Loved ones often enable addicts because they do not know the best way to help. Family members may condition themselves to think that they can control the addiction to minimize the risks. This results in a dysfunctional dynamic where families support the drug user’s dangerous lifestyle.
Addiction is a diseasethat affects not only substance abusers, but their families.
Concerned family members can help a substance user by ceasing harmful behaviors. By identifying and changing their enabling behaviors, families can give their loved one a chance to recover from addiction. In addition, there are several steps families can take to improve an addict’s likelihood of attaining sobriety.
Support groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon can provide the family with a platform to share their concerns. Through listening to other people’s experiences, the substance user’s family can learn to distance their emotions from the disease. Regularly attending these meetings will help the family cope with their situation and encourage them to seek the appropriate treatment for their loved one.
Addiction causes a ripple effect on the family and close friends of a substance user. Family members should set clear boundaries with the addict to minimize stress and prevent drug-seeking behaviors.
Making excuses for an addict encourages them to indulge in substance abuse. Some ways family members can make excuses for an addict include providing false reasons for missed work or events, financing their addiction and allowing the addiction to dictate the family’s plans. Even if it is difficult to say no to a loved one, remaining firm and refusing to enable their disease will help them recover faster.
Even if only one person is using substances, addiction affects the whole family. The family may change its dynamic in a way that protects the addiction. Family therapy can be a great resource to address underlying issues. It can help addicts cope with their feelings stemming from addiction and teach them how to separate themselves from the disease.
Recovery is a lifelong commitment for addicts and their families. If family members are not careful, they may trigger a relapse in the person in recovery. Families need to commit to attending therapy sessions with their loved one, where they will learn new and healthy ways to communicate and interact.
Medical Disclaimer: DrugRehab.com aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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