A Guide For Families With A Loved One In Recovery: Help Them Recover

When a family member is in the process of recovering from a substance abuse problem they need their family more than ever. A supportive family who understands both the disease of addiction and the recovery process can be the difference between recovery and relapse.

The family needs to recover as well. The pain, broken promises and mistrust require healing. An addicts family has gone through an enormous struggle. Often for many years. It is not an easy process and it won’t get better overnight, however, there are clear steps to take to get down the road of healing for both addict and family. This guide will give you may tips and ideas. Also be sure to get your loved one involved in The Ridge Ohio’s alumni program and support groups at home.

Part One: Helping An Addict Before Treatment

Addiction is often called a family disease because it so completely impacts family and loved ones. Many feel anger and resentment for the way they have been treated by the addict or the way the addiction impacts the family’s life. Children and spouses often develop their own problems with relationships; either co-dependency, insecurity, or the inability to trust in a relationship because of what addiction has done to their family dynamics. Most loved ones are concerned about the addict’s behavior, health, and safety.

Part Two: How Family Can Help During Treatment

When an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all those around them suffer, especially family and close friends. Not only do family members of addicts have to watch the individual deteriorate and worry about their health, but drugs and alcohol often lead people to become argumentative, violent, selfish, inconsistent, demanding, and moody.

Families who struggle with addiction often suffer from strained relationships, as loved ones try to figure out how to interact with the addict. Many loved ones develop co-dependency when they struggle with relationships that are one-sided, abusive, and destructive. Other family members learn how to enable the addict in order to keep peace in the household. Loved ones don’t mean to harm their addicted family member, but without knowing it, many end up encouraging the person to stay in their addiction and make it very difficult for them to ask for help.

Part Three: How Family Can Help After Treatment

When treatment is over, loved ones are often anxious to get their family member home and for things to get back to normal. After rehab, however, there will still be work to do, and loved ones can play a major role in helping their family member get back to real life and watching for and preventing relapse. Loved ones should learn about addiction and know what to expect when their family member returns home, make the home a safe place for the person to remain sober, encourage the person to participate in support groups, and watch for the signs of relapse and report it if necessary.

Part Four: Loved Ones May Not Want Help

Addiction is such a controlling disease that it often is difficult to get through to someone struggling with addiction. One of the greatest challenges family members face is when their loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol but will not admit they need help. They won’t accept help, won’t enroll in treatment, don’t even want to talk about drug or alcohol abuse. This is extremely difficult for families, as they watch their loved one sink deeper and deeper into the addiction, harming themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually, and greatly impacting the rest of the family as well.

Some people say addicts need to hit rock bottom before they can accept help, but this is not necessarily true. True recovery can start at any time during addiction, but the individual must want to get sober and be committed to recovery in order for it to be successful.

When a family member is in the process of recovering from a substance abuse problem they need their family more than ever. A supportive family who understands both the disease of addiction and the recovery process can be the difference between recovery and relapse.

The family needs to recover as well. The pain, broken promises and mistrust require healing. An addicts family has gone through an enormous struggle. Often for many years. It is not an easy process and it won’t get better overnight, however, there are clear steps to take to get down the road of healing for both addict and family. This guide will give you may tips and ideas. Also be sure to get your loved one involved in The Ridge Ohio’s alumni program and support groups at home.

Part One: Helping An Addict Before Treatment

Addiction is often called a family disease because it so completely impacts family and loved ones. Many feel anger and resentment for the way they have been treated by the addict or the way the addiction impacts the family’s life. Children and spouses often develop their own problems with relationships; either co-dependency, insecurity, or the inability to trust in a relationship because of what addiction has done to their family dynamics. Most loved ones are concerned about the addict’s behavior, health, and safety.

Part Two: How Family Can Help During Treatment

When an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, all those around them suffer, especially family and close friends. Not only do family members of addicts have to watch the individual deteriorate and worry about their health, but drugs and alcohol often lead people to become argumentative, violent, selfish, inconsistent, demanding, and moody.

Families who struggle with addiction often suffer from strained relationships, as loved ones try to figure out how to interact with the addict. Many loved ones develop co-dependency when they struggle with relationships that are one-sided, abusive, and destructive. Other family members learn how to enable the addict in order to keep peace in the household. Loved ones don’t mean to harm their addicted family member, but without knowing it, many end up encouraging the person to stay in their addiction and make it very difficult for them to ask for help.

Part Three: How Family Can Help After Treatment

When treatment is over, loved ones are often anxious to get their family member home and for things to get back to normal. After rehab, however, there will still be work to do, and loved ones can play a major role in helping their family member get back to real life and watching for and preventing relapse. Loved ones should learn about addiction and know what to expect when their family member returns home, make the home a safe place for the person to remain sober, encourage the person to participate in support groups, and watch for the signs of relapse and report it if necessary.

Part Four: Loved Ones May Not Want Help

Addiction is such a controlling disease that it often is difficult to get through to someone struggling with addiction. One of the greatest challenges family members face is when their loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol but will not admit they need help. They won’t accept help, won’t enroll in treatment, don’t even want to talk about drug or alcohol abuse. This is extremely difficult for families, as they watch their loved one sink deeper and deeper into the addiction, harming themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually, and greatly impacting the rest of the family as well.

Some people say addicts need to hit rock bottom before they can accept help, but this is not necessarily true. True recovery can start at any time during addiction, but the individual must want to get sober and be committed to recovery in order for it to be successful.