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How Family Members of Addicts Cope

Addiction has become a massive problem in the United States, with over 100,000 Americans dying from alcohol-related issues. For those close to addicts, we know the struggles and that addiction is not just about the addict. Many family members struggle as well.

Sharing with your friends and family the difficulties you’re going through is not always easy. Knowing that someone else is going through the same thing can be helpful in some ways, but it’s not always easy to deal with those sharing this difficult time in their life.

One of the most effective rehabilitation centers that provide substance use treatment and family support groups is Indiana Center for Recovery. We offer treatment tools for your long-term recovery.

Key Takeaways

Addiction is a complex and often misunderstood disorder. It can be difficult for family members and friends of addicts to understand what they are going through. 

Here are some tips to help them cope with an addiction:

  • Offer support and listen carefully. Allow them to share their feelings and concerns, which can help them feel understood.
  • Don’t expect an instant cure. Many people expect addiction to simply disappear once they learn about it. However, this isn’t always the case. It may take time for an addiction to heal mentally and physically.
  • Encourage the addict to seek treatment if they want mental peace and addiction-free life.

Indiana Center for Recovery offers family therapy programs and effective treatment options. Contact us at (844) 650-0064.

The graphic explains effective tips to deal with your family members' addiction problem.

Effective Ways for Families to Support Addicts

The disease of addiction is dangerous, a relapsing brain disorder or mental illness that affects your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It’s not something you can will away or overcome on your own. 

Drug abuse or substance use disorder is a chronic disease requiring addiction treatment or additional support, professional support, and care. There are several ways that family and friends of addicts can cope with surviving an addiction. 

Acknowledge That Addiction Is a Disease

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to understand that addiction is a disease. Substance use problems cause mental health conditions that require professional treatment. 

While family members and friends may want to help, they should not try to fix or cure the addict.

Talk Openly About Your Concerns

It can be difficult to open up about the struggles you are experiencing, but it is important to do so to support your loved one. Open communication is key to fighting addiction together.

Listen Attentively

It can be hard to listen when you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, but remember what your loved one says. Simply listening can help them feel understood and supported.

Respect the feelings of substance users. This is a difficult time for your loved one, and they may not want to talk about their addiction or struggles. 

Respect their wishes and allow them space to process their emotions privately.

Be Compassionate

No one wants to feel like your partner, patient, or children are struggling alone, and being compassionate will go a long way in helping your loved one feel like they aren’t alone in their battle against addiction.

Offer Resources and Support

There are often groups available for family members and friends of addicts who want to learn more about how to support their loved ones during this difficult time. 

Finding Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon family groups, and Nar-Anon family groups can be helpful in both individual and group settings.

Stay Grounded

If you are close to someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, here are some tips to help you stay grounded:

  • Remember that substance use addiction is a disease, not a character flaw. The person with addiction is struggling with a physical and emotional problem, not something they are doing wrong.
  • Respect their wishes for privacy. If they want to keep their addiction a secret from you, respect that. Let them know that you love and care about them, but don’t pressure them into talking about their addiction.
  • Avoid comparing your situation to theirs. Every individual’s experience with addiction is unique. You may have experiences and knowledge that can be helpful to them, but don’t feel like you have to share everything with them.
  • Acknowledge your feelings and emotions. When things are tough for you, it can be hard not to take your anger and sadness out on the addict. Please don’t do this, as it makes things harder for both of you. Allow yourself time and space to process your feelings without judgment or criticism of the addict.

Talk About the Future

Addiction is a serious problem that can devastate the lives of those affected. If someone you love is struggling with an addiction, it can be difficult to know what to do. 

You can help them overcome addiction problems by discussing their future goals. You can also seek counseling services for your addict family member.

Be Understanding

Let your loved one know you are there for them, no matter what. Support them through their recovery process, and don’t push them to continue using drugs or alcohol if they don’t want to.

Don’t Blame Yourself

While it may feel like everything falls apart when an addict begins struggling, blaming yourself will only worsen things. Allow your loved one to take responsibility for their recovery, and don’t give up on them prematurely.

Offer Hope

Believe that your loved one can overcome addiction, and offer your support in any way you can. Remind them that they are not alone, and offer words of encouragement.

Encourage your loved one to get private therapy sessions, family training programs, and SMART Recovery in a safe place. If your loved one is ready and willing to seek professional help, encourage them. 

Recovery from addiction can be long and complicated, but it can be done with the right support network.

Be Supportive

Rehabilitation programs vary in length and intensity, so be patient while your loved one adjusts to the changes being made in their life. Be there as a support system, listening attentively and offering moral support and help during this challenging time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What can families do to cope with a loved one’s addiction?

Families can do a few things to cope with addiction in a loved one. First, they can support and encourage the addicted person, even if they don’t feel like they can do much else. This means being there for them when needed and not pressuring them to quit or get treatment.

Families can also provide support groups for addicts and their families, which can be a valuable resource. Finally, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, not a character flaw, and loved ones should not expect their loved ones to get clean overnight.

What are the 4 levels of addiction?

There are four levels of addiction: physiological, psychological, social, and spiritual.

Physiological addiction refers to a body’s natural reaction to drugs and other substances that hijack the brain’s reward system. This can lead to compulsive use and a need for more of the substance to experience the same level of pleasure.

Psychological addiction is a mental health disorder that causes people to develop an excessive attachment to a particular activity or substance. This can result in dangerous behaviors such as continued use even when it’s causing harm to one’s health or relationships.

Social addiction refers to how people become trapped in addictive relationships – be they with friends, family, work colleagues, or romantic partners – which often causes them great stress and unhappiness. 

Spiritual addiction is a craving for meaning and purpose in life that can lead people down dark paths of self-destruction.

How do you deal with someone who has an addiction?

If you are dealing with someone who has an addiction, first and foremost, patience is key. It can be difficult to see the person you care about struggling with such a serious issue, but it is important not to snap or judge them.

Try to be understanding and supportive, even if the addiction prevents them from fulfilling their responsibilities or taking care of themselves. Additionally, it may be helpful to talk about your own experiences with addiction. 

This can help the person you are caring for understand where they are coming from and provide them with some support.

Finally, don’t hesitate to seek professional help if the addiction is causing significant problems in your life. Few things are more frustrating than trying to help someone unable or unwilling to address their problem.

Indiana Center for Recovery Offers Hope for Families

If your loved one is suffering from addiction, they may need help finding resources to get the treatment they need. Indiana Center for Recovery is a comprehensive treatment center that offers family addiction treatment programs. 

Our healthcare providers are supportive and provide you with the tools to overcome substance use problems and help your entire family.

We treat dual diagnosis, mental health disorders, and substance abuse problems. Our treatment options include detox, residential treatment, outpatient treatment programs, and many others. Our family therapy programs are designed to help families overcome addiction and restore their lives.

Get more information about our programs with just one call at (844) 650-0064.