Individuals that are fighting addiction-related problems and issues often find their families at the receiving end of their troubles. Addiction problems can erode family dynamics, break down trust, communication and have a disastrous effect on the financial condition.
Frustrations, anger, and disbelief are common emotions that family members experience in the light of addiction problems. From discovering traces of the abuse in the form of syringes or hidden bottles of alcohol to seeing their loved one breakdown are shocking sights!
Every major expert in the domain of addiction recovery has not failed to highlight how the family can emerge as a major source of strength. Even when one of their own is struggling to maintain sobriety, the family members can help in the treatment and recovery process.
In this resource article, we are going to discuss ten major ways how the family can play a key role in helping a member in addiction recovery. Before we get to the list, let us first look at some things that family members should refrain from when a member is dealing with addiction.
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How a Dysfunctional Family Set-Up can invariably end up Encouraging Addiction?
Many studies and researches have found that addiction forces traditional family structures and dynamics to become dysfunctional. In such cases, problems of addiction are ignored or swept under the carpet, rather than being addressed head-on.
Let us try to highlight some areas that families should refrain from-
- The first mistake that should be avoided is making excuses for the behavior of the individual that is fighting an addiction problem. Rather than making excuses, it is best to ensure that the individual is held accountable for their actions.
- Secondly, dysfunctional families tend to hide problems of addiction because of fears of shame and embarrassment coming to the family. This makes them not pursue treatment plans, recovery strategies, and processes that can aid in positive development.
- Thirdly, conservative family dynamics work on distractions. They tend to keep highlighting the positive aspects of the individual struggling with addiction problems. In other words, balancing or compensating one action with another is followed.
The first emotion of denial needs to be replaced by proactive attention and care. Placing anger or blame should not be done at any cost. This breakdown structures and processes and plays a detrimental role in addiction recovery.
List of 7 Ways the Family plays a Key Role in Addiction Recovery
1.Unconditional support and encouragement-
If the family acknowledges that a problem persists, it can move towards addressing the same. In such an instance, the family members can offer unconditional support and confidence to the individual. This can help the individual feel that they are alone and others are willing to invest their time and effort in extending help. This can be a great source of emotional support.
2.Try to limit the individual from accessing drugs and alcohol-
Being on the lookout for the family member that is fighting addiction and ensuring that they are in a safe environment is necessary. While this might sound wrong, it can help the affected individual stay away from the environment and people that might trigger consumption. This is a progressive step that should be done to help in aiding the recovery process for the individual.
3.Researching recovery centers and detox facilities for the patient-
An individual that is struggling with addiction might not be in the right mental state to find out about recovery centers and detox facilities. Family members can do research, complete the initial discussions, go through reviews and find out the best centers for their affected members. This is an important process, where timely help and intervention can help aid recovery.
4.Accompanying the patient to sessions and providing strength and support-
It takes a lot of strength to get yourself checked into a rehab facility. Driving someone down to the center might sound simple enough, but in the case of patients battling addiction, the same can be a major problem. Just being present at the location can be an empowering act that can demonstrate unconditional support and loyalty. All this plays a role in the recovery process.
5.Helping with financial costs and family insurance coverages-
If you are looking to work with the best recovery centers, you need to be prepared to incur the financial costs for the same. In this regard, the family can help arrange the finances or work to ensure that the insurance coverage will be able to help pay the bills. Financial constraints are a common phenomenon that prevents individuals from accessing the best facilities.
6.Ensuring that the treatment plans, medications, and other strategies are being followed-
While a patient may stay in a detox facility or rehab center for a few weeks, their medications, therapy, and other treatment plans might continue for months. Family members can ensure that the individual is sticking to their prescribed schedules, taking medications, doing self-help exercises, developing new hobbies, and going for therapy and support group sessions.
7.Playing an active role in preventing relapse from taking place-
It is not uncommon for patients that have been sober for a long time to suddenly relapse without any prior warning. This happens because of some stress and anxieties. The family needs to ensure that they are doing all they can to ensure that a relapse does not take place. Putting into place new coping mechanisms is the responsibility of the family members.
The Final Takeaway
According to leading recovery experts, family members should start by educating themselves on how addiction works. This will help them be in a better position of understanding before they start helping their fellow member. Try to stay away from substances and alcohol yourself if you are helping someone deal with an addiction problem.
Family members need to exercise patience during the entire process. It might take months, but losing your temper will prove to be counter-productive. It is equally important to not expect sudden or drastic progress in the patient’s condition. Remember that addiction recovery is a marathon and not a sprint.
If you have any other questions or queries on how you can help a near and dear one overcome addiction troubles, please reach out to us in the comments below.
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