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How to help your family member with a drug addiction

Substance abuse and drug addiction are one of the many issues families often face. You might have a teenager in high school who got into the wrong company and is now addicted to an illicit drug or your son just dropped out of college because of an alcohol problem.

You might have started noticing a marked difference in your spouse and a bit too many prescription tablets in the medicine cabinet. Whoever the family member is, you are not alone in dealing with an addict.

Can family help?

As a parent, child, spouse, or sibling to an addict, do not disbelieve in your power to help. Family presence is crucial in providing the support and encouragement needed to a healthy and good recovery; it is important you do your part.

As a close family member and a loved one, you can help an addict in the family in the following ways:

  1. Educate yourself

Knowledge is power. This saying is true for drug addiction. To successfully help your loved one you need to begin by educating yourself on the drug abused. Is it a prescription drug? An illicit drug? An opiate? Gather as much information as you can about how the drug affects the brain, what the characteristic signs of a misuse are and so on.

Once you know what you are dealing with, look up treatment options. Usually, drug detox is performed before any drug rehab begins.

  1. Protect yourself

As family members, we have an emotional attachment to our fellow family members. This attachment makes it all too easy to be manipulated and abused by the person with the substance misuse problem.

For example, drug users often steal from their family or emotionally manipulate to get money to support their addiction. Beware of both physical and mental abuse on the drug user’s part. Remember, a drug abuse problem is no excuse for harming a family member.  Contact authorities if you have to.

  1. Don’t make excuses

To cover up their mistakes and this unhealthy habit, drug abusers all too often rely on family members to make excuses on their behalf. You need to avoid falling into the trap; if you do so, you will only be further fueling their addiction.

Instead, you could contact a substance abuse center for substance abuse treatment and help.

  1. Connect with peers who understand you

There are many support groups and platforms for families who face this problem. Here, connecting with people who are going through the same hardship as you are can help immensely. The talk and meetings of these support groups offer a non-judgmental and understanding environment.

  1. Attend family therapy

Drug rehab centers understand that addiction doesn’t just affect the drug abuser; it affects their family too. Attend family therapy sessions where you can keep up with the progress of your loved one, better understand how addiction treatment works, and eventually provide a support network to the addict. An approach that is inclusive of the addict’s family is particularly important in preventing relapse.

  1. Eat together

Life is an unending rat race. In our struggles to get forward, we forget to pay attention to our loved ones. Take out time from your daily schedule to sit and have at least one meal together as a family. Family meals can be therapeutic and can also give you an opportunity to apply what you learned in therapy.

  1. Show your support

At the drug detox center, whether it is an alcohol detox or heroin detox, the patient will be going through a cluster of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Though they may be admitted to a medical detox if symptoms get too severe, it is still important to show your support during the difficult time. Visit your family member regularly or stay in touch to motivate them and let them know they are not alone. Even a little bit of support and kind words can go a long way.


  • Find the best facility


Whether it is alcohol rehab or meth rehab, recovery is a long and slow process. Admitting your loved one in a luxury drug rehab and luxury drug detox is a great idea to ensure a comfortable and smooth journey. Many luxury rehabs offer recreational programs and activities that aim to provide a healthy environment for recovering patients. Here, they can partake in activities that promote well being and growth.

  1. Be patient

Addiction is a chronic illness. Results can take a long time to appear. You need to keep this in mind and manage expectations accordingly.

If you think addiction can be reversed overnight, you are misguided. Addiction affects a drug abusers brain and in many cases affects its normal functioning. Recovering from this can take a long time and many patients require a lifelong therapy to remain clean and prevent relapses.

You might welcome the recovering member back in your family with open arms expecting excitement and participation, only to witness the opposite. Do not be distraught and remain supportive throughout. Because remember: recovery from an addiction is a long process with many pitfalls.

  1. Practice caution

Whether it is confronting a family member about his addiction or welcoming them back from rehab, be careful with what you say and how you treat them. Negative behavior and attitudes can be triggers that could lead to a relapse. Try to be as supportive as possible and avoid stressing talks that could develop into a crisis.
Family members can play a vital role in an addicted person’s recovery. Learn more at Affinity Recovery about how you can be a part of the rehab program and be with your loved one throughout their journey.

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