When addiction takes hold of someone you love, the situation impacts everyone. As the parent, sibling, spouse or child of someone with a substance use disorder, life begins to feel out of control. You have questions and concerns about how to deal with your loved one’s drug addiction, but not many answers. You feel desperate to help them, but you don’t know how.
Choosing sobriety is your loved one’s decision, but families play a huge role in an addicted person’s recovery. There are many ways you can be proactive throughout their addiction recovery process and help your loved one find their way back.
1. Educate Yourself About Addiction
Your first step should be to arm yourself with knowledge about addiction. There are tons of resources available, from books at your local library to online articles and blogs.
Education will help your family understand the nature of this disease and give you a sense of hope that treatment is possible. When you understand how addiction impacts your loved one’s brain, you can escape the blame game. Once you understand that addiction is a disease, you can let go of anger and focus on their healing.
2. Connect With Others Who Understand
When a close relative develops an addiction, this stress can lead to deep mistrust in the family. Find a support group with others in similar situations, and attend meetings on a regular basis. Over time, feelings of isolation will begin to disappear and you will learn to trust others again. You’ll realize you’re not alone. By talking to others, you may also feel empowered to accept and handle your loved one’s addiction with patience and understanding.
3. Attend Family Counseling Sessions Together
Dealing with addiction is never easy. Spouses, siblings, parents and children of an addicted person may experience distrust and isolation, guilt, anger, extreme stress and the inability to talk openly about how they feel.
Attending family counseling sessions together can help mend each member of your family. You will learn the tools to assist your loved one with their recovery and gain an understanding of how to heal from the trauma of addiction.
4. Be Patient During the Process
When your loved one finally enters treatment and embarks on their recovery journey, you’re bound to feel a sense of hope and relief. You may think that once their addiction is addressed, everything will go back to normal.
Remember that addiction recovery is a process. Sometimes it takes a long time to notice a change. Be patient with your loved one, even when they make mistakes.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Throughout your loved one’s recovery journey, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Make sure you get enough sleep and exercise, practice good eating habits and participate in activities that bring you joy.
All of these actions will help your loved one enormously. When you are happy and healthy, you can better support the needs of your family member as they heal.
Reach Out to AppleGate Recovery for Professional Help
Although you can play a role in your loved one’s addiction recovery, you can’t fix them. They need professional help to experience real results. At AppleGate Recovery, we help patients with opioid addiction and support their loved ones throughout the process. With medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs and an individualized approach to patient care, we can help your loved one learn vital recovery skills to move forward on the road to recovery.