Tips for Families of Addicts

Written by Chloe Nicosia

The Journey to Recovery – Tips for Families of Addicts

Addiction is one of the hardest experiences an addict can go through, but many of us forget how much the family of the addict is affected too. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that around 23.5 million people in the population abused drugs or alcohol in 2009. The families of those addicted often go unheard in the struggle that is addiction. Families of addicts have their own unique set of problems that are born from the addict’s behavior – someone they care about deeply who does and says things that can be very hurtful and difficult to deal with.

In this article, we will look at some tips for families of addicts on how to help an addict without enabling them.

Education is Key

Families of addicts don’t necessarily know what the addict is going through from an outside perspective. As a family, learn as much about addiction and the specific substance that your family member is taking. Share your insights and discoveries with everyone so that there is little room for misinformation. The more one understands about the disease of addiction, the easier it will be for a family to give the kind of support the addict needs in their recovery time.

There are near-endless resources online that give you all of the information you need.

Family Support Groups

Families of addicts are not alone in their struggle. Support groups for families of drug addicts are actually easy to find and become a part of. Connecting with other people who have similar experiences is an excellent way to ease some of the stress and anxiety that such a situation can cause.

Support groups for families of drug addicts are structured so that the environment is non-judgmental and an open space for people to learn from each other and discuss what might be bothering them.

Family Therapy

As one will quickly learn, the support that the addict gets from their family is an important part of the addict’s long-term recovery. Family therapy can help not only the addict but it can strengthen the bonds between all of the members in the family. Oftentimes, there is discord in the family due to the addict’s behavior and influence. These issues can be discussed and settled during therapy in a safe environment where positive solutions are the goal.

Eat Family Meals

Something as simple as eating a meal as family can help the situation as a whole. It is easy in today’s busy world to become separated at meals, but it is an excellent way for everyone to discuss their day and share achievements and disappointments in a supportive way.

Manage Your Expectations

Once the addict has decided to get help and their recovery has started, the family may feel like things are finally done with and are going to get better again. While treatment is necessary, the recovery process can often be a long, drawn out process.

Expecting too much too soon from the addict can set you up for disappointment and interfere with the process of recovery. The family as a whole should understand the process of recovery and rather focus on the immediate improvements that have been made and not on what they ultimately want from the process.

By following these tips, you can discover how to help an addict without enabling them. Creating a supportive environment for the recovering person can greatly help the process, but it is also important for the family to get the help they need to cope with the addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.