Caring For Yourself Through A Loved Ones Addiction
Having your life turned upside down because of a friends or family members addiction can be frustrating and exhausting. Whether they realize it or not, when a person has become addicted to a substance, it eventually begins to affect every single person around them in one way or another. It is important to remember to make time to care for yourself when dealing with a situation like this. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help care for yourself:
Adhere To A Formal Sleep/wake Schedule
Some of the more dangerous addictive behaviors often occur in the middle of the night. People with addictions can meet dealers, overdose, stumble home from parties or get into other situations that family members have to deal with. Its no surprise, then, that some families in the recovery process struggle with sleep. Parts of their brains are ready and waiting for the next nighttime crisis to arise.
Regular sleep loss can make the recovery process more difficult. For example, studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to a range of social and emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and lack of motivation. Setting a consistent, adequate sleep schedule can help you get the rest you need to function your best and cope with the challenges of having a loved one with an addiction.
Help For Adult Children Of Addicted Parents
The repercussions of growing up with addicted adults do not end with adulthood. In a landmark study of the long-term effects of childhood neglect, researchers found that children who grow up in abusive home environments had a higher risk of developing chronic health problems as adults. Through this project, the Adverse Child Experiences study, data was collected from 17,000 adults participating in physical exams through Kaiser Permanente.
Revisiting the past can be painful, and it can be extremely uncomfortable to confront aging family members about past behaviors. With the support and guidance of a counselor, 12-Step fellowship, or spiritual leader, reviewing the past can be much more productive and rewarding. Adults who are current substance abusers can find healing and self-discovery through a rehabilitation program that includes medical detox, intensive counseling services, peer group support, and family or couples therapy.
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Go To Family Therapy Sessions
Spouses, siblings and parents of people with addictions often absorb many of the consequences of their loved ones substance use. Many people have a hard time talking openly about the behavior thats harming them, so they say nothing. Family members can also become distant if theyre tired of fighting with their loved one. They may blame themselves when the addiction persists or blame the addicted person for their unhappiness.
These silences and blame games can hold a family back from getting help. Family members may not have the tools on their own to assist someone in active recovery, and they may not have the energy to help themselves.
Family therapy programs are designed to break down distrust and guilt by giving everyone a chance to feel heard. These programs can help family members understand themselves and each other, and work through conflict in a healthy way. Families once defined by anger and addiction can grow into tight-knit units that are able to support one another through honest communication and healthy boundaries.
Family therapy sessions can take time, and it can be tempting to skip a session particularly for families with a number of conflicting appointments and agendas. However, this work is vital to the mental health of everyone involved, so meetings should be attended whenever possible.
How To Get Your Child Help With Addiction Today
It can be challenging to try to help your child with their addiction. Its tough when they are not ready for treatment. However, talking with them, going over their options, and letting them know that you will always be there for support can be helpful. Once they are ready for treatment, its important to point them in the right direction of trust mental health professionals that are trained in substance use. The Last House can help.
The Last House has been around for over ten years to help men strive to achieve sobriety in their life. We offer a supportive environment with skilled staff whose passion is to help those with addiction concerns and services that promote building skills to maintain a sober lifestyle. Our program includes groups, therapy, accountability, and exploring sober activities. When you leave The Last House, you will leave with long-lasting connections and the skills you need to continue your sobriety long-term. The Last House is connected with Thrive Treatment to be easily in contact with quality treatment teams to ensure the care you are getting is consistent. Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you.
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How To Stage An Intervention
Staging an intervention can come with the burden of knowing that your child is suffering from substance abuse. Parents should prepare for intervention in much the same way, making sure they have support from other family members and close friends.
Preparing parents should also contact the parents of your childs closest friends to let them know you will be contacting their parents to inform them that he or she is using drugs.
Parents should not attend the intervention alone parents of drug-addicted children need all the help they can get to stage an effective intervention. They should make sure that everyone understands the importance of non-violence during this process.
