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Family Survival Guide to Loved Ones Addiction Treatment
Addiction is not only painful for the addict, but for the family as well. Sometimes it can be more of a trial for a family member to deal with, because unlike the addict, they are not incapacitated or desensitized. They can clearly see what is happening to their loved one and while they might not fully understand, they are not inhibited from doing so.
The best advice for families of addiction, is to identify the situation as quickly as possible. Ask for help. Advise the addict of concerns. Confront them. Set boundaries and rules to limit the amount of use. Clear the home environment of all substances. Be firm, but show love and support. Monitor activities and friends. Learn as much as possible about what they are using, how they are getting it, and where. Know the facts. Many drug rehab facilities and addiction treatment services offer information on-line. Do not ignore the situation or try to pacify it.
The problem will not go away on its own, and can not be diffused by ordinary means. Addicts will do whatever it takes to continue use. They will take advantage of any weakness and turn the situation around as it suits their needs. Control needs to be established. It is essential for the family to remember that it is not the true essence of the individual, but the addiction that is speaking and acting erratically. Do not enable the individual or become co-dependant.
There are many cases of substance abuse when the family actually gets in the way of the addict’s recovery. Out of love and misunderstanding they enable the victim to use, like parents who reward a child for bad behavior. They simply can not stop themselves. They believe the lies, sympathize with the faulty reasoning, and help financially; all of which only makes the situation worse. The only way to resolve the issue is to seek the professional help of addiction treatment. No matter how upset or opposed the individual becomes at the mention of addiction treatment it is mandatory to keep one idea in mind. If you act now, you may save their life. Hind sight does not raise the dead.
What should a family do to survive addiction treatment? Addiction affects the whole family mentally and emotionally. It is a draining experience and one of the hardest things that anyone will have to go through. Loved ones of the addict require their own healing phase. It is necessary to discover that the situation is not their fault and that they are doing the right thing. Like the addict the family needs to grow emotionally and learn how to deal with potential situations in a healthy and enlightened manner. It is essential that they participate in any group therapy sessions as part of the addiction treatment. The therapy is in a controlled environment where the participants are encouraged to speak freely, in a non-hostile manner. The sessions are monitored by the therapist, and while they can be quite painful, they are very important to the recovery of the family.
The relationship I had with my family drastically changed after I entered addiction treatment. I was a very angry person with a lot of unresolved issues that were only made worse through my experiment with drugs. I was so emotionally out of control that I could not communicate in a healthy manner to anyone, but especially not to my parents. Through group counseling we learned how to relate, and my parents came to better understand my drug addiction. We began to heal as individuals and as a family.
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