

Having a loved one struggle with addiction is a situation nobody would ever want to face. But, sadly, it is something thousands of people have to deal with every day. Studies show that 1 in every 7 americans will face substance addiction att one point or another in their lives. And it’s not only them who suffer, but their family members and loved one as well.

I was a drug addict and alcoholic for many years. It started when I was a teenager, and remembering how my addiction hurt my parents, my siblings, and my friends breaks my heart. I have been sober for almost ten years now, and during my recovery I could ask all of them for forgiveness, and I was able to forgive myself too. My parents were actually my biggest source of support throughout this whole process, and for that I’m forever thankful. During my journey I have learned a lot about addiction and I know how difficult it can be for the loved ones of an addict. Today, I would like to share with you 3 things you should do when a family member is addicted.

Educate Yourself

Knowing the signs and symptoms of drug abuse is the only way to acknowledge that a loved one has a problem. Different drugs cause different effects on the body. For example, mixing drugs and alcohol can cause several diseases, from liver malfunction to different types of cancer. However, when these symptoms start manifesting themselves it might already be too late. Besides, addicts tend to get really good at lying to hide their addiction, so the signs of this condition can be easy to overlook if you are not well informed about them. So, if you think that a family member might be struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to do some research on addiction and how to recognize its signs.

Also, if you’re thinking of talking to your loved one about getting treatment, you need to be well informed about what types of treatments there are at Olympia addiction treatment center and which may be the best option for him or her. You should do some research on how treatment programs differ, what they specialize in, how much they cost, and what your loved one’s insurance plan will cover. Having all this information can give you confidence when talking to your family member, and it can make them feel less overwhelmed as well.

Take Care of Yourself

I know how painful it is to deal with a loved one’s addiction, specially if that love one is a son or a daughter. I know that the only thing you want to do is help them in some way and take care of them. But you can’t help an addict if you’re not mentally and physically well. During this difficult time it is important to keep in mind that you have needs too, and you should tend to yourself now more than ever. Do things that bring you joy, such as playing an instrument, dancing, doing crafts of playing a sport. Remember to rest and eat healthy. Treat yourself to a self-care day every once in a while, which may include watching your favorite movies, going out for your favorite dinner, taking a relaxing bubble bath, etc. It’s the little things that really make the difference in your well being.

In this order of ideas, a good idea is to build a support system. Find friends or family members you can talk to about what you’re going through and who can help you when it’s all too much for you to handle. Going to therapy can be a good resource, and joining a support group can help you as well.

Attend Family Therapy Sessions

One of the most valuable spaces during rehab was family therapy. It was a space in which my family members and I were able to talk openly about our feelings and thoughts, mediated by a therapist who helped us express ourselves in the best way. Addiction generates a whirlwind of emotions which are often left unexpressed. In the long-run, this only causes more harm. Silence creates distance when all you need as a family during this time is closeness.

Finally being able to open up with my parents and listening to them was a very important step in my path towards sobriety. And the amazing relationship I have with both of them right now is all thanks to the bonds we created during those therapy sessions.

Addiction is very difficult both for the addict and his or her family. However, there are ways you can help your loved one and overcome this situation together. These are some tips you can implement that can help both you and your family member through this difficult time. As dark as it may seem right now, trust me, you will both get through this.

Do you know any other tips on how to help a family member who’s addicted? If you’d like to share your experience, please leave a comment below.

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