Addiction Is A Family Disease
Drug abuse often has devastating effects on the family and friends of those afflicted with this horrible disease. In order to stop substance abuse in its tracks, the whole family unit must participate in the treatment process. As one of the premiere drug treatment facilities in the state of Florida, Dream Center for Recovery features quality family treatment programming that is effective, proven to work and can be personalized to meet your familys unique needs. Call us toll-free today and begin your journey on the road to recovery.
The Hard Part: How To Leave A Drug Addict
Boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, son or daughter, removing yourself from the life of an addict you care deeply for is never easy. Before you broach the topic, consider the following questions:
- Are you serious about leaving? If you threaten to leave but then continue to stick around, the addict learns that they can continue to depend on you to help support their addiction.
- Will there be any future contact? Under what circumstances? For many spouses, contact is contingent on whether or not the addict dedicates themselves to getting well.
- Is there any material or legal concerns that should be addressed? Whether its custody of a child or ending a lease, there may be some legal considerations to take into account. Do your research and know how to take care of each one.
- How will you tell them? Whether its in person, over the phone, or in a safe, public place, decide beforehand how you will tell the addict that you are leaving. Be sure to consider your own safety.
Once you have made a plan, stick with it. There will inevitably be a period after the separation where you feel sad, frustrated, or angry, and you may even be tempted to return to the addict. Get the therapy you need to work through your emotions and take care of yourself first.
The Secret To Helping An Addict
The secret to helping an addict is NOT HELPING an addict! You might be asking what this means and how can you differentiate between which actions help and which actions do not help. The lines may become blurred, especially when children are involved. However, one thing is very clear: if you find yourself doing anything more than your share for the sole reason that an addict is getting high, you are enabling.
Helping an addict husband, spouse, or loved one is really no secret at all, it just seems that way because no one really takes the most appropriate approach to dealing with an addicted loved one. People seem to do the opposite and try to help the person they love by taking care of them. This natural instinct is acceptable in other circumstances but not when someone is deep into addiction and when that addiction is destroying your relationship, home, and family.
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Family First Intervention Can Help Both Your Family And Loved One
Family First Intervention works with the family of the addict to help educate them and create self-awareness. The more a family understands addiction, enabling, and family roles the better opportunity they have to make healthier choices. We have seen the destruction addiction brings to both the family and the addict. When one side gets better it allows the other side to follow suit. When families enter recovery and are able to set boundaries and hold their loved one accountable they can increase the opportunity their loved one will see the need for change and the benefits of growth in that change.
It is helpful for families to understand that they are in no position to control their loved one nor are they in a position to get them better. We try to help families understand this and allow them to see things from a different perspective. There is always another way to look at a problem. It is often wise to look at those other options when youre not emotionally attached, affected by the problem, or flooded emotionally with the problem. You expect your loved one to go to treatment and follow directions from professionals. Families receive the same benefits when they follow that same path.
Detachment: A Strategy For Friends And Family Of Adult Addicts
For every adult who struggles with addiction, there are many affected by its destruction. Family, co-workers, and friends are among those who become witnesses to the downward spiral of self-destructive behavior. Attempts to fix a friend or loved one experiencing addiction become increasingly frustrating as the chaos becomes a part of daily life.
When you are affected by someone elses drinking or drug use, it is important to remember that even though you cannot prevent whats happening to them, you can regain your sanity by practicing detachment.
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Does It Really Help
When you’re considering detachment, you might be concerned about what happens to your loved one after you detach yourself from them. Maybe you think all of the things you did over these years to “help” that will be wasted. Or, you might have fears about what crisisjail, hospitalization, death, etc.may be next.
Your concerns are valid and show your love and dedication to a person dealing with addiction. However, you have to put yourself and your familyespecially if that family includes childrenfirst.
As Al-Anon teaches, “Detachment helps families look at their situations realistically and objectively, thereby making intelligent decisions possible.” Al-Anon members also learn that no individual is responsible for another person’s disease or recovery from it.
This is very difficult and, on the clearheaded side of addiction, you probably know what should or should not happen, but this logic may be lost to the person with the disease. They need to want to change themselves and find the help needed to do that.
