FAMILY SUPPORT FOR ADDICTS
For some, recognizing a family member has an issue with substance abuse may be quite difficult. Quite often, family members find themselves in denial over a loved one’s habits and may even like to friends or other family members about it. Sometimes family members find themselves making excuses for the addict’s behavior. It is important for families to communicate openly and effectively about what their loved one is doing.
If a family member is abusing a substance, you may see certain psychological changes in them. Some indications of an addiction are:
- Anxiety and/or paranoia
- Becoming withdrawn from family and friends
- Drastic and sudden mood changes
- Changes in their personality
- Lack of attention and/or motivation
They may exert physical changes as well, such as:
- Unwillingness to clean themselves
- Have unusual body odors
- Appear to have bloodshot eyes and/or irregular pupil sizes
- Slur words when speaking
- A sudden change in weight, either gaining or losing
What can family members do?
When it comes to a loved one’s addiction, it is crucial for family members to be open and honest about it. It is important for you to focus on helping the addict in two ways: By helping yourself and helping them.
How can you help yourself?
You should not find yourself lying to others to hide someone’s addiction. Addictions can happen to anyone and it is important that you do not feel shame over someone’s battle. You should not put yourself down, blame yourself, or shame yourself over what someone else does. You are not to blame and this needs to be clear to everyone and, most importantly, yourself.
It is important that you keep other family members in the home safe. Individuals with substance abuse disorders often bring unsafe people and items around. These items, like drug paraphernalia, pipes, and needles, can be extremely dangerous. Above all, try to stay positive and remain hopeful of them getting help.
How can you help the addict?
It is important that you do not contribute to your family member’s addiction willingly. You should not supply any substances or materials for use to them. Do not go without paying your own bills in order to support someone else’s habit. Far too often family members trap themselves in the belief that they need to help the addict pay their bills or they will end up homeless. This is taking on a responsibility that is not yours to take.
Learn about the addiction. It is important for you to learn what causes an addiction and what can trigger use. Avoid being argumentative and judgmental toward the addict, yet try your hardest to express to them how their actions are impacting you.
At Asana Recovery, we see families every day struggling to help their loved one combat their addiction. It is important for addicts to have a strong support system in place as they go through recovery. We offer numerous counseling options for addicts, as well as families, to help everyone involved cope with the addiction. Call us today at (949)438-4504 to see how we can help your family.