Substance Abuse Among Family

When someone you love dearly has a substance abuse problem, it can be difficult trying to figure out how you are going to deal with the issue and move on. It is important to everyone involved to learn how to best accomplish this. When your family is facing the challenges of addiction, you must all work together. Unfortunately, the one person who is causing all the problems is usually the last one to join in to get the ball rolling. Family members must come together, stop blaming themselves for substance abuse among family, and learn how to heal just as the addict must learn to heal.

Understanding Statistics

Know what you are up against. The U.S. Department of Health estimates that at least 9 percent of people who are aged 12 and older will suffer from an addiction to some type of substance. About 50 to 60 percent of those people will relapse at least one time. Successful sobriety depends on extensive support networks and freedom to speak freely.

Substance Abuse Among Family

Despite what many people think, addictions and abuse of substances do not only affect the abusers. Family members and close friends also suffer. Unintended aggression, bouts of depression, and increased conflict are just a few things that families suffer from abusers. Loved ones may feel a sense of guilt or responsibility for the substance abuse among family, the abuser’s actions and their addiction. In far too many cases, children are often neglected and abused. Many of them turn to drugs or alcohol later in life and continue the cycle. An inpatient treatment facility can help everyone learn about the addiction, how to identify and address the cause, and ways to begin healing from the emotional and physical damage that has occurred.

Profound Effects on Society

With so many addicts among us, society suffers in a variety of ways. Drug-related crime, loss of productivity in the workforce, along with increasing costs to the government for law enforcement, treatments, and incarcerations, and burials. Our cities suffer increased numbers of homeless individuals due to addictions. Many neighborhoods have become crime-infested ruins where no one is safe indoors or outdoors. Exploding meth labs pose serious threats in some areas, and portable meth labs can explode in moving vehicles, putting far too many citizens at risk of being harmed on the roadways.

Denial is Counter-Productive

Get past the denial. Many families see all the signs and know deep down that there is a problem but refuse to admit to substance abuse among family. Denial can only make the situation worse. Trying to hide the problem or making excuses for the abuser does not help address the problem. Denial turns into enabling, and this isn’t going to help anyone involved. It is hard to turn your back and refuse to supply money, shelter, food, clothing or any other needs, but if an addict encounters no hardships, they continue thinking they have the upper hand and will continue their behavior.

Maintain Open Communication

Communication is vital. Everyone should feel comfortable talking openly. The abuser needs to feel that he or she has people with whom they can talk to about feelings or other issues. Never make an abuser feel guilty for the addiction. If inpatient treatment has been chosen, encourage cooperation and involvement in the way the facility wants to help.

Recovery is a Long Process

Family members must understand that substance abuse does not go away overnight. An abuser makes a choice every single day, all day long, not to go back to abusing substances. Although this might seem like an easy task, it is a lifelong process. Sobriety takes conscious effort to fight for and addicts need to know that their family can help them make good choices.

Supportive Family Members

Be supportive, but do not smother. A big mistake many family members make when dealing with substance abuse among family is confusing support with control or smothering. A person who has a problem with substances does not need people to question his or her every move or dictate the actions they should take. They need room to breathe and deal with why the underlying issues that led to the addiction. It may be difficult, but you will need to trust him or her to make the right choices or ask for help when they feel it is needed.

Intervention is a Good Starting Point

There are a lot of families who deal with substance abuse problems. You should not feel ashamed of the abuser. Pushing them away is not going to help them realize there is a problem. If he or she does not admit a problem exists, healing and recovery cannot even begin. Some families conduct an intervention to help their loved one face the fact that the addiction is out of control and is negatively affecting everyone. This method has helped many addicts overcome denial and get into an inpatient treatment program immediately.

The important thing to remember is that thousands of people have recovered from addictions and are now out in the world rebuilding their lives and giving back to those who stood by them through the ordeal. They are proof that the right treatment program can make all the difference.

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