When a Family Member Has an Addiction Problem

Posted on Aug 1 2017 - 2:50pm by Susan

Any person who has ever had a family member with an addiction problem knows how painful it can be. And the pain can be long-term as well, which is why it’s important to consider all of the possible solutions to the situation. Addiction can be genetic, environmental, or based on social conditions, so some combination of looking at all three is usually your best bet.

So, if you do find out somehow that one of your family members is struggling with some type of addiction, what are some options that you have to be nonjudgmental but also helpful? You can do things like find out rehab choices, read literature about addiction, be sure to recognize the importance of privacy, and always think in the long term. Following those suggestions in general will often get you positive results.

Find Out Rehab Options

Sending a relative to an inpatient rehab center can be a very difficult choice. Relationships, professional opportunities, and social standing can all be affected. But, if the end result is that your family member comes out clean and sober, then all that effort, time, and money is going to be worth it. The better your rehab options are, the more likely you are to choose the one most suited to the situation, so the more research that you do, the better.

Read the Literature

Once you understand what rehab choices you have, another thing that you can do in order to help a family member with an addiction problem is to read the latest books about addiction. Sometimes these are first-person narratives that addicts have written, and other times they are written by doctors who have experience with addiction treatment. The more you read, the better idea you can get of how specifically to improve the condition of your particular family member.

Recognize the Importance of Privacy

If a family member is struggling, they may be hiding their problem. If you’re trying to help, one of the more important things that you can do is recognize the fact that privacy can be vital to the healing process. Especially if careers or relationships can be affected, keeping an addict anonymous in their treatment can be one of the cornerstones for successful treatment. For an example of the success of anonymous behavior, look no further than the basic concept behind Alcoholics Anonymous.

Think Long-Term

No matter what, you should always think long-term about addiction problems. Especially considering the fact that you are working with a relative who you will probably know for the rest of your life, any sort of quick fix solution that ends up back where you started is just going to make things harder to get back to eventually. Always keep in mind that the end goal is a clean and sober life, and take baby steps along the way if you need to.