Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Important Ways to Support a Family Member with an Addiction


Many people will deal with an addiction at some point in their lives, and many more people will know someone with an addiction. Although it affects the addict most, being addicted to a substance or behavior also has a significant impact on the people around them. We often think of addictions in relation to alcohol and drugs, but they can also be related to gambling, sex or love, and many other behaviors. If you are the family member of someone with an addiction, their illness affects you too. There are lots of ways you can help both them and yourself, to support them through their recovery and make sure that you look after yourself too.

How to Help an Addict

It can be incredibly difficult to live with an addict, and it can make your life a struggle. Helping them to recover is not easy, but it's a great first step when they want to get better. You might attend doctor's appointments with them and help them to decide what sort of treatment program to undertake. Some people choose Williamsville Wellness and similar residential options while others prefer to recover closer to home. Either way, they will be living at home eventually, and they'll need the support of those around them. The first thing you can do is recognize their addiction as a serious illness, which means avoiding judging or accusations. You need to understand that both of your lives with change, and that you shouldn't wish for your old life back.

It's important to provide a stable environment in which an addict can continue their recovery. Some of the ways you can prepare your home include straightforward tasks, such as providing a clean environment, where there are no temptations. This could mean a number of things, depending on the addiction. For example, it may involve getting rid of any alcohol or blocking gambling websites on your computer. The environment should also reduce triggers for their addiction. You should create agreed boundaries and ensure that you don't enable the addict in any way or shield them from the consequences of their actions.

It's up to you to educate yourself on addiction and recovery to help you understand the process. You can read a range of materials, as well as talk to different people. Remember that you are involved in the recovery process too, so you should pay attention to how it can affect you.

How to Help Yourself

Addiction takes a toll on the whole family, so it's crucial that you look after yourself too. Make sure you take time out to care for yourself, and that you and your family member don't become dependent on each other. Remember that you are there to support them and not to work harder than they are at recovery. You should be walking alongside them, not dragging them behind you. Don't forget that there are always professionals to talk to, who can help both of you. You can speak to a therapist or attend a support group to share your feelings and benefit from listening to similar experiences.

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