Addictive Drugs: The Family’s Role

Addictive Drugs: The Family’s Role

The old adage is true: addiction is a family disease. Those who have fallen into addictive drugs typically need family for support. As such, a family can play an essential role in a loved one’s treatment and recovery. As addiction to addictive drugs and alcohol can take a massive toll on a family’s wellbeing, getting help for yourself while the addict recovers (or doesn’t) is a must. Recovery begins when each person comprehends family dynamics, the impact of addiction, and how to form a supportive, caring connection. At Scottsdale Providence, we provide a safe environment that fosters change and healing relationships.

Signs of Addiction to Addictive Drugs

Substance use usually affects everyone in a family, whether they know it or not. Some family members will be inclined to take on roles that protect the family or the addict, for example. Identifying if someone in your family is struggling with addiction to addictive drugs or alcohol these may help to illuminate the dynamics and get the family on the road to recovery. Here are a few signs your loved one is struggling with addictive drugs:

  • Borrowing or spending money they don’t have
  • Failure to fulfill work commitments or tasks
  • Reduced interest in social or other activities
  • An uptick in risky conduct, such as unsafe driving
  • Sudden changes in weight, decreased energy, or other visible bodily changes
  • Neglecting clothing, hygiene, and appearance
  • Detachment from friends or family; becoming secretive about where they go
  • Anger, despair, or paranoia

Different symptoms of use can be seen with marijuana, alcohol, prescription medicines, and other substances. Some of these symptoms can be caused by a variety of substances:

  • Elated behavior
  • Red eyes
  • Coordination issues
  • A reduction in cognition or comprehension
  • Anxiety/Agitation

If your loved one is exhibiting any of these symptoms, knowing how to offer them support is vital to preserving a healthy relationship and boosting their chances of recovery.

Discussing Treatment with a Family Member

Family RolesTalking to a loved one about your worries can help you get back on track from their struggle with addictive drugs and alcohol. During the conversation, avoid using angry language or making allegations. Helping your loved one share their ideas and feelings regarding substance addiction and therapy in a non-judgmental environment is key.

If you don’t think you can start such a discussion without it escalating into an argument, call a well-reputed treatment center and make an appointment with a therapist. A staff member with experience in addiction and family therapy can help steer the conversation and offer treatment advice. Should your loved one decide to seek treatment, consider family counseling.

At the beginning of treatment, your loved one will rightly be focusing on their own recovery, including triggers, trauma, or underlying mental health issues that contributed to their addiction. During this time, they may decide to face these issues before starting therapy with their family. Don’t take this personally. Instead, take the time to address any issues, thoughts or roles you play in the family dynamics.

Once family therapy starts, you can discuss these topics with your loved one and the therapist. Focusing on your own recovery is integral to the healing process. Finding a supportive group of your own, such as Al-Anon, can be life-changing. Once you begin to heal and learn coping skills, you can be physically and emotionally available for yourself and your loved one. Remember, secure your own oxygen mask first! If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t help anyone. Once you begin your understanding journey, you can learn to offer support and help foster healthy changes for all involved. Finding a supporting group of your own, such as Al-Anon, can be life-changing.

Family Involved Recovery

At Scottsdale Providence, regular family therapy sessions are built into our treatment program along with weekly visitation. We offer a monthly Family Meeting support group and a Family Workshop to provide essential tools for improving communication, establishing healthy boundaries and repairing damaged relationships.

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It's not the end. It's the beginning.