How to Help Someone with Addiction Problem
The forgotten casualties of addiction are often the relationships within the family unit. Moreover, not just those directly concerning the person with the problem but also between other members of the family too. Sometimes worry about the addict overrides concern over other children or parents disagree on the way the issue should be handled.
The ripples caused by this are far-reaching and for this reason, addiction is often referred to as the family disease. Helping someone with an addiction problem is not an easy thing to do and often means acting in a way that seems the opposite of what you naturally want to do or say.
What is addiction?
If your loved one is addicted to drugs and alcohol they are quite literally not in control any more. You may be faced with someone who is very different from the person you know and love. They may be irrational, moody, deceitful and even aggressive. The best thing that you can do is to educate yourself about addiction and the way that affects an individual.
In brief, this is a complex neurological condition which alters the structure and function of the brain. This has nothing to do with the strength, moral fibre or willpower of your family member. It is important to understand that this is not their fault and to try not to blame and shame them however angry their behaviour makes you. Breaking free from addiction is not an easy task and requires willing engagement from the person with the problem.
Family guide for an addiction problem
Helping someone with addiction problems is notoriously difficult because they need to be willing to change. The most important thing is to establish boundaries and stick to them. This can be really difficult at first and takes some practice especially because enabling the addict is the worst thing to do. It is natural to want to help them but not letting the addict have their consequences can stop them from finding the willingness to find recovery.
Engaging with a family therapist can help and so can attending self-help groups for the families of addicts or alcoholics. One of the best forms of support comes from other people who have been through or are going through the same thing. Al-Anon is the 12 Step fellowship associated with Alcoholics Anonymous and is tailored to meet the needs of family members.
How to help someone with addiction problems means looking after yourself
One of the most important ways to help a family member is to look after yourself properly. It can become really easy to get too involved with their chaos. Simple things like making sure you get enough sleep and ensuring that you engage with things that give you joy are essential parts of the helping the addict in your family. This helps to deal with the feelings of frustration and depression that often occur in this situation. If you are not in a good place, how can you help anyone?
The Hader Clinic – A guide for the families of addicts in Melbourne
The Hader Clinic facilitate a range of options designed to support family members to help the person with the problem. Statistically, those who have loved ones that are involved in the recovery process have improved chances.
The Hader Clinic can offer family counselling and proven intervention services which help families to pave the way for their loved ones to enrol in one of our treatment programs. Moreover, the Hader Clinic offers a renowned family program which runs twice a month in Melbourne for the relatives of those who attend inpatient treatment.
We also advise that you read Jackson Oppy’s book “Living with an Addict”.