Dealing with an addicted loved one is no small matter. Alcoholism ravages families and friendships as much as it destroys the individual. When there is an addicted loved one in the family it is hard for the remaining members to know when they are helping and when they are helping them avoid the negative consequences of their drinking.
Continue reading to learn about options available when dealing with an addicted loved one.
Educate yourself on addiction and recovery.
It’s surprising to see how many people carry around misconceptions about addiction. Many times the first action is to do a simple Google search to read from reputable sources what is actually going on. Learning more about where your loved one is in their addicted process will help you to better understand their actions and what actions and behaviors that might be contributing to their continued substance abuse. This also promotes empathy which can lead to more constructive interactions in the future.
Allow natural consequences for negative behaviors.
Protecting your loved one from the consequences of their actions does not help them. What it does is help their addiction maintain its hold. While there may be dozens of valid reasons the truth is that each consequence of their addicted behavior could be their moment of clarity, the moment when they realize they cannot stop drinking or realize that they continue to drink even though it brings negative consequences.
One of the most integral parts of recovery is having a supportive environment. Meetings foster this and for a lucky few this is all they need on their path to recovery. Remember, when dealing with addictions relapse is common and even with the help of the most competent psychotherapist, an addict will have to arrive at a point where sobriety is meaningful for themselves.
The most healing way to deal with an addicted loved one is by seeking out a trained psychotherapist. This could be for yourself for individual therapy while your loved one is still active in their addiction or it could be couple or family therapy once your loved one has reached a level of sobriety that will enable them to actively participate in a restorative therapy. Either way, therapy helps to mend the wounds that addiction have caused and wipes clean the slate for future.
The most effective treatment for addiction is inpatient treatment. Facilities like Clear Springs Ranch medically monitor detox while also provided group and individual counseling to help the client learn new coping skills that do not involve drugs or alcohol. Clear Springs Ranch and others like it work both with the individual and the family to restore or sometimes create healthy function for all members.
Know your life will have to change in order to help your loved one remain sober.
This change may be as simple as not seeing your loved one as much because they need to move to a different neighborhood or city or as drastic as an overhaul of daily activities in order to support sober living. Be aware of this before your loved one enters sobriety and remind yourself that your loved one is dearer to you than the simple conveniences afforded by life prior to sobriety.
Remember, you cannot control the addicted behaviors of your loved one. You did not cause this, you cannot control this, and you cannot cure their addiction. What you can do is remain empathetic and supportive when your loved one does decide to seek help for their addiction and get back their health.