Families and friends with a loved one who is addicted are hurting people. Pain, fear and frustration come from watching someone they love fall slowly slip away from them. On top of that grief is the chaos and frustration that addiction brings on the family - broken trust, lost intimacy, abandonment, financial disaster, etc. Families dealing with drug and alcohol problems are often stressed to the breaking point.
No family is born with the knowledge of how to deal effectively with addiction. It is a skill that must be learned and practiced daily, and can be helped tremendously by mentoring.
Recovery from addiction is a family affair
Active family engagement in the recovery process is pivotal if the family is to heal from the destructive impact of addiction. Families need a variety of supports, information and skills to move forward with hope. Ten crucial steps to family recovery are recommended to help families find their way to true health and happiness:
1. Come out of isolation and connect with community resources - join a support group; or participate in family counseling
2. Educate yourself about addiction. Understand how addiction affects both the addicted person and the family - there is negative fall out for everyone.
3. Learn communication skills that help, such as assertiveness and limit setting
4. Eliminate unhealthy behaviors that hinder, including enabling, denial and minimizing 'the problem'
5. Learn to detach with love, and re-focus on the self and other family members
6. Use personal and family resiliency to develop strategies for dealing with relapse and other potential setbacks (e.g. anxiety, anger, etc.)
7. Support and protect children
8. Re-discover personal and family strengths
9. Pursue individual and family activities that are a source of fulfillment and happiness
10. Patiently re-build family trust and accountability.
If you have a loved one that you have a concern about addictive behavior, perhaps the best you could do for all concerned is to seek help for yourself. The good news is that, if addiction can be seen as a progressive disease that affects all family members, then treatment starting with one family member can similarly radiate recovery, hope, and health throughout the entire family
Link to educational information on addiction for family members:
Ask the Expert – In Midland, the first Thursday of every month, from 5-7 p.m., is a FREE, drop-in time for anyone. Members of the clinical staff are available to answer any question you might have about drugs or alcohol, including:
· Signs & symptoms of drug abuse & addiction
· Drug information
· Intervention strategies
· Treatment options
· Support options
Location: 1016 Residential Facility, 1213 East Isabella Rd, Midland
For more info, call 989.835.3466
Family & Friends Night – In Mt Pleasant, the third Wednesday of every month, from 7-8:30 p.m., a FREE education group is offered. Facilitated by staff, family and friends can come learn more about addiction, guidance on how to help and support.
Location: 1016 Detox Facility, 2885 Health Parkway, Mt Pleasant
For more info, call 989.775.0604