Studies suggest that one in 10 Americans will suffer from substance abuse disorder in their lifetimes. In other words, most people have a friend or family member who struggles with addiction.
If you have a family member who’s addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can turn your life upside down. Addictive behaviors affect the people we love the most and are closest to. Your addict might steal from you, count on you for financial support, or subject you to their mood swings.
Regardless, families of addicts have it tough. You need to simultaneously support your loved one while still respecting and loving yourself.
We want to help you get through this time. Keep reading to learn more about how family members of addicts can cope.
Educate Yourself About Addiction
It’s for families of addicts to take on the blame. We think that we have somehow contributed to their addiction. You might also think you haven’t done enough to help or can’t do enough to help.
This type of thinking is dangerous and unhelpful. Understand that addiction is a disease. Furthermore, you aren’t responsible for your loved one’s choices, even if they say they drink or use drugs because of you.
Educate yourself about addiction to understand the way it works. Learning how little you have to do with their addiction can give you peace of mind, which will put you in a better position to provide support.
Talk to People You Trust
Families of addicts bear a heavy burden. It’s not easy seeing someone you love go through such a difficult time. Watching someone lose friends, finances, and job opportunities takes a toll.
In many cases, family members of addicts are also subjected to fits of rage and other outbursts of emotion. This can lead to emotional exhaustion, feelings of helplessness, and depression.
Talk to people you trust who can provide an ear and a shoulder to cry on when necessary. Everyone needs someone to confide in during situations like these.
Seek Professional Support
It’s important to find professional support for families of addicts. Work with an experienced counselor who can teach you the family roles of addiction. They’ll give you the tools you need to communicate, help heal, and more.
The experts at a family recovery center can provide counseling for family members of addicts which includes healthy coping mechanisms. They’ll also teach you how to set and enforce your own boundaries with the addict in your life.
We recommend attending family therapy sessions so everyone is on the same page. This is essential for maintaining your own mental health.
Take Time for Self-Care
On the topic of mental health, make sure you set aside time for daily self-care. If families of addicts don’t take care of their own needs, they won’t be able to provide care and support for their loved ones.
Self-care looks different for individual members of families of drug addicts. For example, it might include working out, taking a bath, watching TV, reading a book, painting, playing music, etc.
Do what brings you joy to ensure you’re not falling victim to your loved one’s addiction. It may sound selfish, but holding up this boundary for yourself is of the utmost importance.
Looking for Help for Families of Addicts?
You already know how difficult it is to have a family member who’s addicted to drugs or alcohol. We hope this guide helps you cope and get through the process. And remember, it’s always a good idea to find professional help for families of addicts.
For more lifestyle and wellness tips, read through some of our other articles. Our blog was created to provide valuable information and insight for people like you.