Overcoming drug addiction is no easy task, especially when doing it on your own. Learn what families of addicts can do to help their loved ones beat addiction.
If you have a loved one who is suffering from the disease of addiction you know the ugly truth: Families of addicts often suffer as much as the addicts themselves.
And even when the addict is gone, the rebuilding process can take a long time.
Family therapy for addiction has existed for years and yet there is still a stigma. But this isn’t the case for families with cancer, Alzheimer’s, or dementia patients.
Yet, just like with those other illnesses, your family has to watch someone in the grips of a fatal and progressive illness. A situation often further complicated by dishonesty, denial, and abuse.
But it really isn’t that different from living with an Alzheimer’s patient. Your loved one is still physically there, but you can feel them slipping away mentally, and often fear for their life.
The World Health Association states that “globally, harmful use of alcohol causes approximately 3.3 million deaths every year (or 5.9% of all deaths).”
Add in the overdoses and deaths from both illegal and prescription drugs and you have the recipe for an epidemic. Many families are struggling.
Even though there is an extreme feeling of helplessness that accompanies watching any family member struggle with health issues, there are steps families of addicts can take to help.
Let’s find out what we can do to make things better:
1. Families of Addicts Can Get Honest
The disease of addiction is one of denial. And unfortunately, denial can be contagious.
If you know a family member has an alcohol or drug problem it is important to get honest about the issue. Nothing can get better until you realize there is, in fact, a problem.
Just as with cancer or clinical depression–Alzheimer’s or Schizophrenia–the problem will not go away by itself. And unless you admit there is a problem you won’t be able to get help.
No one starts cancer treatment until they know they have the disease. And just as with other diseases, addiction has identifiable symptoms.
Understanding these symptoms and admitting there is a problem is necessary for helping a family member with addiction issues.
Not only can denial be contagious. It can also be dangerous.
Denial can be hard to break through by yourself.
2. Families of Addicts Can Get Humble
Humility doesn’t mean a forced feeding on humble pie. It simply means that almost none of us can navigate the disease of addiction on our own.
If you’ve ever heard the analogy of the lifeguard you know how important it is to take care of yourself first.
If a lifeguard isn’t well trained and healthy and then tries to save a swimmer in trouble, the worst can happen. Both people can drown.
Addiction is like that too.
There are a number of ways you and your family members can get help. Often a family therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, or attendance at support groups can help the family members of an addict begin to get the foundation required to help a loved one.
The benefit of these support systems is members of each addict’s family can know they are not alone. They will also learn how to stop enabling.
If you want to help a family member struggling with addiction it is important you have all the help you can get too. The disease of addiction is cunning and baffling at times.
But there is hope.
3. Families of Addicts Can Have Hope
It’s okay to remain hopeful.
As one person in recovery explains, “I’m closer to my son now.” “
“And I’m much closer to my girls.”
The hope for families of addicts and alcoholics is that things can get much, much better in recovery.
Just as the whole family can get sick and suffer during active addiction, the whole family can get better too.
At Muse Treatment we know that drug abuse and alcoholism affects the entire family of the patient. Unfortunately, addiction is a team sport.
If one person is playing, everyone is suffering.
Part of our focus on families is incorporating a Family Weekend into our treatment program. This focus on families of addicts helps increase the chances of success for everyone involved.
The National Institute of Health reports that “treatment for drug abuse and addiction not only saves lives but is cost effective, with a 7:1 return on cost.” So there is most definitely hope for you and your loved ones getting better.
You’ve worked to get honest, humble, and remain hopeful. One of the next best things you can do to help a family member in danger is to get the facts about getting them help now.
4. Families of Addicts Can Get Help for a Loved One
The best drug rehab in Los Angeles, one of the testaments to our program’s success at Muse Treatment is the great number of families we have helped to reassemble.
Understanding the treatment options and aftercare choices for a family member struggling with addiction is necessary to getting them the help they so desperately require.
As addiction and drug abuse are incredibly frustrating and demoralizing, getting armed with the facts about support and treatment often helps family members prepare their loved ones for recovery.
After you help to identify the problem and get help yourself, then you can begin to heal.
5. Families of Addicts Can Heal
Sometimes watching someone you love suffer can be the hardest feeling in the world. But after hope and help, the healing begins.
Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics lead full and joyful lives. They often become pillars of the community, active in family life, and healthy, loving members of society.
Their families can recover too.
Unfortunately, there is so much media attention on the problem we often lose sight of the solution.
At Muse Treatment we know there is a solution because we see testimonials to healing and recovery every day. We see individuals get clean and sober and watch them rebuild their lives.
We’re here to help. Please don’t wait another day.
Want to find out what the best treatment options for your loved one may be? Contact us now.