5 Ways to Support a Loved One with Addiction
If you’re reading this, you probably know someone with a drug or alcohol addiction, maybe even a close family member.
Addiction can be all-consuming for the addict and their family.
Living with a loved one in active addiction can be traumatic.
It’s important for everyone involved to understand how you can help during the recovery process and how to get help for yourself.
These tips will help you support your loved one through addiction to recovery.
Find out about addiction
Understanding more about addiction can help you better understand what your loved one is experiencing, why they act the way they do, and the journey to recovery.
You can find out more about common drug and alcohol addictions here:
Recognising that addiction affects everyone in the family can help you to plan how to support your loved one and acknowledge your own need for support.
Everyone in the family needs to go through their own journey of recovery.
As part of our residential rehabilitation program we provide a thorough addiction education program for both the recovering addict and their family members to help you understand what’s happening and the steps involved in recovery.
It’s ok to ask for help (it’s smart, even)
Many addicts are unwilling to acknowledge they have a problem, even as their life may be falling apart.
It is often a concerned family member who first reaches out for help.
You may initially feel that there is a shame and stigma to having an addict in the family, but reaching out to professionals or even just asking a friend for advice, is taking the first step in the recovery process.
Family intervention is also ok but can be a very confronting experience.
We offer a highly structured step-by-step family intervention program that provides you the support to talk to your loved one about their behaviour and the effect it’s having on the family as well as the damage it’s doing to themselves.
When you ask for help you may be shocked to realise how your behaviour may be enabling your loved one’s addiction.
We help you understand family issues and explain what steps you can take to improve the situation, and to improve the likelihood of your loved one seeking professional help for their addiction.
The addict cannot do this alone, and neither can you.
Understand that recovery takes time
There’s no quick fix for addiction.
It’s a commitment every day to staying sober and making choices that don’t lead back to drugs or alcohol use.
There is no standard recovery or correct way to heal.
Recovery is a lifelong process but with a commitment to change one day at a time, it can be achieved.
Not knowing what’s happening or when things will be better can be frustrating.
Being armed with knowledge and resources can help you to understand the journey your loved one will be taking.
We can also help you recognise the signs of relapse so you can act fast if your loved one needs further support.
Think about yourself
Talking with a support group or family therapist is vital. It’s not only the addicted person who needs help to recover.
Everyone in the family will be affected in some way by what has happened.
The effect of addiction may not be immediately obvious, especially when you’re focussed on helping your loved one recover.
But over time, the stress will build up and you may break down or have an unexpected outburst over something that seems unrelated to what’s happening in the family.
Family therapy can begin the healing process and identify the specific impacts of addiction on each person’s life.
If you are really struggling with your loved one’s addiction, utilising a counsellor or outpatients programs such as Drug Arm may assist.
Make family time a priority
When everyone is suffering, spending time together as a family may not seem like the most important thing. But doing simple things together can help everyone heal.
After the trauma of active addiction, something as small as sitting down for dinner together can start to break down barriers and begin the journey back to normal family life.
Taking small steps regularly can lead to significant changes for everyone involved.
How to get help
If you are concerned about a loved one who may be suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, or want more information about our family services, please call us on 1300 856 847 for a free, confidential consultation.
Queensland’s only private rehab centre with ACHS accreditation
We are proud to be the only private drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre in Queensland to be independantly accredited.