Your goal is to be there when they do need you and to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong when they’re ready for recovery. When you learn to detach, you can find relief from much of the pain, stress, and anxiety, and realize that you deserve to treat yourself right.
Why Partnering With The Experts Makes It More Doable
Change takes time, and often space. Attending counseling can help addicts, but this is much less effective than a inpatient treatment program. Full focus on the recovery process enables the addict to build a toolkit before returning to the environments and people they were surrounded by as the addiction grew out of control. A fresh start can do wonders for anyone, especially someone struggling with addiction.
On the other hand, if the person in treatment is working solely on recovery while family members and friends are back home making no changes, changing intimate relationships can be extremely challenging post-treatment.
Treating addiction is complicated thats why we offer a multi-layered approach:
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Knowing How To Let Go Of A Drug Addict Son
Letting go can mean many things. It can mean creating new boundaries, no longer providing financial support, taking a break or fully cutting off contact with your child. Here are some forms of how to let go of a drug addicted son:
- Setting up boundaries and consequences
- Letting go of the idea that you can help your son get better
- No longer paying for your sons rent, groceries, or other expenses
- Halting financial, mental or emotional support for issues related to his addiction
- Not allowing your son to live at home
- Taking a short break from your relationship or temporarily cutting off contact
- Fully cutting off communication until he decides to get clean
- Ending the relationship entirely
While some parents just need a short separation from their child to focus on their own wellbeing, others decide that cutting off contact completely is the best choice for themselves and their families. The decision to do so may require time and introspection. Speaking to a therapist, addiction treatment center, or peer support group can be helpful as you navigate the process.
Talking to a loved one about getting help
Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment For People With Stimulant Use Disorders: Counselor’s Family Education Manual W/cd
This comprehensive kit provides substance use disorder treatment professionals with a year-long intensive outpatient treatment model. Professionals can use this model when treating clients who are dependent on stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine and cocaine. Access family education sessions and handouts.
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Recognize When Its Time
Learning when itstime to let go is often the most difficult part of this process. But in many cases its necessary to let go in order to unlock the life you deserve. Though each relationship is different, most find its time to end things when the relationship causes them more pain than pleasure or when trust has eroded to the point wherethe romance cannot be rekindled. Deciding how to let go becomes easier when you are certain the time has come and that your future happiness depends on a new start.
How To Support Without Enabling
You can always let the addict know that what you have been doing is not working for them and yourself. You can concede to your mistakes and offer them professional help in exchange for your ineffective help. The addict has a right to use substances and you have the right to detach and stop enabling the behaviors and addiction. It is always helpful to set healthy boundaries and provide them with effective professional resources. Letting them know that you would be happy to discuss things with them after they are in treatment.
Please consider taking the following suggestions that can help both the family and the addict:
Enabling provided by the family that has produced entitlement for the addict does not disappear overnight. It takes work to undo years of unhealthy strategies that have compromised the familys sanity and the addicts recovery. The addict will not become well in one day and neither will the family. The process has to start somewhere if conditions are to improve. Staying where you are isnt sustainable. You either get better or you and the substance user become worse. Addiction is chronic and progressive and without professional help or some form of intervention it becomes worse and never better.
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How To Let Go Of An Addict You Love: Knowing When Its Time To Let Go
Loving an addict is one of the most difficult things that can happen to most people. Whether youre in a romantic relationship with an addict, or its your child, parent or someone else youre close to, its incredibly difficult to continue loving someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. While you may make your best effort to help them, at some point, you might also have to understand how to let go of an addict you love.
What Its Like Loving An Addict
First, when you love an addict, you have to understand that their addiction takes precedence over everything else, including you. People can start to take it personally, and it understandably hurts them deeply to feel as if the addict they love only cares about the drugs or alcohol, but the addicts brain is driving them toward placing the substance at the top of their priority list.
No matter what an addict says or promises, they are only driven by their desire to continue using, and theres not much of anything you can do to change that.
Also when you love an addict, they are going to lie, cheat and steal to get what they want, which is more drugs or alcohol. They can be charming and manipulative when it serves their purposes, and as the loved one of an addict, its essential that you understand that it is nothing more than just that: manipulation.
