Family and Friends Involvement In Alcohol And Drug Addiction Treatment: Importance And Best Practices
When a close friend or member of your family becomes heavily involved in narcotics it’s easy to determine that something is wrong.
It’s important to quickly recognize the problem and take the initiative and take the appropriate action to identify the problem and confront the cause.
It is important to remember that this can be a problem that can cause moral and trust issues within the family. The line of interference in someone’s personal life and helping them out should only be crossed knowing that the person does need help and that he knows it, and these addicts usually do.
Why Is Family Involvement Important?
This addiction might be caused by stress at school or at work and may be a result of peer pressure. The problem may not be something related to you unless the affected person is your own child or parent. The status of your relationship is not as important as your concern, especially if you are close to the person suffering with the disease.
The importance of family involvement can and probably should consider the following elements:
There are some things about your family members that only you know. The atmosphere at home plays a key role in determining the mental health of every individual so this makes you the most approachable figure for your family member in need.
It is quite rare to hear about a problem from the addict himself. Being in the home allows you to observe exactly how the behavior of an individual changes over time. Certain slight changes, including those related to work habits, eating and nutritional habits (junk foods or not eating), etc. can tell you a lot about your family member in distress.
Most caring friends come from the same areas in life and as such you can be expecting help from the peers and people who might understand and possibly had some experience with and expose to the problem. Just be sure that the friends are not also part of the problem.
There is a lot of affection available in a family. Unlike friends, family members will show a unique love for an addict, even while suffering from the disease. They will pour on the extra care when an addict takes steps towards recovery and treatment.
The Best Practices
Let’s look at some effective steps that you can take to make sure your family member gets back on the path to sobriety and is there to stay.
This question is personal, but once you get the individual to open up about the dosage he/she is taking or the amounts of drink being consumed, you can gauge how bad the situation really is.
That, coupled with behavioral observations, will give you a rough idea of how long has the addiction has been going on and the progression of the disease.
It’s difficult treating an addiction while the addict is still in his life. You can contact your loved ones’ school or workplace and request a leave of absence. Keep the addict in the treatment program and make sure he is stable before you send him/her back to work.
Catching someone doing drugs or identifying an addiction in a family member is often taken as a sign of character weakness and not a disease.
Understand that this is an illness and a disease and we need to embrace instead of disowning the individual. We must treat the individual like any patient suffering from an illness requiring care and affection.
Don’t start a ‘Silent Treatment’! Begin with an awareness of the problem… don’t ignore it… and by talking to him/her on a daily basis.
Gently discuss their situation once the confession of being addicted is made. Being able to regulate feelings by talking to loved ones can be a great medicine in itself.
Your Spouse: What Should You Say And Do
You and your spouse are completely in charge of how life unfolds within your family. Alcohol or drug addiction at such times, however, can lead to the disintegration of all future prospects.
To find your spouse drunk and out of his senses on a normal weekday night or accidentally finding exotic pills in her purse are examples of worrying signs where you might need to step up and take some initiative.
It can be very demoralizing and worrisome to begin seeing signs of addiction in a spouse. It can definitely have a significant adverse impact on your relationship, but only you can identify and defend against it.
The Vocal Treatment
Drug and alcohol abuse always has a negative connotation of possible addiction attached to it. Yes, it might be just a case of anxiety, depression that’s causing the behavior but it’s something that needs to be identified, recognized, and dealt with before it leads to more serious levels.
Can you have a conversation without it turning into an angry confrontation? Is it possible for you to have a calm and normal conversation, filled with love and compassion?
Think about it… would you want to hear about how you are a failure when you return home at night or wouldn’t it be better to just talk about the issues and offer to help?
This simple question or impersonal anecdote might act as your motivation to converse with your spouse. Here are some possible questions and conversation starters:
For a working spouse, be there by asking him/her about how things in the office are progressing and if something unexpected or some mistreatment/harassment took place. Get to know about his/her day in more and more detail to unlock the secrets behind the possible addiction(s).
Ask this in the most affectionate and caring way that you can, because a communication gap between the spouses results in a angry burst in the relationship that cannot always be cured. Learn the reason for the stress gradually.
