In the United States, more than 11% of Americans over the age of 12 reported using an illicit drug in the prior month. Millions of people struggle with substance abuse, and most of these people have family that only want them to recover.
Addiction can happen to absolutely anyone, and families play a huge part in the recovery process. Family Recovery itself is also important, and it is possible for a family to recover from drug addiction. There are a few ways that family members of an addicted person can take action to help recovery can go smoother.
Learn as much as you can about addiction
Education can help families to support instead of fuel an addiction even more. Often addiction occurs due to weakness or stubbornness, so it might be helpful to understand how it occurs in the brain.
If you can understand that addiction is not a choice, it might help you let go of anger or resentment you have towards your loved one regarding their addiction. There are many online resources that can help families recover and learn about addiction.
Connect with other people going through the same situation
Although it can be difficult to live or support someone in your family with an addiction, it can also be very important for them.
Try to connect with people who are going through the same situation as you. You can join a group such as Al-Anon or Alateen, which can provide support for families of addicts. These are also safe spaces that provide nonjudgmental situations for family members to learn and cope.
Going to a group meeting can help you:
- Find a better quality of life
- Have fewer problems with the addicted family member
- Lower your levels of stress
- Improve your overall psychological health
Participate in family therapy sessions
If you are a spouse, sibling, or parent of an addict, you may feel that you are affected and suffer consequences of your family member’s drug abuse.
Unfortunately, many people have a hard time talking about behavior that affects them, so they will say nothing. This can actually be more unhealthy and can push families to become more distant simply to avoid a fight.
Family therapy is helpful because it will help you to work through your issues in a healthy way.
Eat meals together
Providing time for eating meals together can create a positive environment to help the entire family connect. By having meals together, you can build on what you have learned in family therapy and enjoy time without media (or screens) together.
Stick to a normal sleeping and waking schedule
Due to the fact that some of the most dangerous addictive behaviors occur at night, it can be difficult for families to sleep when one member is dealing with addiction.
You might be worried that your family member will go to meet a dealer, have an overdose, come back from a party or bar, or get into a different bad situation. Despite this, try to keep a normal sleep schedule. This will allow you to be as healthy as possible to handle your family member’s addiction, with a clear mind, all day long.