Tips for Helping a Family Member with Substance Abuse Disorder
Battling a substance abuse disorder can be very difficult, and having the support and love of a family can make a huge difference for the person who is dealing with this struggle. If you want to help and support your loved one during this difficult time, the most important thing that you can do is to make sure that they are getting professional and medical help. Look for a drug addiction treatment center in ohio or in your own home state and talk to experts about how your loved one can work to overcome their addiction. These professionals will be able to guide your loved one through their detox process, help them access the medication that they may need to heal, and advise them on the next steps to improving their health and well-being. As a concerned family member, your first goal should be getting your loved one the professional help that they need, but you can help them even more after that.
If you have a family member who is currently trying to overcome and heal from a substance use disorder, addiction, or a chemical dependence, take solace in knowing that you are far from alone. The National Survey of Drug Use and Health estimates can over 21 million Americans are dealing with a substance abuse issue at any given time, and the real numbers may be even higher. That means that there are a lot of people who have a loved one struggling with this problem. One way that you can help your loved one is to make sure that you are getting help and support yourself. By attending groups with other family members who have a loved one who is dealing with addiction, you can find a safe place to talk about all of your feelings and the challenges that you are facing. If you are not comfortable meeting others in a group, consider using online forums to connect with other people who are in the same situation that you are in. These people and groups can often help people to learn more about addiction, such as What to expect at a drug addiction rehab and to validate your feelings. Then, when you are in a good place emotionally, you will be better able to support your family member.
In many ways, the most important thing that you can do for your loved one is simply to be there and to listen to them in a non-judgemental and loving way. However, there are some things that are better to talk about than others. For example, it is best for you to focus on the future rather than to talk about the past. First of all, you shouldn’t spend any of your time together talking about the bad things that have happened in the past, which will only make your family member feel depressed and guilty, both of which are unhelpful for recovery. While it is reasonable to expect an apology for past wrongs, now may not be the time to push your loved one to focus on the past. After all, right now you should be focused on getting them to heal. Then they can move forward and make amends for the things that they have done in the past. Second, it is important that you not talk about the good times that you had with your loved one while they were dealing with their addiction. You certainly don’t want them to start to feel nostalgic and to miss the good times they had while they were using the substance that they have a problem with. This can be very unhelpful and may even seem to encourage a relapse as if you miss their old self who was still using. Instead, talk about the future and all of the things that your loved one has to look forward to.
One of the best things that you can do is to give your loved one something concrete that they can look forward to doing after they have gotten their addiction under control. If they have a favorite band that is touring or a sports team that they love, you can make plans to see a concert or a game in the future. Talk about how much better they will feel physically and how much more they will be able to do when they are sober. Your loved ones will thank you.