Sunday, April 7, 2024

How To Help Family With Addiction

Establish Boundaries And Stick To Them

Helping Family Members with Addiction | Real Life One to One

Once you have decided that you are no longer going to take part in your loved ones drug addiction that you are no longer going to enable them because you love them, yourself, and your family too much then you have to set boundaries.

Coming to that point is probably one of the hardest things to do. Enforcing those boundaries is just as hard. First, make sure your boundaries are realistic. Are you serious about them? Are you really willing to follow through on any boundaries you set?

Next, knowing why you are settings boundaries is also important. If the boundary is set in place to protect you and your family, that is a healthier motive than using the boundary to try and control or change the behavior of the addicted family member.

Whatever boundary you set, know that your loved one may react to these boundaries in different ways, and it can be very emotional to stick to your guns.

Enlisting The Help Of An Interventionist

Interventions differ depending on the individual, family dynamics, and the history of addiction. Some families can talk to an interventionist or admissions staff and after hearing their advice, confront their loved one on their own and convince the person to get help. Other situations are trickier. For loved ones who have already talked to their family member and been rejected, or addicts who are adamant about not going to rehab, a more formal intervention might be necessary.

Before confronting the addict, some groundwork must first be laid. Family or friends should meet with the interventionist to talk about the persons addiction history, current substance use, underlying issues, and family dynamics. As the professional gains an understanding of the individual and their family, they can come up with a plan of action that will be the most successful. During the initial meeting with family members, the interventionist will talk with loved ones about how the addiction has impacted them and coach them on how to convey those thoughts and feelings to the addict when the time is right. Sometimes, professionals encourage the family to write their feelings down in a letter, so that they can succinctly make their point during what is often a stressful intervention process.

The Most Effective Dos & Do Nots Of Family Involvement

Every familys situation is unique however, there are some simple guidelines* that every family member needs to take onboard on how you approach your familys involvement it is very important that all of these are used with absolute consistency when dealing with the substance abuser:

Do Not:

  • Threaten the individual, eg. If you dont stop this, you have to leave.
  • Criticize this is extremely important, as all addicts naturally suffer from self-guilt about how their addiction has affected the family
  • Expect immediate change any addiction recovery is a long process

*These extremely important yet simple guidelines are discussed in more detail later in this article.

Also Check: What Makes Someone An Addict

Dont: Enable Your Loved One

There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and enabling them. Sometimes when we think were protecting a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, we are actually enabling them to continue with potentially destructive behavior.

For example, if youre trying to figure out how to help an alcoholic, keeping them from drinking and driving is helpful, since that could put them and others in danger. However, consistently offering to drive them home whenever they get too intoxicated is enabling their actions, because its setting up a formula in which you are constantly available to rescue them.

Studies show that people with addictions are more likely to proactively seek treatment when they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. So, if you want to know how to help someone with an addiction, allow them to make mistakes without the promise of your rescue.

Its important to set up boundaries and rules, both for your well-being and the well-being of your loved one and its important to enforce those rules and boundaries. This is the only part of Recovery in which tough love is beneficial, since its done for both you and your loved ones protection.

How To Do An Intervention: Guidelines And Takeaways

Tips On How To Help a Loved One With Addiction

Professional interventions are not 12-step calls facilitated by people in recovery. Waving a finger at a family with a not too subtle inference of guilt and shame, telling them what to do and what not to do, is not an intervention nor does it provide therapeutic long-term change or growth.

An intervention is not an event it is a process. A professional interventionist along with the staff should seek to provide insights and solutions while promoting self-awareness among family members. Helping a family bridge to their own recovery program is part of the intervention process.

Related Resource: A Complete Guide to Addiction Recovery for Your Loved One

Finding support and reliable insight in how to proceed about the addiction is not easy. Society, with little to no facts, and family members on the front lines, even with good intentions, may not be the best source of information. Listening to non-professionals or emotionally affected individuals tell you how to do an intervention or how to address the situation may simply not be effective. Believing you have to wait for the substance user to want help or hit bottom is not only dangerous, it also fuels the victim mentality of codependency.

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Applying For Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for everyone to get help paying for drug and alcohol rehab, and there have been many cases when treatment was covered in full by health insurance companies. Applying for health insurance is easy, and it can be done right online by visiting

Help For You And Your Loved Ones

Are you looking for resources to help you support someone struggling with addiction? Is someone elses addiction negatively affecting you? Perhaps youre seeking an alternative to tough love? We provide effective, easy-to-learn tools to help both you and your loved one. Our methods are based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT Therapy . Our meetings available both in-person and online provide concerned significant others the tools they need to effectively support their loved one, without supporting the addictive behavior. These tools also help Family & Friends better cope with their loved ones situation and regain their peace of mind.

