Substance abuse and addiction can harm family dynamics, weaken trust and cause a breakdown in communication. When a family member is suffering with an addiction, those closest to them often endure a wide range of painful emotions such as anger, hurt, confusion, fear and betrayal. This can make it difficult to sympathise with the individual or offer support, particularly if their addiction has had a negative impact on you, such as having your money stolen to feed their addiction.
However, family support is one of the most important factors in helping a loved one with their recovery journey. As a family member, spouse or close friend of someone in recovery, you are crucial to the success of your loved one’s journey. Whilst entering rehabilitation is a very important step to achieving long term recovery, love, support and understanding has the potential to increase likelihood of recovery, improve psychiatric symptoms and prevent relapses.
How to Help a Family Member Suffering from Addiction
Approaching your family member about their addiction can seem daunting and awkward, particularly if you aren’t sure about how they will respond. This can make it difficult to know what to do or say.
Before approaching the topic of addiction, it’s important to understand what they are experiencing first. Whilst it’s natural to feel upset or angry at your loved one’s addiction, you should remember that they are likely feeling guilty themselves and directing your anger towards them will only fuel the fire or push them away.
Coming from the place of support is the most beneficial way to help your loved one. You don’t have to pretend to know all the answers but just displaying your support and offering words of encouragement can show them you care and want the best for them.
Dos and Don’ts of Speaking to Your Relative About Their Behaviour
Do: Speak to them when you’re both sober
Don’t: Be judgemental or critical
Do: Have the conversation in a private and familiar location in case you or your relative become emotional
Don’t: Interrupt them. Allow them to speak and listen to how they may be feeling.
Do: Allow plenty of time for the conversation to take place
Don’t: Give up. Addiction is complex and requires plenty of patience and perseverance from the individual and their family.
Getting Your Relative the Right Kind of Help
Many people struggling with addiction believe that if they can just become substance free they will never need to use again and life will be far better. Unfortunately, for the majority this is not the case.
In fact, a large percentage of individuals reflect that life became all the more difficult in their early abstinence. Feelings and emotions which have previously been suppressed by substances tend to come flooding back and can be incredibly overwhelming. Addiction often presents a variety of consequences which can suddenly become a reality. That’s why it is incredibly important to be there to support relatives struggling with addiction.
At Acquiesce, we provide a discreet, highly supported and safe environment within the community for your relative to recover in. Without being hidden from the real world, our urban recovery model allows individuals to gain all the tools and experience necessary whilst maintaining a carefully monitored level of autonomy and responsibility over their own recovery. This makes the transitional period from treatment a much smoother process, resulting in a more sustainable recovery journey.
Our core programme addresses the psychological, physical, spiritual and social effects of addiction. Delivered by a team of highly trained and experienced professionals, we incorporate the latest evidence based interventions, alternative therapies and activities.
Our programmes are designed to accommodate each individual’s existing commitments and responsibilities including family and work arrangements. Find out more about our available rehabilitation programmes here.
Family Support at Acquiesce
At Acquiesce, we offer a range of family support services including family psycho-education and update calls with your loved one. Family psycho-education aims to provide those concerned with a greater understanding of addiction and what their loved one is experiencing.
Benefits of Psycho-education
Complicated Topics are Made Simpler To Understand
Addiction is a complex disease that has a range of complicated mental, physical and social effects. Psycho-education breaks down these terms into a simpler terminology, helping family members to better understand the technicalities of addiction.
Many people suffering with an addiction feel guilty and shameful as a result of the social stigmas that surround addiction. Psycho-education teaches both the individual and their family that addiction is a chronic, treatable disease and is not a sign of poor character or moral failing, helping to relieve some of the emotional pressure from the individual.
Creates Opportunities for Open Discussions
Psycho-education presents opportunities for individuals and their families to have an open discussion and ask questions in a safe and managed environment, keeping conversations calm and preventing arguments.
For any more information about the help we can provide here at Acquiesce, give us a call today on 01204 771940, or alternatively request a callback from us here.