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5 Ways You Can Help a Family Member Dealing with Addiction



5 Ways You Can Help a Family Member Dealing with Addiction

Substance abuse can ruin families and marriages, it can poison your relationship with your children, and it can alienate you from your work, and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment. When the pieces of your loved one’s life start to fall off like that, it’s only a matter of time before they completely surrender to their addiction, and it takes them to an early grave. As a loving family member, it is your duty to prevent this from happening and to get them back on the right track.

Now, dealing with a person who is addicted to a substance, be it alcohol or hard drugs, is a delicate process that requires planning and preparation. If you simply stage an intervention or if you get mad at them, you will only further distance them from the idea of rehab and recovery. Here are the five real ways you can help your family member overcome their addiction.


Educate yourself about the addiction

First and foremost, you can’t expect to help someone if you don’t know what they’re going through on a daily basis. You need to understand their struggle, you need to accept that addiction is not something they can just shrug off or overcome on their own, and you need to use your knowledge to influence them in a positive way. Fail to do that, and you might lose them for good because those struggling with addiction will break all contact with you if they feel threatened.

With that in mind, be sure to research their addiction, its causes and symptoms, and its effects on their emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. Through your research, you will find effective ways to approach the subject when you engage them in a conversation about addiction, and you will be able to influence their mindset.


Inspire and motivate them to enter rehab

Now that you understand what they’re going through, it’s time to devise a plan to get them to start rehabilitation willingly. Remember, you shouldn’t try to manage their addiction yourself (such as locking your kid in their room), nor should you leave them to battle this beast on their own, as only an expert team of experienced professionals can help them banish their addiction for good.

To influence their mindset and inspire them to go to rehab, you will need to engage in meaningful conversation. Be sure to ask plenty of profound questions in a non-aggressive way. Let them answer in their own words and emphasize the fact that they can only achieve lifelong health, success, and happiness if they get professional help. 

What’s more, be sure to let them know how this addiction is affecting their loved ones. Bring your family together, and let everyone say how they feel about the addiction. Emphasize your love for your family member throughout the conversation to prove that you’re on their side.


Find the right treatment options

During your preparation and intervention phases, you need to be researching rehabilitation centers for your family member. Don’t settle for just any rehab center in your area, as there are those that specialize in certain types of addiction and those that use innovative treatment methods. 

For example, a comprehensive medical detox program is one of the most effective ways to help your loved one go through withdrawal and start recovering properly. As a loving family member, be sure to find the right treatment that is tailored to the unique needs of your loved one, paying close attention to the methods the center uses to get its patients on the path to lifelong sobriety. 


Be there to ensure consistency and prevent a relapse

Once they’re out of rehab, the doctors will point your family member towards the best support groups according to their addiction, age, and other character traits. But this doesn’t mean that your job is over, as there is still a lot that rests in your hands. Be sure to provide constant guidance and support (but don’t suffocate them with attention) and make sure that they are not missing a single meeting or checkup with their doctor. Consistency will be key to long-term health and happiness, and it will prevent a relapse


Help them adopt new healthy habits

And finally, be sure to help them adopt new, healthy lifestyle habits in order to make this new chapter in their life more rewarding. Remember, adopting healthy habits such as healthy eating and regular exercise will directly influence their mindset and help them banish temptation from their heart and mind. Start slowly, make it fun and engaging, and let them experience the full benefits of every new healthy activity you introduce. 


Over to you

When you discover that your family member suffers from an addiction, the first thing you need to do is to stay calm and take a step back in order to formulate a plan of action. Use these five tips to create a long-term recovery strategy for your loved one.

Brigitte Evans is a Lifestyle Consultant and a writer from Australia, with a sweet tooth for makeup and everything sparkly. When she is not drooling over the next big thing in the beauty industry, she reads mystery novels and makes plans for her next trip. She is the proud aunt of Sophie, age 4, who has rounded her Chanel lipstick, but she loves her anyway