When you love an addict, you may constantly feel that youre on edge, or worried when that dreaded phone call is going to come.
So what can you do when you love an addict?
Theres very little you can do, and you certainly cant fix the person. Addiction is a complex disease, and theres no amount of threatening or begging thats going to eliminate the problem. Instead, one of the best things you can do when you love an addict is making sure youre not enabling them.
What happens if that doesnt work though? When is it time to give up, and how can you let go of an addict you love?
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When And How To Let Go Of A Drug Addict Son
Living with a child with a substance use disorder is not easy, to say the least. As a parent, you do everything you can to protect your child from harm. But what do you do when your child continues to harm themselves with their drug use? When is it about knowing how to let go of a drug addict son, rather than if to let go?
Have you tried everything you can to help your son get clean? Are you mentally, emotionally and financially exhausted? Do you feel helpless and out of options? Drug addiction hurts not only the addict, but also the families.
First come the concerns and questions about your sons substance use and changing behavior. You may have tried to warn your son or deter him from abusing substances to little avail. Instead, you see your sons drug and alcohol use escalate. He may show little interest in friends and family, preferring to hang around a different crowd.
Things You Need To Do When Your Spouse Is Addicted
Some of the most complicated relationships in life can be those we actually choose: the people we date, the people we live with, the people we marry, the people we have children with. Unlike our relationships with parents or siblings or cousins and so on we actually seek out and are selective about those with whom we are romantic. Somehow, however, those relationships can take the most work.
One factor that can throw the biggest loop in a marriage or long-term relationships is drug or alcohol addiction.
Addiction In A Marriage
Anyone who has been married or in a committed relationship with a person who is addicted knows, without a doubt, that addiction is destructive. In some committed relationships, addiction isnt something that comes up right away. Addiction in a marriage:
- May not be apparent at the beginning of the relationship
- May seem like normal drinking behaviors early in the relationship
- May develop after a short time together
- May develop after years together
- May have been there all along
- May have been hidden from you by your partner
In a marriage, the drug of choice may vary alcohol, illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine, or prescription drugs like Xanax or OxyContin. Regardless of the drug or drink a person is addicted to, the pursuit of the substance can eventually come before all else. When a person is addicted, he or she will choose drugs or alcohol before their marriage, before their partner, before their children before anything.
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Signs You Havent Moved On
Learning how to let go of someone you love someone youve built a deep connection with and whom youve shared your life with is likely one of the hardest things youll ever have to do. Thats why so many people break up, but never truly discover how to move on. If these signs are familiar, you may be one of those people:
- Youre always wondering what could have been
- You think of the person constantly, or at time when youd rather not
- You spend a lot of time reliving memories or looking them up on social media
- You bring them up often when talking to friends
- When youre feeling down, theyre the first person you think to call
- You make changes to your life or appearance to get them back
- You feel anxious or even angry when you see the person
- You blame them or want to get revenge for perceived slights
Letting go of someone you love isnt easy, but holding on only holds you back from the possibility of anextraordinary relationship. To focus your energy on living positively and proactively, you need to learn how to move on. Are you ready to let go of relationships that no longer serve you?
How To Help A Loved One Struggling With Addiction
The best ways to help a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may seem counterintuitive, especially for people who struggle with codependent relationships. Some of these methods may seem harsh, but they come from a loving approach with the ultimate goal to help the person overcome their addiction and to help all parties heal. Basic steps are outlined below.
- Remember that addiction is not a choice or a moral failing it is a disease of the brain
- Addiction is ultimately a condition that the individual must learn to manage no one can take the fight on for the addict.
- Set boundaries and stand by them.
- Encourage the individual to seek help this may include finding treatment resources for them.
- Find a therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support too.
- Set an example for healthy living by giving up recreational drug and alcohol use.
- Be supportive, but do not cover for problems created by substance abuse. The person struggling needs to deal with the consequences of their addiction.
- Be optimistic. A person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse will likely eventually seek help due to ongoing encouragement to do so. If they relapse, it is not a sign of failure relapse is often part of the overall recovery process.
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