One of the biggest health related problems in the United States is drug and alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, when it comes to addiction, it does not just affect the individual that is addicted; a person’s entire family becomes affected when dealing with a drug or alcohol dependence. Alcohol and drug addiction affects mothers, fathers, couples, and more, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and other factors. Research has proven that adolescents and young children are the most effected by the abuse of drugs and alcohol in their families. While a family may not be able to force a loved one to get help for their addiction, there are some steps that can be taken for families dealing with drug or alcohol dependence.
Educate Yourself on the Different Aspects of Addiction
In order to cope with a family member’s addiction, it is important to educate yourself. We tend to be more prepared to deal with situations when we have the knowledge to know what steps to take and what we are up against. There is more to addiction that what one might see and learning about the causes, symptoms, and more, will make you better prepared to deal with the problem your loved one is going through.
Educate Yourself Further
Once you have some knowledge of addiction, you need to learn what you can actually do to help your loved one. While only the person that is addicted can ultimately make the decision to get help and stop using, there are things you can do to help encourage them. Counseling and support groups tend to be helpful for families of addicts. Getting some help for yourself might help encourage your loved one to seek the help that they need.
Getting Support and Help for the Family
Due to the fact that addiction is a disease that affects the entire family, especially those very close to the addict, it is important to seek help and support. This is incredibly important for adolescents, who are often affected by addiction the most. There are a range of services available for families seeking support. As stated above, counseling and support groups are good options.
Consider Seeking an Intervention
Only the addict themselves can make the decision to seek help but if that person seems unable or is unwilling to seek help, the family may consider a professional intervention. This involves having a professionally trained and experienced interventionist to provide support, education, and guidance. A professional may have the skills necessary to get the addict to accept that they have a problem and get treatment.
Try to Have Patience With Recovery
Depending on the level of addiction, addicts go through various recovery processes. While it can be hard at times, it is necessary to stay focused on your loved one’s recovery and try to set aside negative feelings. The recovery process for an addict is ongoing as there is no known cure for addiction.
Dependence on drugs or alcohol wreaks havoc on the whole family. It is important to note, however, that long term recovery is possible. There are many different options for people that need help dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. It is always important to seek the help of a qualified medical professional when dealing with addiction. With time and the proper medical help, children and families of addicts can heal and put their lives back together.
Learn More About Drug and Alcohol Dependence
- NCADD: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Affects Everyone In The Family
- The Impact of Substance Abuse on Families
- The Effects of Substance Abuse on Families
- The Hidden Pain of the Addicted Family
- NIH – Drug Abuse Hurts Families
- Drugs in The Family: The Impact on Parents And Siblings
- Helpguide – Drug Abuse And Addiction
- How Parental Substance Use Disorders Affect Children
- Effects of Parental Substance Abuse on Children And Families