In the United States, the drug epidemic spans across generations, races, ethnicities, and economic statuses. It’s a problem that not only impacts the lives of the addicted but impacts their family and friends as well.
Nearly half of all adults in America are suspected to have a family member or close friend currently battling a drug or alcohol addiction. And while these loved ones may not be hooked on a substance themselves, they still face the hardship of seeing a mother, brother, or best friend succumb to disease.
Family and friends are often confused about how to deal with a loved one with an addiction. They want to help the one they hold near and dear but aren’t sure how to do that in a way that’s safe for all of those involved.
If you find yourself caring for a close relative or friend with an addiction, keep reading and we’ll give you some important tips for family members of addicts.
Education is Key
The first step in helping your loved ones if they are addicted to drugs is educating yourself on what addiction really is and what’s it’s not.
Addiction is a chronic disease that tricks a person’s mind into believing harmful behavior is actually satisfying to the biology and psychology faculties of the body. Addiction is not the result of a weak mind and reckless choices.
It’s also important for family members of addicts to understand that many people with drug or substance abuse issues have some deep-rooted personal triggers they try to numb with mind-altering chemicals. These triggers must be dealt with carefully if a person is going to successfully overcome an addiction.
Love is not Enabling
Oddly enough, it’s quite common for family members of addicts to enable their loved ones. Family members will do things from loaning money, to making excuses for loved ones, to bailing loved ones out unsavory situations. These are all not helpful behaviors.
In addition, it’s not helpful to deny a loved one has an addiction if all the signs of addiction are present. Denial will just convince a loved one not to get the help he or she needs.
You’re Important Too
While you may not be able to control your loved one in the addiction, you can control how you respond to that person while he or she is abusing substances.
It’s up to you not to join your loved one and start abusing substances. It’s up to you not to become stressed out to the point you manifest physical symptoms. And it’s up to you to seek out support groups for family members of addicts where others can relate to how you’re feeling and help you through this journey.
Final Notes for Family Members of Addicts
Remember that beyond the addiction and disheartening actions of your parent, sibling, or even cousin, love is still present. You still love the addicts, and they still love you. And they need you to love them enough to support them in getting the help they need.
Should you have further questions about how you should handle a loved one with an addiction, or you are interested in getting a loved one into a highly qualified rehab center in Florida, make sure you contact us.