When parents are ready to begin preparing for intervention with their child, there are several things parents should remember:
Enabling Addiction: How Your Help Can Actually Harm The Alcoholic/addict
Many of us have inadvertently provided support for addicted loved ones in ways that are not beneficial. When we take on responsibilities like providing financial support for an addict we are helping that person to continue using without facing the natural consequences of active addiction. Actions which can enable your loved one to continue using include
- Providing housing/paying their bills
- Lying to cover up for them with family, friends, employers
- Bailing them out of jail and paying for an attorney
It is extremely difficult to stand by as your loved one becomes homeless or stays in jail or faces the numerous harsh consequences that come from addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs. But addiction denial is a common symptom in an addict/alcoholics thought processes. Most addicts wont seek help to stop using until they are forced to face the reality of their situation.
Alcohol/drugs have impaired your loved ones ability to think rationally. In order for somebody who is so impaired to see their situation clearly and seek help, usually life has to scream at them to get their full attention. In recovery lingo this is called hitting bottom.
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Finding Support For Families Of Addicts
Addiction is far from an individual disease. It affects every relationship, including friends, spouses, children, parents, coworkers, and extended family members. Developing a substance use disorder can take months or years. During this time, relationships change, and each person takes on a new role. Not all roles are healthy. For example, some become enablers and think they are helping, even when they see their loved one spiral out of control. However, learning about and finding support for families of addicts can be one way to alleviate many of these changes and the stress that might be taking place.
Other friends and family may choose to end the relationship with the addict, and some may even develop their addiction. Their intentions are good, but as circumstances worsen, they are left feeling exhausted, hurt, angry, and confused. Without support, things will only get worse.
Therefore, finding support for families of addicts is a must. Currently, many great options offer recovery benefits for the family and help the person struggling with a substance use disorder.
Advice For Families Of People Who Use Drugs
Lots of families in the UK have a loved one who is using or trying to come off drugs.
If you’re the parent, partner, child or carer of someone who uses drugs, you may feel worried, frustrated and alone.
It’s important to recognise this and get the help and support you need.
Families often play an important role in helping someone come off drugs. Getting help for yourself will put you in a better position for supporting your loved one.
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The Roles Parents Play In Addiction
Parents may experience a wide range of emotions in response to a childs addiction, including guilt, anger, resentment, and helplessness if parents feel that they have lost control over their childs behavior.
Some parents also feel anxious when they think about how the addiction affects other people, such as family members and friends. Some parents withdraw from their child and the childs addiction to maintain some sense of control.
Many parents try to deal with the addiction on their own, but this can be very difficult. It is often helpful to get support from other parents who are dealing with a childs addiction. There are many support groups available for parents of drug addicts. Parents can also seek help from mental health professionals who specialize in addiction treatment.
Prepare Meals And Eat Them As A Family
In todays modern, chaotic world, its all too easy to eat separately. One partner grabs a burger on the way home, the other snacks on a salad at work and the kids heat up ready-made foods they can find in the freezer.
A family meal allows everyone to reconnect at the end of a day that may have been stressful, lonely or upsetting. Each meal helps build upon the work done in family therapy, and the ritual of eating together can promote a sense of common ground and togetherness.
The activity doesnt have to stop at the table, either. Spending time making the meal together or cleaning up afterward can increase the benefits. Even one meal together per week can have a significant impact.
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What Do Parents Of Addicts Go Through
Parents of Addicts Experience Fear
For many reasons, parents of adult addicts worry intensely about their child. Between 1999 and 2019, roughly 841,000 people in the U.S. died of drug overdoses. In 2020, overdose deaths reached a record high of over 93,000.
Drug misuse often leads to a range of short-term and long-term health problems, such as damage to the heart, brain, and liver. The psychological effects may include depression and aggressive, unpredictable behavior. Parents also fear the consequences for their childs life. They worry about their child losing relationships, getting fired, dropping out of an academic program, going into debt, or landing in jail.