The same affectionate tone should be used; the entire point of the conversations is to make him/her feel your presence in the most heart-warming way possible.
Once the reasons for the problem and the behaviors and intentions become clear, try to gently talk your spouse out of the need for substance abuse because it clearly does not solve anything.
Reflect on how your financial position, impression on family, and the relationship become victimized in this process, and how you are unwilling to give into that void. The conversation and the positive pressure could help your spouse in getting over his/her needs.
The Action Treatment
Unless you yourself are a rehabilitation professional, your actions need to be revolving around a caring, loving, and more spiritual healing with your spouse. This can be done in the following ways:
Your spouse’s companions can tell you a lot about his/her condition in the office and in any after hour activities that they have. Sometimes a workplace acquaintance might know about an addiction you are clueless about; do not get disheartened, just add it to your understanding of the situation and the eventual repair or healing process.
Stress plays a strong role in people opting for addictive substances as their way out of it. When your spouse comes home or is spending his/her day off with you and the family, make sure that there is no extra frustrations or worries that surface.
Before the unwanted stage where you realize that going to a rehabilitation center is of utmost importance, it is wise to contact professionals in the field and learn of all the possibilities that are available to you.
Centers like ‘Chateau Recovery’ have a hotline which is functional 24/7 for your needs. 888.971.2986 Please do not hesitate to contact them… even if you just need simple advice or encouragement.
How To Help Friends And Relatives With Alcohol Or Drug Addiction Problems
Substance abuse is definitely nobody’s best friend. The friends and relatives in your life might think differently be heavily involved in it. As a friend or close relative you might have to play the role of pointing out that obvious fact.
Circumstances at home, school, or work might become so stressful, disheartening, and discouraging that your family member or close friend might start abusing drugs or drink to find some relief.
The harms associated with drinking too much or getting involved in hard drugs are not unknown to mankind anymore, and yet when you see so many privileged people involved in it, you cannot help wonder what forces them to do so.
As a respectable family member and friend you need to step up and try to help save your loved one from this kind of negative behavior and lifestyle.
Here are a few ideas that might help you in learning how to do just that:
There are some common symptoms associated with substance abuse which can strengthen or nullify your suspicion of your companion being involved in it. These include:
Such symptoms are signals and a reason to pay closer attention.
Unless you talk to a victim you cannot know the entirety of their story. If the problem is caused by something like an abusive employer, over work, insecurity, peer pressure, etc., then the problem might be solved by changing companies and environments.
The case can become a lot more serious if the problem lies within the home. Your friend might get engaged in regular fights with his/her spouse, or be on bad terms with his/her parents for some unknown reasons.
As a non-family member the most you can do is become a dependable friend to talk to.
Think about it; how effective would a meeting in a bar with a certified alcoholic be? Not very productive, that’s for sure.
Meet at a comfortable and quiet place, enjoy a natural atmosphere, and allow your friend/family member to open up to you in privacy. These are times and situations when you will generally get to know the cause of the addiction.
You need to withdraw yourself from any money borrowing/lending or buying and selling that you were following with your friend.
The individual could possibly be involved in unethical acts like stealing and thievery and will need a lot of financing to keep up with the thirst for addiction. He might be trying to sell you stolen goods or offer them for collateral on a loan. Be very careful! Don’t finance anyone’s criminal activity or pay for their addiction.
If the individual is dependent on family income, the family must try to restrain it and get the individual back on track before providing him/her with any substantial benefits.
More often than not, there is a group or a particular individual involved behind your loved one getting deep into the illegal substance. Talk to his/her immediate group of friends, run down clues, and narrow your list to the people in his/her social gathering who are the sources behind the supply.
Remember that you are not interfering in your family/friend’s life, you are trying to save it, and there are some lines that need to be crossed before the circumstances get too serious or late.
This is a Great Video
Here is a very eye opening news story that might give you some insight into dealing with family and friends with addiction issues:
If you need help or know someone that does, give us a call. Even if it’s just to ask some questions and get some quick information, the Professionals that answer calls on our helpline will do everything they can to assist you.