Helping Family Members Who Are Addicted

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If you or a loved one has a problem with addiction, there are some steps that you can take to help yourself or your loved one.  You should take these steps right away.  It is vital to remember that addiction is life-threatening and often results in premature death.  I someone who you care about has a substance abuse issue, you should take action as soon as possible.

Having a drug or alcohol addict in your life is often confusing and stressful.  While you might have a sincere wish to help this person who has a substance abuse problem, you might not know where to start.  In this article, we provide you with steps that you can take to try and get the addicted person the help which they need.  Doing this can also help you to free yourself from what may have become an entangling situation.

Get educated

While it might be difficult to get your head around, an addicted person suffers from the disease of addiction.  It is crucial that you understand this prior to talk with the person that you care about.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that “addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences”.

Although the person that you love might be showing bad behavior, it does not make them a bad person – they are sick and have an illness.  Understand this makes it easier for you to approach the situation.  Do some research about what the disease of addiction means so that you are armed with this vital information.

Approach an addicted person with compassion

Though it might be difficult for you to overcome your anger and resentment to the person who is using alcohol or drugs, it is crucial to remind yourself that you are talking with a sick person.  When a person is in active addiction, they are no longer themselves.  They are under the influence of mind and mood-altering substances which causes them to do and say things that they normally wouldn’t.

Though the person which you care about might have stolen from you, been disrespectful to you or caused damage to your property, you have to approach the situation with compassion.  This is the only way in which you have a hope of reaching the person and getting them the help which they need.

While it might be your inclination to be angry and lash out, this won’t help.  The addicted person will likely respond by being defensive.  People who are addicted don’t respond well with confrontation – especially if it feels as though they are being attacked.  This gives them more fuel to continue their addictive cycle.

Talk to the person who is addicted

If you believe that someone you care about has problems with substance abuse, you should attempt to talk with them one-on-one.  Explain that you are concerned that they might be an alcoholic or drug addict.

If they come to this realization and are willing to admit it, try asking them if they think they might need to go for treatment.  If they have a mental illness, they might need to go to dual diagnosis addiction treatment.  Dual diagnosis treatment is a type of rehab that can help people dealing with both drug and alcohol problems and mental health problems.  This combined issue is common.  Have you considered Encore recovery?

If a person is not willing to think about going for treatment, you might ask them if they would attend 12-step meetings at Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.  You might offer to go with them.

If you express your concern and the person reacts with anger, denial or hostility, you can tell them that you are concerned for their life and that you will take further steps to make sure that they get the help which they need.

Join forces with the people who are closest to your loved one

It is common for someone who has an addiction problem to respond with anger or denial when they are confronted with their problems.  Denial is one of the aspects of addiction, and it is powerful.  It tells a person that they are not addicted and that they are able to get their situation under control.

If the addicted person which you care about is a member of your family, it can be helpful to get the family together.

Ask family and friends to make plans to stage an intervention.  After this, call Encore recovery for further professional help.

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