How to Get Help for Family Members of Addicts
An addicted individual’s actions affect not only themselves but those closest to them, including friends, family, and loved ones. Addiction is not a one-way street. When someone compulsively abuses drugs or alcohol, the repercussions from their behaviors extend outward in a capacity that tragically affects many of their loved ones. Unfortunately, many addicted individuals live in a state of heavy denial. Therefore, they do not fully understand the impacts of their actions on themselves, much less the way their actions affect those they care for.
How Addiction Affects Loved Ones
Prolonged substance abuse will not only deteriorate the health of the addict, impair their mental function and damage their spirit, but it will also impact the physical health, psychological well-being, and financial stability of the entire family.
A child living in a home with addicted parents can be changed forever. Data shows that one in five children in America is living with an addicted parent today. Children learn by hearing, seeing, and through their environment. Children watch their parents and are curious about what they see, and their actions often mimic the behaviors they have witnessed. Children living with an addicted parent are at a higher risk of developmental delays, and in many instances, their physical and emotional health becomes neglected.
Additionally, behavioral and psychological problems are experienced at a much higher rate for children and teens of addicted parents. Among other concerns, a child who lives with and watches an addictive parent is at a higher risk of becoming an addict. A child of an alcoholic parent is four times more likely to suffer from alcohol abuse disorder, typically beginning when they’re teenagers and continuing into adulthood.
In a domestic partnership, one partner chronic substance abuse often leads to issues such as physical and verbal conflict. Addiction often becomes the center of the conflict as some of the most common problems resulting from substance abuse include financial difficulties, embarrassment or shame, legal issues, and distrust between partners. An environment of drug and alcohol abuse could also create feelings of resentment and anger and impaired judgment. In the worst-case scenario, these emotions boil over into incidences of physical and verbal abuse, violence, harm, and even death of a spouse.
Despite the age of their child, a parent is always concerned about their health and well-being. The realization that your child struggles with addiction is often unpleasant and can result in parents questioning their decisions or parental abilities. Often, parents of an addicted child blame themselves for the substance use disorder, but parents need to remember that they should focus on helping their children as opposed to placing blame. It is essential for parents to help arrange help for their child in the form of drug intervention programs or alcohol treatment programs.
Different Ways to Help Your Addicted Loved One
Do Your Research & Learn the Signs
To help an addicted loved one, it is necessary to know the signs and symptoms of addiction. What addiction looks like is different for everybody, and therefore, it is essential to do your research to understand when your loved one is acting differently. Some common signs and symptoms you may want to look for include:
- Developing problems with memory
- Appearing intoxicated more and more often
- Sleeping more or at irregular hours
- Appearing unwell and tired
- Emerging difficulties at work or at school such as dropping out or losing a job
- Significant alterations in mood such as becoming angry, sad or lashing out when questioned about their substance use
- Avoiding social or family events specifically to use drugs or drink
- Stealing money or valuables to pay for drugs or alcohol
- Lying about substance use or how much they are using
- Attending social events only if drugs or alcohol are available or becoming intoxicated before the event
- Neglected appearance and poor hygiene
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they are not using
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Collaborate with Empathy and Compassion
Empathy and compassion are two of the most powerful tools you have when it comes to helping your addicted loved one. Due to the stigma associated with addiction, many people may be tempted to judge their loved ones who are struggling with addiction. Instead, empathy is crucial to help that person.
Speaking with frustration or cutting sharp remarks to someone struggling with a substance use disorder can only push them further away or encourage them to guard their secrets more closely. By accepting your addicted loved one as a person, even if you do not accept their behavior, you may start to inspire them to seek recovery and treatment.
Research Treatment Programs
While your loved one may not be ready to accept your help or seek treatment just yet, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you could do for them. While keeping the communication lines open and encouraging them to enroll in an alcohol intervention treatment program, begin to do your research on different addiction treatment centers.
Go online, request literature, or even give the facility itself a call. Explore the available options and help determine what might be the best fit for your loved one period, the more informed you are, the better prepared you are when they are ready to seek treatment.
Testimonials from Families
Although I've been a sober member of a 12 step program for 17 years, I was at a loss when it came to helping my own family member. Eric and Evan came highly recommend by trusted members of the recovery community. After the first meeting with Eric and Evan, my family was extremely impressed with their professionalism and knowledge. Eric and Evan showed only warmth and compassion during the whole intervention process. Their ability to work together was nothing but seamless. The two of them fully complimented each other throughout the intervention process. Eric and Evan worked tirelessly to get my loved one to agree to enter a treatment facility and they located one that was perfectly suited to my loved one's needs. They even stayed with him throughout the admission process. They have continued to follow up with us throughout the process Our family is forever grateful.
Evan and Eric were instrumental in taking our loved one to treatment. We couldn’t have done it without their intervention. It was just impossible. They were a tremendous help both in their active intervention and their psychological support to our family. They were relentless, patient, empathizing but firm with our daughter. I was impressed by the manner they handled challenging situations with calm, kindness, and assertiveness; always available to communicate with us throughout the process via text messages and phone calls. Their presence and coaching on how to communicate with someone with substance abuse were invaluable. I learned so much from them within a week and feel confident in staying firm while loving. Now we can all sleep in peace knowing our loved one is in treatment. There is no time to lose to save a loved one addicted to drugs. Contacting Evan and Eric was the first step in the process to recovery. It is money well invested in their professional services. I completely trust their competence and integrity.
