What often gets forgotten about when considering drug and alcohol addiction is the family members and loved ones of an addict. Most often, the biggest consideration and the most attention is put on the addict himself or herself, and not on the family members or loved ones of that addict. However, these persons often get more affected by addiction than anyone else does.
One of the biggest struggles that the family members, loved ones, friends, co-workers, and associates of an addict struggle with is simply knowing what to do about their addicted loved one. They struggle with this a lot, and not without good reason too. Being addicted to drugs and alcohol is a hard time, to say the least for anyone who is afflicted, and it is a hard time for those who have to watch it occur too.
Addiction affects family members and loved ones quite a bit and is very prevalent in this country. For example:
- Crisis after crisis on and on has presented itself in the form of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. However, nothing quite shows the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol like the sheer number of Americans who are in some way affected by it and what this means for the rest of us. By this, it is not just meant those who actually are abusing drugs and alcohol, but it is instead meant the family members and loved ones who are also affected by association. Truth be told, studies show that about one out of every ten Americans is related to someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, one out of every eight knows an addict, and one out of every five Americans has at some point in their life been adversely affected by somebody who was addicted.
- About fifteen million Americans have an alcohol drinking problem of some kind. Whether they drink daily or binge, they still definitely have an alcohol problem of one kind or another that they have been struggling with for some time. For them, their alcohol use has resulted in a criminal arrest, termination from their job, or family disruption such as divorce or something similar to that, and other problems. It is important to realize that alcohol is a drug, it has always been a drug, and it always will be a drug too. In 2005 for example, 1.5 million Americans received treatment for alcohol addiction of one kind or another.
What to Do to Help Them
Here are some tips for what to do when a family member or loved one comes to you with an addiction problem and asks for help:
- Be compassionate and understanding. Sit down with them and listen to everything that they have to say and be there for them as emotional support. Promise them that you will do your best to help them.
- Start looking into rehabilitation centers. Insist that your loved one goes to a rehab center. Makes sure that they pick a rehab center out that they are interested in, even if it means talking to multiple rehab centers first.
- Start arranging the person’s trip to rehab. Help them get their affairs in order and help them pack.
- While your loved one is in treatment, stay in contact with them, if the rehab allows it, and ensure that they are sticking with the program and that they are in it to win it.
- When your loved one comes out of rehab, set yourself and others up as the support network that your loved open needs to ensure that they will be able to maintain their sobriety and their recovery no matter what gets thrown in their path.
Drug and alcohol addiction is a difficult and trying thing to beat. With the above advice, you can ensure that your loved one makes it through to the end.