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Helping a Family Member Beat Addiction

>> Aug 11, 2018

Addiction is a family disease. One person may be the active user, but the entire family is affected. Just like if your family member was suffering from cancer, you have the desire to help them beat the disease. Helping a family member beat addiction can be a bit more complicated because they may not be ready to get help. Rather than kidnapping them to go to treatment, there are many indirect ways that you can help a family member beat addiction.

Do Not Enable

Many family members actually delay their addicted family member’s recovery by enabling them. Any form of helping that prevents the addict from experiencing the natural consequences of their addiction is enabling. Common examples of enabling are providing a place to live, paying bills, giving money, giving rides, and buying food. Enabling is termed as “lowering the bottom.” While you may be worried about your family member’s well-being, they have to face the natural consequences of their addiction in order to be motivated to receive help. Most people do not have the resources to be an addict themselves; someone is typically helping them.

Attend A Support Group for Yourself

Attending a support group for yourself is imperative. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are the most common support groups for addiction. They use the 12 Steps from Alcoholic’s and Narcotic’s Anonymous and make them applicable for your healing as a loved one of an addict. Many people become addicted to the addict, which is an addiction called co-dependency. SMART Recovery Friends and Family takes a therapeutic approach for treating co-dependency. Support groups will help tremendously because you will receive support from those who can empathize and you will learn tools that you can bring into all relationships.

Educate Yourself on the Disease

Addiction is a disease, not a flaw of character. Many families are ambivalent about being open about their family members addiction because they fear that they will be stigmatized. However, addiction should not be stigmatized, and staying silent will only reinforce the stigma and ignorance. Educating yourself on the disease will prevent shame and havoc from trying to force solutions that will not work.

Attend Family Sessions

If your family member enters rehab, family sessions will be hosted to help you heal as a family. Attending family sessions will show your loved one that you support their recovery and are willing to understand their disease. Boynton Beach rehab centers understand the importance of family healing for successful recovery.

Be Supportive and Patient

Dealing with addiction and new recovery requires a great deal of support and patience. Educating yourself will help the support and patience come more easily. Just as addiction did not strike overnight, recovery will not strike overnight. Though you may tempted to be angry, worried, and protective, you will need to allow your addicted family member to slowly progress through the process. Anger and worry will only drive your family member away and discourage. Love and support will make them more likely to get better and maintain a relationship with you.

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