Evan and Eric, I don't quite know where to begin. You guys were beyond remarkable. When it became apparent that my grandson was very negatively impacted by substance abuse with a likely underlying mental pathology, neither I or the family knew where to turn. As a result of a referral from a Psychiatrist specializing in substance abuse and mental illness we were referred to you. What an incredible find. What you guys provided was far more than what I expected. Judging from the results of your involvement, which to date have included a family led intervention and a successful admission of my grandson to a well regarded substance abuse residential facility; the first step in my grandsons treatment is off to a promising start. Considering how defiant my grandson was to entering a residential facility what you guys achieved in getting him to accept residential treatment was incredible and reflective of your commitment in supporting him and the family... Job Exceptionally Well Done. It is also apparent that your commitment and support did not end with my loved walking through the residential facility's front door where he was admitted. Your follow up and continuing support is something we all look forward to and once again this reflects your continuing commitment to a lasting recovery. I as well as the rest of the family will always be in your debt. Most importantly, and not obvious at the moment I am convinced that my grandson will come to realize how truly fortunate he is to have Evan and Eric on his side as his champions. If anyone wants to contact me regarding utilizing/evaluating your services please feel free to give them my contact information. A simple thank you is not enough.With affection and warmest regards.
Resources for Families of Drug Addicts
Trying to locate the appropriate treatment for a loved one struggling with addiction, especially a program tailored to meet their individual needs, can be complicated. However, as the stigma around drug and alcohol abuse treatment and prevention begin to recede, more and more resources are becoming available for family members to help their loved ones. There are currently numerous online resources that can help family members to locate a local program or obtain information on programs available nationally. Some of the most well-known include the following:
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA maintains a website that helps show the location of residential, outpatient, and hospital inpatient treatment programs throughout the country.
- The Partnership at drugfree.org provides information and resources on teen drug use and addiction for parents. This information is designed to help parents prevent and intervene in their children’s drug use and help find treatment for a child who needs it.
- The American Society of addiction medicine, a society of physicians dedicated to increasing access to addiction treatment, maintains a website with a nationwide directory of addiction medicine professionals.
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides many different resources for family members and those struggling with addiction. At their website, one can find booklets, factsheets, and other information on drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and drug and alcohol treatment centers nationwide.
At Footsteps of Serenity Treatment Centers, our goals center around connecting families and loved ones with caring, compassionate intervention services. Our drug and alcohol intervention programs in Los Angeles offer everything you or your loved one needs to achieve and maintain sobriety.
Alcohol and Drug Intervention Programs in CA
It can be challenging to know what to say to a loved one who is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. At Footprints of Serenity, our professional interventionists will work side by side with you and your family throughout the intervention process.
Recovery Companion and Recovery Coaching Services
The early stages of recovery can be difficult to navigate on your own. Footprints of Serenity offers sober companionship, 24/7 accompaniment, and recovery coaching services designed to help you maintain sobriety at the early stages of recovery and throughout your recovery journey.
Case Management and Aftercare
At Footprints of Serenity, we understand treatment and recovery do not end when with the completion of our program. Whether providing treatment recommendations, at home detox services or case management, our team remains here for you and your family throughout the addiction recovery process.
Each person struggles with addiction differently, and therefore treatment must be individually tailored to meet their needs. Here at Footprints of Serenity, we provide individual, full assessments with you and your loved ones to ensure we offer the right recovery path for your needs.
Our team at Footprints of Serenity in Los Angeles, California, has developed relationships with a broad network of treatment centers across the country. This allows us to provide a variety of different treatment options for you and your family. From treatment and detox placement to addiction counseling, relapse prevention, and mentoring, we can help ensure you are provided with all of the services you need to find the right path to recovery.
Different Methods of Help for the
Family Members of Addicts
Addition has significant adverse impacts on the addict, but these impacts do not stop there. The effects of addiction touch the lives of the addict’s family, friends, and even community members, such as employers. For this reason, it is essential for services to be available for family and others who are impacted by addictive behavior.
Counseling for Family Members of Addicts
Addiction treatment programs commonly offer family counseling options in addition to traditional addiction counseling for someone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. These programs allow friends and family to learn more about the individual’s addiction, and what they can do to help during the treatment process and after treatment ends throughout the recovery journey. Family counseling can also help family members and loved ones understand things that they might be doing that could be inhibiting the addict’s ability to attain sobriety successfully.
Intervention services such as those offered at Footsteps of Serenity can help bring family members, friends, other close members of the addict’s social circle together to help the addict understand how their addictive behavior affects not only themselves but also those around them.
There are a wide variety of support groups available to help family members of addicts. These groups, such as al-anon, help bring together those who share a common concern. Through supportive, regular meetings, friends, and family members who struggle to help an addicted loved one share experiences, advice, and offer support and suggestions.
At Footprints of Serenity in Los Angeles, California, we bring over twenty years of intervention and addiction treatment experience to helping you or your loved one achieve sobriety and recovery. We understand that addiction presents differently in each person, and therefore one single treatment will not work across the board. Our individualized assessment process ensures you or your loved one are provided with the best possible path to sobriety and indefinite recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction. If you are ready to find your road to recovery, contact Footprints of Serenity today.