- Playing detective and trying to find where your loved one is hiding alcohol or other drugs
- Constantly checking up on your loved one
- Putting off plans with friends or family because you’re not sure what condition your loved one will be in
- Making excuses for your loved one’s behavior or absenceFamilies who mean well will often times enable and assist their loved one in developing or supporting a habit unintentionally.
Recognize the signs of addiction. Experts have identified telltale physical and behavioral signs of addiction to alcohol or other drugs.
You should also know that people with an addiction sometimes try to stop on their own. If so, you’ll see signs of withdrawal and patterns of reuse. Withdrawal from heavy and sustained use of substances can be dangerous; medical monitoring is needed in many cases.
Stay detached, but with love. When facing a loved one’s addiction, remember this: You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it. You can address the issue of alcohol or other drug addiction with your loved one, but any behavior change is up to them.
Consider other mental health issues. About 8.9 million persons have co-occurring disorders; they have both a mental health and a substance use disorder such as depression and alcoholism. The relationship between the two is complex, but treatment is effective when medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and drug and alcohol counselors work as a team to unravel and diagnose the problem and tailor care.
Don’t judge. Addiction is a disease. If your loved one had a heart attack, would you stand back and blame him for his diet or lack of exercise or weight control? Most likely, you would rush to help. Alcohol and drug addiction is just like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It’s just as life-threatening if left untreated.
Begin the conversation and keep expectations low.It’s not easy to know what to do or say, but the stakes are high—you may literally be saving a life.
Keep these guidelines in mind for your conversation:
Do . . .
- Bring up the issue when the person is sober
- Express your concern in a caring and honest way
- Talk about the effect the drinking or drug use has had on whatever he or she cares most about: career, children, sports, physical health
- Have a support person with you or available by phone
- Write down what you want to say ahead of time so you’re prepared
Don’t . . .
- Bring up the issue when the person is drunk or high
- Use a blaming tone
- Offer solutions; you are not a chemical dependency professional
- Try to change behaviors
- Do this alone
- Despair or take it personally if the conversation ends badly; you have planted a seed
When your loved one is open to professional help, start with a professional assessment Community Rehabilitation Center has licensed professionals to conduct a screening and assessment. Every individual treatment plan is different. By completing an assessment we can determine a clear image of the problem and help create a plan on what types of treatment or services will lead to a sober, fulfilling life.
With care and support, your family can work through the chaos you’ve experienced and begin rebuilding relationships based on honesty and responsibility.
We Are Here To Help
- Outpatient and Individual Group Therapy
- Behavioral Health Day Services
- Prevent and Aftercare
- Patient-centered Addiction Disorder Treatment