One of the hardest things for family members of addicted individuals is learning how to deal with their loved one’s problem. It is hard to see someone you love struggling with the weight of addiction, and it can place an enormous amount of stress on family situations. Home life can become very difficult for everyone involved when one person is dealing with addiction.
Many addicts will be in denial about their problem, becoming defensive when questioned about it. They may begin lying to their loved ones to try to cover their tracks while some will use any means possible to get their hands on the substance they crave, even if this means stealing from those they love.
One of the first things that family members must do is accept that there is a real problem and that it is a problem that requires treatment. It is very easy to convince yourself that things are going to get better especially if the addict is swearing that he or she will stop. Many addicts will tell their loved ones exactly what they want to hear and the mistake family members often make is to believe them. An addict may truly believe that he or she can stop, but the reality is that many have no control over their actions; when the cravings come, they will typically succumb to them again.
Family members are often guilty of enabling addicts by allowing them to carry on with their addictive behaviour. While family members obviously have no control over what their loved ones do or do not do, always giving them money out of guilt can do more harm than good. Many addicts will play on the good nature of their loved ones by constantly asking for money and asking for favours such as running errands for them so that they can engage in their addictive behaviour. Family members often do not know how to say no or will say yes just for a quiet life. This is something that needs to stop, as the addict will never get better when they have someone in their life making it easy for them to continue with their addictive behaviour.
Constant disappointment is something that many family members will experience when dealing with an addicted loved one. Addicts will promise their loved ones repeatedly that they are going to stop. However, in most cases, unless they get professional help, they will be unable to. After a while, family members will find it difficult to cope with the constant broken promises and many find it difficult to love the person who continuously lets them down.
It is important to remember that your loved one is dealing with an illness that is destroying his or her life. You are not to blame for the addiction, and you cannot cure it either. Family members need to find a balance between helping their addicted loved one and staying healthy. A loved one’s addiction can place an enormous amount of stress on family members, and many will suffer health problems as a result. Staying healthy is imperative, and it is vital that family members do not let their own home and work life suffer.
Most addicts cannot beat their demons alone. Addiction is a lonely place, so the right support is required through recovery. Rehab Helper is a free service working with addicts and their families by putting them in touch with suitable rehabilitation centres in the public and private sectors.
If you or a loved one needs help, contact us today.