Understanding A Family Member Suffering From Addiction

The family of an addict is often left in the dark as to why their loved one has chosen the path of drug and alcohol abuse.  Most people simply wonder why.  Why does it seem that a substance is more important than everything else in the life of an addict.  

Addiction comes in many forms.  Some addictions are far more obvious than others.  Food, sex, or a strong social media addiction may pass as a momentary lapse of judgement, but the foundation of addiction is always similar.  Take a moment to enlighten the mind and learn a bit on how to better understand a family member who suffers from addiction.  

Snap out of the fantasy bubble and face reality

Family of an addicted loved one should make a conscious effort to tear down their unconscious expectations of life.  The relapse rate of patients leaving addiction therapy is still close to ninety percent.  People do not beat addiction in 30 days.  

Coming face to face with reality means accepting that there are some things that are simply out of our control, and addiction is not a simple matter of will.  It is common for addicts to suffer from a dual diagnosis of mental health issues along with their addiction.   

Learn how to love the addict and practice healthy self preservation

Loving an addict often requires a healthy dose of self preservation.  It is important to understand that saying “no” does not mean that there is any less love between two people, especially when saying “yes” places someone’s life in danger.  

Learn how to be assertive without being disrespectful or rude, but also understand that an addict will not live by the same creed.  Just be sure to tend to the relationships with family members who are not suffering from addiction to provide mental and emotional support.  

Understand that a person is not a problem to be fixed

One person cannot control or “fix” another person’s problems, addictions, or behaviors.  Those aspects of a person’s life are solely defined by the individual.  Once a person grasps the concept of this reality, life is usually much simpler.  

There is no value in projecting blame

Stop blaming the addicted family member for all of their bad choices and behaviors, and start looking as what you have personally contributed to the problem.  

Oftentimes, family members are key contributors, and provide drugs and alcohol for their addicted loved one.  Such behaviors are of no value towards reaching a solution.  Enabling should be a well-known vocabulary word.  

Avoid waiting for their rock bottom and seek help now

The worst thing an individual can do for their suffering loved one is wait until they are knee deep in problems to begin trying to help.  Be a listening ear.  

Provide support without enabling the damaging behaviors.  Find ways to start the journey towards recovery before the family member comes face to face with death.