Feelings of Anger and Betrayal
When confronted with their adult childs addiction, parents often feel angry at their child, at themselves, and at anyone involved in their childs drug use. For example, they may be furious with their childs friends or with a doctor who handed out a certain prescription.
Parents also feel devastated and betrayed by their childs behavior. In many cases, addicts lie to their loved ones. When trying to hide their addiction and pretend that everything is fine, they resort to dishonesty. Furthermore, addicts may steal from their parents to sustain a drug habit. They may borrow money on false pretenses or help themselves to money from a parents wallet or purse.
Effects of Grief
Shame and Guilt
Personal Neglect and Stress-Related Problems
Where To Find Support Groups For Parents Of Drug Addicts
Support groups for parents of drug addicts are available nationwide. While most support groups will meet in person, there are also online support groups available to join. Family support groups can be found through addiction support groups, churches, counseling services, and word of mouth. Some programs will provide resources to parents of drug addicts that wish to develop their own support groups. There are also national-level programs that parents can contact to locate local support groups through their operations. Two examples of these programs are PAL and NAR-ANON Family Groups.
- PAL- Parents of Addicted Loved Ones is a nationwide parent support group that helps parents find guidance, addiction education, and resources throughout their time in need. Advisors will help you find local support groups for you to attend.
- NAR-ANON Family Groups- The NAR-ANON Family Groups are foundations that help family and friends of drug addicts find support from professionals and other families in the same circumstances. This program offers virtual and in-person support groups to families in need.
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Smart Recovery For Friends And Family
SMART Recovery stands for Self Management and Recovery Training. 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 behaviour. These tools also help Family & Friends better cope with their loved ones situation and regain their peace of mind.
SMART has both in person online meetings as well as a host of pod casts, videos and worksheet on their web site. SMART is an international organization that has been around for 26 years and started in the USA and is now in many countries across the world. They have an online store that you can order a manual as well as get support with it. Visit their website here.
Addiction Impacts The Entire Family
There are no limits on which members of an addicts circle are impacted by addiction. Family members, coworkers, and friends all witness the mind and body of their loved ones change. The home environment becomes toxic as moods change. Trust and communication are often compromised. Misunderstandings and arguments become the standard mode of communication. With time, family members usually begin to display co-dependency symptoms as a result of seeking a coping mechanism for the unpredictable behavior of their loved ones. All too often, family members do not realize they are enabling their loved ones when they intend to help them.
Addiction ruins relationships, but families are vital resources for those who are struggling with addiction. Unfortunately, many family members are not naturally equipped to help someone with an addiction. Despite their best intentions, many people enable or unintentionally stigmatize substance abuse. Family members tend to focus their support on the person with the addiction, and they often forget to support one another. Having supportive relationships is one of the four essential pillars of recovery, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Therefore, friends and family members often need counseling, therapy, and peer support to learn how to cope with the emotional problems caused by their loved ones addiction.
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National Association For Children Of Addiction
The National Association for Children of Addiction is a national nonprofit organization that supports children and families affected by addiction. NACoA offers an online forum, literature, and referrals to local resources. They also have a program called Parents Anonymous, which offers weekly support group meetings for parents of addicts.
If youre the parent of an addict, know that youre not alone. There are many support groups out there that can help you through this difficult time.
Support Groups For Parents Of Addicts
Addiction is currently a serious public health problem in the United States. Addiction has been better understood in the past few years as a disease, but addiction is not only a disease that the individual addict struggles withaddiction is a family disease. Addiction hurts everyone with a relationship with the addict. Parents of addicts especially are confronted by the challenges of navigating relationships with their children struggling with substance abuse. However, the increased recognition of addiction as a family disease has resulted in an increase of resources designed to not only help parents find their loved one help to tackle addiction, but also to help for parents of addicts themselves.
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