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Drug Addiction Family:
What are the effects of addiction on the family?
One of the saddest aspects of the insidious nature of drug addiction is that by the time an addict realizes he/she has a problem, that problem has already taken a heavy toll on the family. Drug addiction family impact is immeasurable but at the same time very subtle.
"I want my kid back!"
Parents in treatment centers tell counselors and therapists that they want to “get their kids back,” as drug addiction has taken over to the point where the courts have been forced to remove the children from the home.
Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and sadly children are all impacted. Families can be sources of strength and support, or they can passively enable the addiction to advance.
Families can share in the victory over drug addiction, or they can be the victims of it.
How do I talk to them to get them to stop using?
There is no sense in arguing with an addict. Why? You don’t want to argue because you are wrong. You have been wrong, you are wrong and you will always be wrong. Only the addict is right. Against hundreds of reasonable, rational and correctly-formed opinions, the addict firmly believes he/she is right and the rest of you are wrong.
Drug Addiction Family
The hard part is separating your love of the person from what is in their best interest. People become enablers. We feel sorry for them, or don’t want to hurt them, or we just don’t want to face the problem head on and deal with it.
The husband goes into his workshop to drink, and rather than having a fight, the wife allows it. Maybe the husband has given up because he does not believe there is anything he can do to stop his wife from using.
Sometimes a mere loving suggestion is helpful. But as the abuse of a substance grows into addiction, your loving suggestion is meaningless. You’ve heard of “tough love,” and that’s just what is needed. Depending on your situation, rather than going through the pain of endless arguments over their using, go to an interventionist and get help. That person is a professional and trained to implement the best strategy. In other words, don’t be a hero. Let the interventionist be your coach.
By allowing an independent third party into your situation, you are giving yourself an opportunity to take a step back, while still doing the right thing and being a helpful part of the scenario. People go months, years without ever knowing what to do. Meanwhile the addict continues. Do they care what you think? Do they make sense to you? You need a plan and the interventionist is the first step.
You may be asked to do something you really don’t want to do, such as allowing “tough love” to take its course. Again, be “coachable.” When the therapist lays out the plan, allow that plan to unfold without interference. You will be allowed to give your input and ask questions.
Remember this-- if the addict does not allow anyone to help, if the addict refuses treatment and if the addict continues down the path to destruction, you can know that you did your best. You sought professional help. You did that which the addict was incapable of doing. Seeking professional help and getting the addict into treatment is a strong, loving move. Being supportive of the treatment plan is the right thing to do. Being a source of love and emotional support is good. Calling an interventionist is a smart, proactive move.
Drug Addiction Family: I just found out my son/daughter is taking drugs.
This is difficult. There is that sense of urgency and panic. Maybe you have discovered some pot in your child’s sock drawer, or perhaps they have displayed the signs and symptoms of drug use. Your inclination is to confront them and put a stop to it, but the likely outcome of that is going to be a huge argument and hurt feelings.
It is necessary to stop the drug abuse. It’s serious business, so we strongly encourage you to seek professional help.
Because your child is involved, there is an emotional attachment that all too often gets in the way of a practical solution to the problem. Take a deep breath and get some help. Pick up the phone and call groups like Alanon or Alateen for their guidance. These organizations will give you solid information, support and help you plan the best course of action.
If your child has been using, you may consider an intervention. Teens seldom admit that they have a problem, or even the potential for a problem, and therefore it is necessary to take steps to help. Their state of denial is strong. You need help to deal with that component of the problem. A drug interventionist will help you bring the problem into the open and formulate a strategy for helping your child.
Don’t be the Lone Ranger try to accurately access the impact of drug addiction family . Call for help. Contact groups, or the local drug addiction treatment center, or maybe even you physician. But don’t try to handle this on your own. The stakes are too high the impact to devastating.
Drug addiction family: addiction is a disease that impacts the ENTIRE family.
Drug addiction family: each family member should find help for themselves and Al-anon meetings are a great place to start.
Drug addiction family: third party treatment centers can help and are often necessary to get the addict to see that they have a problem that needs treatment.
Drug addiction family: don't enable your child who is addicted by covering for them or allowing them to get a "free ride" at your house.
Drug addiction family: sometimes the addict has to be totally cut-off from their family to see that they need treatment and that they do a have a problem. Usually the addict will be in denial until they hit bottom.
Drug addiction family: families can recover but the more spiritual support the family members can get the better off they will be.
A story about families and addiction:
7 years gone to waste!
I'm 17 and I have 2 brothers, 1 sister with our mother addicted to
drugs. Hasn't always been that way.. she stayed clean for 7 years. She
had a new car, great home, awesome job, and most of all her family. She
began to fight with her boyfriend and she wanted to move out. We got a
place and everything was fine until I started seeing old friends from
her past calling her phone and facebooking her.
I asked her but
she would have some excuse to why they were calling. She began to never
sleep or eat. Her attitude was not her. I have so much more to tell but
can't explain.. I'm always crying and looking for an answer I can't
seem to find?
You Need Support by: Ned Wicker
I can only imagine how difficult this is for
you, to watch all of this unfolding and not knowing how you can stop it
or be of help. Understand that people are always looking for answers
and for a way to handle their problems. Some people will make bad
decisions and turn to drugs, and from your brief description, it sounds
like your mom’s decision to reconnect with old friends has led to
resuming some old habits. Of course she is secretive about it, because
when we walk in the shadows, we do not want to step into the light where
other people can see us. That’s human nature.
Give Al-anon a
call. That is an organization for family members who want to help, but
do not know what to do. Believe me, they will understand what you are
going through, they will have recommendations and they will be great to
talk to. Encourage your family to do the same. Don’t try to do
all the work yourself. It’s tough being the kid, so I encourage you to
turn to an older person for guidance and support. Sometimes parents
just won’t listen to their children and it might take an outsider to
intervene. You might want to talk to aunts, uncles, grandparents. If
you’re the only one with a concern, that can be pretty lonely.
Your mom is going to need help, so the important thing is to love her,
support her, but get her into treatment. Get the help of someone who
has walked in your shoes and will listen to you. Be patient, because
your mom might resist any efforts you make. She might even get angry
with you. It’s a part of the deal, so deal with it. You can be a huge
help to your mom, so keep focused and don’t give up.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8