Addicted Family Member

A Guide to Dealing With an Addicted Family Member

Watching a family member suffer from addiction is one of the most difficult experiences. When you realize they have a problem, and you’re struggling to help them overcome it, you may feel like giving up. Although it’s not easy to help an addicted family member, don’t become discouraged.

The process might be a long one filled with many challenges throughout it, but if you know the right steps to take and the best methods of helping them, then you’ll soon find hope. Not everyone knows how to help addiction victims, however. If you don’t have previous experience dealing with substance abuse, then you may not know how to handle the situation.

Are you not sure how to help your loved one overcome their addiction?

In the guide below, there are several ways you can begin to help a family member with substance abuse. Continue reading to find out more!

Educated Yourself on the Topic

The first step to helping your loved one is understanding what they’re going through. If you’ve never battled with addiction before, then it’s not unusual to not fully understand it. The best thing you can do is try to educate yourself on the topic as much as possible.

Do some online research to learn more about the type of drug your loved one struggles with. Then, make sure to do research on addiction in general and addiction to the drug of their choice as well. Aside from doing your own online research, you can also speak with your loved one’s counselors for more information about addiction and different ways you can help.

When you’re educated on the subject, you’ll have a better understanding of how your loved one is feeling and how addiction is related to mental illness.

Learn Communication Strategies

Learning different communication strategies is also helpful. As soon as you begin to suspect there’s an addiction problem, you should have a conversation with your loved one. You don’t, however, want to approach your loved one in a confrontational manner.

There are better ways to communicate with your loved one to prevent them from feeling defensive. Come to them with an empathetic mindset. Stay calm when speaking with them, even if they’re not.

Enter the conversation with a solution. If you suspect or know they have a problem, then how can you help? In what ways can they begin to overcome their addiction?

Suggest different rehab centers and explain to them that you’ll be by their side throughout the entire process. Start comparing rehab programs with them to find the best center for their needs. Let them know you’re there to help.

Offer to drive them to and from their therapy sessions, and other important meetings.

Prevent Enabling and Set Boundaries

If you allow your loved one to remain addicted without giving them consequences of some kind, then this could be enabling them. It’s essential you prevent enabling and set boundaries. Sometimes, those trying to help their loved ones only enable their behavior and therefore prolong their addiction.

Are you not sure if you’ve been enabling your loved one? Not every situation is the same, but some signs of enabling are lending them money each time they ask, bailing them out of jail multiple times, allowing them to have drugs in your home, and lying for them.

Not only do you need to stop enabling them, but you need to be firm on what you’ll no longer accept from them either. Know what you’re no longer accepting, be clear about it with them, and then be firm on it. For example, no longer giving them money or bailing them out of jail are two boundaries you can set.

Explore Treatment Options With Them

There will be a few different treatment options available for them. You might want to consider finding a treatment center with a focus on the type of addiction they’re suffering from. You’ll most likely find some places located out of state, which could be ideal for several reasons.

Removing them from the environment which caused them to become addicted could be beneficial. Take your time, explore all your options, and then choose a center where you believe they’ll thrive the most.

Help Them Follow the Treatment Plan

Once they begin to seek help, they’ll most likely be given a treatment plan. The treatment plan might include different medications to help them fight the addiction. It might also involve attending therapy once a week and other necessities.

No matter what’s listed on their treatment plan, be sure to help them follow the plan thoroughly. If they’re having trouble remembering when to take their medications, help remind them. If they need a ride to the pharmacy or to their meetings, offer them a ride.

Be there to ensure they stick to the plan no matter what the circumstances are.

Know the Signs of Relapse

You should also be aware of the signs of relapse. Knowing what some signs of relapse are can help you identify a relapse in its early stages and hopefully get them to help quickly. It’s important to note that relapses are expected.

If your loved one does begin to relapse, then don’t give up hope. Understand it’s normal and remain supportive. Seek out professional advice from their counselor to then take the next appropriate steps.

You Can Help Your Addicted Family Member

Watching a family member suffer from addiction is a painful experience to go through. When you begin to feel helpless, know there’s always hope. Follow the steps listed above to give your loved one the help they need.

Knowing how to help an addicted family member is beneficial for not only your loved one but for you as well.

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