Learning how to deal with an addict in the family may seem nearly impossible. An addict in the grips of their addiction is not a lovely person in the smallest sense of the word. In fact, many addicts in the grips of their addiction are scary, mean, and not the person you thought you knew and loved. Many times when an addict goes to rehab and recover a family is still left with the feelings of what it was like when the addict was in active addiction and they don’t know how to deal with an addict in the family-sober or not. So if you are wondering how to deal with an addict in the family; here are some things for you to look at.
Have an addict in the family?
Understand that addiction is a disease.
Addiction can be compared to other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. All of them are chronic illnesses. If you have an addict in the family, you need to realize that they will keep using drugs, no matter the consequences because of the chemical changes in their brain. The addict in the family doesn’t choose to have an addiction just like you wouldn’t choose to have diabetes.
Educate yourself about addiction and the addict in the family.
If you have an addict in the family one of the best things you can do to deal with it is to educate yourself about addiction. Learning about the disease of the addiction will teach you about the addict in the family and it can help ease a lot of the anxiety, social and emotional stress that having an addict in the family can cause. There are even recovery meetings for people who have an addict in the family such as Al-Anon, Alateen, and Nar-Anon.
Don’t enable the addict in the family.
Enabling and detaching are concepts that anyone with an addict in the family should learn about. Many times when trying to deal with an addict in the family, parents or siblings end up enabling the addict’s behavior and never directly talk about the problem or recovery. Detaching is a way to stop enabling the addict in the family and is taught at groups such as Al-Anon.
Attend family therapy or individual therapy for yourself in order to deal with an addict in the family.
Individual therapy for everyone in the family and not just the addict in the family is important for the mental health of the entire family unit. When seeking professional individual therapy about an addict in the family be sure to look for programs or counselors who are accredited or licensed and even have a specialization in addiction. A therapist who specializes in addiction will be especially paramount for the addict in the family because the addict will be able to manipulate someone who doesn’t know about addiction or won’t be able to get any understanding from the therapist. If a family is going to do group therapy to deal with an addict in the family, this is also especially important.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.