Read Also: How To Solve Video Game Addiction

How Should I Talk To My Family Member

You may be tempted to repeatedly urge, plead or even threaten your family member into seeking treatment. Unfortunately, this often results in a breakdown of communication and the person shutting you out.

Try to use I statements rather than you statements to express your concerns about the importance of treatment. I statements focus on your own feelings or beliefs rather than criticizing or directing the other person. This approach may allow you to get your point across without making your family member feel defensive.

For example, instead of saying You need to get help! say When I hear you talking about how unhappy you are, I feel worried. I think it would be really helpful for you to talk with someone about how youre feeling.


What can I do?

Learn about mental illness and addiction

It can be easier to cope when you feel informed about what your family member is experiencing. Many resources are available, but sometimes it is difficult to know what information is accurate. The Resources section in this pamphlet is a good place to start. There may also be education sessions that you can attend.

Talk to your family member about your concerns, and encourage them to seek support

Let your family member know you are concerned. Consider how best to express your concerns. See the How should I talk with my family member? section for suggestions.

Get support for yourself and your family
Take care of yourself
Support other family members
Form 1
Form 2


Do: Seek Counseling Or Therapy

Intervention: How to Talk to a Family Member with an Addiction Part 1

Addiction affects everyone, from the person in treatment to their loved ones. Its important to ensure youre well enough to manage the potential stress of helping someone dealing with addiction. Acknowledging that you may be in over your head and in need of professional help is normal and healthy. Its also necessary for you to help your loved one to the best of your abilities.

Read Also: How Often Do Addicts Relapse

Find The Resources For Family Support At Memphis Recovery Centers

Have more questions about the influence of family support on your substance recovery? Just contact the specialists at Memphis Recovery Centers. Well help you determine if family therapy should form part of your treatment plan. If so, well provide you and your family with customized therapy that fits your specific circumstances. Just fill out our online form or call us today at . Our team is dedicated to helping you and your family get the most out of effective substance treatment.

How To Talk With Your Family And Friends About Your Addicted Loved One

When your loved one is struggling with an addiction, it can be a very lonely time for you. You might feel as though you need to talk about how you feel and what you’re going through with someone, but you don’t know who to turn to.

You’re likely to go through a lot of different phases as you cope with this problem. One moment, you’ll feel sad and alone, and the next minute you’ll be angry because of something that’s occurred because of the addiction. It’s normal to need a sounding board, but you want to be careful. Here are a few tips that may help you.

Most importantly, please remember that you need to find someone to talk to. Keeping dark secrets like this one can make you sick, both physically and mentally. It’s not good to hold things inside, and finding people you can trust to support you is going to be a key part of your own health as you go through this challenging time.

Read Also: How To Stop Drug Addiction On Your Own

Making Home A Haven For Sobriety

When families live with a drug addict or alcoholic, they are surrounded by an endless supply of substances. Once the individual is sober, there should be no drugs or alcohol in the house, and even drug paraphernalia and clothing, posters, music, and movies that glamorize substance abuse should be thrown out. Family members can help by cleaning out all the alcohol, drugs, and drug-themed apparel and gear, and encourage their loved one to do the same. This will remove unnecessary triggers and will help minimize cravings.

Family members can also help the individual return to regular life by reducing conflict and stress in the persons life at first. Returning home is a big step, and the person should not be expected to work full time, deal with relationship conflicts, take care of the kids, and maintain the house all at one time. Loved ones should help the person ease into life so that they can learn how to use their coping skills slowly. Eventually, the individual will need to know how to handle all of lifes challenges without turning to drugs or alcohol, but it is beneficial at first to keep stress to a minimum.

