A Guide to Coping With Addiction in a Loved One
Being stuck in active addiction or alcoholism certainly comes financial, mental, physical, and social difficulties. A lot of the time, the focus is on the person who suffers from substance abuse and dependence. However, for their family members and loved ones, the consequences can be just as severe and the struggle of coping with addiction can lead to many of the same feelings experienced by the addict or the alcoholic themselves. If you love someone who suffers from a substance use disorder, it is vital to know how to deal with it and take care of yourself so that their addiction or alcoholism doesn’t drag you down, too.
Coping With Addiction: Getting Help for Your Loved One
If you have decided that the best course of action for coping with addiction in a loved one is assisting them in getting help, there are several things you can do to make this process less of a burden and more effective. In this situation, it’s important to:
- Avoid enabling– It may seem helpful to give your loved one money or otherwise help them avoid the consequences of their drinking or drug use, but ultimately this only helps them to avoid having to take responsibility for their actions. The best way you can help is by setting a boundary: telling your loved one that you will no longer assist them in anything besides seeking professional help for their drug or alcohol use.
- Seek intervention and professional help– Coping with addiction is exhausting and difficult, and ultimately, it’s best handled by professional clinicians who are trained and licensed to help addicts and alcoholics. Seeking help from a professional interventionist can help you get your loved one into effective treatment for their substance use.
- Practice self-care– In the midst of someone’s active addiction or alcoholism, it can be easy to neglect your own needs. Getting help for your loved one is important, but whether or not they accept the help, it’s important that you take care of yourself as well. Therapy and self-care routines can help with this.
Coping With Addiction on a Daily Basis
For some family members of addicts and alcoholics, coping with addiction involves more than just getting help for their loved one. In fact, addiction is a chronic disease that impacts everyone who is in contact with the afflicted individual, and simply going off to treatment doesn’t immediately heal the damage caused by addictive behavior. For friends and family members, coping with addiction is a long-term process that continues even after their loved one gets professional help. In order to heal from the impact of addiction in the family, it may help to:
- Seek therapy: Addiction involves secrecy, manipulation, and fear. Therapy can help you to heal from the pain your addicted loved one may have caused you, as well as help you to develop better communication skills and work on setting healthy boundaries with your loved ones.
- Join a support group: Addiction can be a very lonely disease, and not just for the patient. Friends and family members of addicts and alcoholics may feel ashamed, alone, or isolated from the people around them. Support groups of other loved ones of addicted individuals, such as Al-Anon, can help you to feel supported and less alone. These groups can help to support you in coping with addiction in your loved one.
Ultimately, coping with addiction is an individual journey that each person experiences a little bit differently. It’s important to be gentle with yourself and with your loved one who is suffering from addiction because the healing process can be long and painful. Fortunately, therapy and support groups can help you to navigate this process, no matter where your loved one is in their addiction or in their recovery.
Making sure that you stay healthy and developing positive boundaries can support your loved one in their recovery by creating a better environment for them. It can also alleviate some of the pain caused by watching someone you care for suffering from addiction or alcoholism. Over time, learning to cope with the actions of others in healthy ways can improve your quality of life and generate peace of mind that lasts, whether your loved one is in active addiction or in recovery.
If you are worried about a family member or loved one’s use of drugs and alcohol and need information about treatment, call Wellness Retreat Recovery today at 888-821-0238.