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Resources for Families and Loved Ones

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Do you love someone who is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? If so, you know just how devastating the disease can be not only to your loved one but to all their close family members and friends. Addiction is commonly called a “family disease” because of the way that substance abuse ravages the entire family system, changes the normal dynamics of the family members, and causes excessive and prolonged worry, strain, and anxiety in those who are concerned about and want to help the addicted person.

If you have a family member or close friend who is abusing substances, you are not alone. We know that it can be difficult to speak with someone you love about their drug or alcohol use. These important discussions can trigger additional family tensions and not knowing how to move forward to help someone close to you can be overwhelming.

Our family resources provided here can provide you with the information you need about addiction and treatment and provide take actionable steps to help your loved one get the help they need. Topics included in these family guides include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Signs that your loved one may be suffering from a substance use disorder
  • How to create boundaries, expectations, and consequences
  • How to choose a treatment program and what to consider
  • How to approach your loved one about getting help
  • Information on treatment costs, options for payment, and insurance
  • How you can positively influence your loved one’s recovery
  • How family therapy can benefit the whole family system

Resource Guides

If you need to speak with someone right away, we’re here whenever you’re ready. Our Admissions Navigators are available at 972-848-0221 at any time to speak with you confidentially about the best ways to get help for your loved one.

As you work to navigate the struggle of helping your loved one find recovery, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself as well. You can only truly help another person when you take care of yourself. Good resources for self-care include 12-step recovery groups for loved ones, including Al-Anon, Ala-Teen, Nar-Anon, and Co-dependents Anonymous.

You can also care for yourself by:1

  • Setting boundaries or limits and clearly explaining them to your loved ones.
  • Practicing deep breathing.
  • Writing in a journal.
  • Finding humor where you can, for example through funny books or movies. Laughter is a huge stress-reliever.
  • Connecting with understanding friends.
  • Avoiding spending time with people who are overly critical or judgmental.

Also keep in mind the 7 Cs of addiction:2

  • I didn’t Cause it.
  • I can’t Cure it.
  • I can’t Control it.
  • I can Care for myself by:
    • Communicating my feelings.
    • Making healthy Choices.
    • Celebrating myself.

Try to remember to support your loved one in healthy ways. Avoid taking on all of the consequences of their actions. Remember that you can provide support while continuing to take care of yourself.

References:

  1. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. (n.d.). Managing Stress.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (n.d.). Remember the 7 Cs.
About The Contributor
Amanda Lautieri
Senior Web Content Editor, American Addiction Centers
Amanda Lautieri is a Senior Web Content Editor at American Addiction Centers and an addiction content expert for Greenhouse Treatment Center. She holds a bachelor's degree and has reviewed thousands of medical articles on substance abuse and... Read More