Know What You Are Talking About

Opioid Addiction &  Family Support: How to Help a Loved One

It is not enough to tell your family member that you think he or she needs help. Chances are he or she has already been told this. It is most beneficial and effective when you are educated on the disease of addiction and what treatment options are available for your family member. It might seem like a daunting task to gather all that info on your own, but it is fairly simple. To begin getting informed about addiction and treatment options, you can:

When you arm yourself by taking care of yourself, leading with empathy, and obtaining an education on addiction and treatment options, you are allowing yourself the ability to affect real change in your loved ones life. And while for many people, this does help their loved ones get into treatment, it might not work for you. Every single person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol is different from the next. So, while more conservative approaches like those listed above might be effective for some, others might need a more aggressive take, such as an intervention.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Addiction Severity Index

Drug Abuse Vs Drug Addiction

Drug abuse and drug addiction are terms that are used interchangeably quite often. However, they are certainly not the same thing. It’s vital to understand the differences between abuse and addiction as you prepare to offer help to your family member.

When someone is participating in drug or alcohol abuse, they are using drugs or alcohol in ways that they shouldn’t. However, they don’t feel compelled to use them on a regular basis. They may enjoy the high they get from using drugs, or they may have a good time binge drinking every weekend, but they also might be able to go without using and not feel any physical or psychological effects from doing so.

It is important to note that most addictions begin with abuse, although it is possible with some types of drugs to become addicted to them after the first use. Usually, abuse precedes addiction, but an addiction can form at any time.

Check Your Ego And Your Attitude At The Door

It can be extremely easy for you to become resentful of your addicted loved one and begin judging them for their actions as he or she continues to use drugs or alcohol. Whether these feelings are floating right at the surface or hiding deep in your subconscious, it can skew your interactions with him or her. You might be quick to blame your family member for everything and/or treat him or her disrespectfully . Your feelings are not invalid, however, you have to check them at the door in order to help your loved one get sober. This sounds much easier said than done because it is. Doing this is not easy, however, when you are able to control your ego and your attitude, you put yourself in a better position to help. This is because doing so encourages him or her to:

  • Build a sense of trust with you
  • Feel heard and understood
  • Begin realizing the severity of the situation

Approaching your loved one with empathy can make a world of difference, as it allows for these benefits to come to fruition. Letting other emotions stand in the way of that can be the difference between life and death.

Recommended Reading: How To Control Your Addiction

How To Deal With A Drug Addicted Family Member

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki that is building the worlds largest and highest quality how-to manual. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

When family members or loved ones abuse drugs, it affects everyone they know. Their addiction can have emotional, psychological, financial, and environmental effects on the people who care about them most. Follow the advice below to cope with a drug-addicted family member or loved one.

Method 1 of 4: Educate Yourself About Addiction

1. Search online for information about your loved ones form of addiction.

The optimal plan for addiction management and rehabilitation may vary according to the substance on which your loved one is dependent.

Priorities reading information from sites with a medical or scientific bias or trustworthy sites such as government or university sponsored information. There is information on the web but not everything you read about drug addiction is true or realistic.

Learning about the characteristics of your loved ones drug and addiction can help you understand what to expect from addicts and how to best address the situation.

2. Look out for organizations such as Al-Anon, Ala-Teen and Nar-Anon which offer 12 Step programs for the families and friends of alcoholics and addicts.

Method 2 of 4: Seek Professional and Specialist Help

2. Search for local anonymous support groups.
3. Speak with a professional therapist or counselor.
4. Encourage your loved one to seek help.

Let Them Know Why You Are Concerned

Boston partnership looks help parents with children struggling with addiction

Most people confront their family members suffering from addiction straight forward and start lecturing them about what they are doing is wrong and so on and so forth. This does not help the patient. Instead, it makes them feel you are trying to belittle them. This can backfire, and the addiction can even become strong.

What you must do is to take a different approach, an approach where you showcase your worry and show them how concerned you are for their health. This will help them understand the consequences of their addiction.

Read Also: How To Stop Being Addicted To Electronics

Interventions: How Do You Help A Loved One Who Refuses Help

In an intervention, family and close friends gather with the person with addiction to discuss the issue. Historically, clinicians advocated a rather draconian approach to interventions, instructing those holding the intervention to begin by asking the identified patient to be quiet and simply listen. In this approach, the affected person had no say in the discussion, and was often given an ultimatum.

Many clinicians now favor a more interactive approach to interventions, where the person with addiction can voice concerns without fear of reproach. Contemporary intervention approaches use various devices to gain the interest of the person with addiction so that the family doesn’t have to cut ties or support.

Interventions, whether traditional or contemporary, share some common elements. At the outset, the affected person’s family and loved ones recount how the problem with addiction has affected each of them. By confronting the loved one with the consequences of the addiction, both objective and subjective, an intervention might penetrate the person’s denial and help him or her decide to seek treatment.

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