Friends and family mean the world to us. We want to do our best to ensure they maintain good health and success in everything they do. This may be difficult when dealing with substance abuse and addiction in the family. Helping them is not as easy as it may seem and it’s important to remember that, in most cases, not only is addiction a mental problem, but it’s also a physical complication as well. According to a study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2010, it was found that 23.1 million people, ages 12 and over, need treatment for an alcohol or substance use disorder. When approaching a family member about receiving professional help for their addiction, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
Learn as much as possible
Making sure you are educated on the complications that the family member may be facing or will face on the road to recovery is very important when considering approaching a family member on receiving assistance for addiction. Being well versed is a great way to connect and an even better way to prepare yourself for the journey of getting them professional assistance. Not only will this be a new journey for your family member, it will also be a new journey for you as someone who will love and support them on their way to health. Staying informed will be a key element of this transition.
Come from a place of love, not judgement
It’s always easy for someone on the outside looking in to view addiction as a mental block that can easily be challenged if a person just puts their mind to it. That idea can’t be farther from the truth. It’s important for the addicted family member you are trying to help know that you’re attempting to help because you love them and care about their well-being and not because you’re deeply disappointed in them and can’t empathize with their issue. This is probably the most important part in the approach. If a person feels like they’re being judged, he or she will be more likely to shut down and distance themselves from you and possibly even make the problem worse. Showing love, care, empathy, and attention are the best ways to approach the issue without seeming judgmental, dismissive, condemning, or disappointed. Learn more about the nature of addiction as an illness and not a character flaw here.
Offer to go to therapy with them
Sometimes, the fear of being alone in recovery can cause a person to abstain from getting the help they need. Sometimes, he or she may need the physical presence and encouragement of someone they trust, honor, and value to help him or her pull through this difficult time. Offering to go to therapy with them is a great way to get them to open up to the idea of speaking to a professional in order to get started with recovery. Therapists all over the world like the ones at Jacksonville rehab encourage family member attendance in therapy sessions to help the addicted family member open up and feel more comfortable and supported.
The process of helping a family member with addiction is never easy but taking the time out to approach them the best way you know how can help facilitate the process. Always remember to be a helping hand in your family member’s most dire time of need. For more helpful tips and successful stories of family members helping with addiction, click here.