How To Help a Family Member With Addiction

Addiction can be a terrible thing, and to have to watch a family member suffer can be truly heartbreaking.

Feeling helpless is normal, but you can assist them in getting the help they need to move forward.

Read our advice below and learn how to be of service to your loved ones in need. 

How To Help a Family Member With Addiction

Speak To Them

Admitting they have a problem with addiction may be one of the hardest and scariest things in the world for them.

Sit down with your family member and discuss your feelings with them and talk about the benefits of inpatient drug rehab. They may not be fully aware that their usage is a problem or they may be in denial of how bad things have gotten.

Talk them through how their self-destructive behavior is affecting not only themselves, but the whole family, but make sure you highlight that you are concerned because you care.

The key is to not push too hard as they may end up trying to create distance between the two of you and if they won’t see or speak to you, you will not be able to help them. Try and have a conversation with them when they are not under the influence.

For this reason, avoid any big confrontation events such as a staged intervention unless you have sought the help of a professional before your meeting, as this could backfire and cause your family member to become angry and resentful, leading to a dangerous and highly emotional situation. 

Do Your Research

Understanding addiction will help your family member feel more seen, heard, and supported.

As difficult as their behavior is for your family, drug addiction is a disease, so trying to fully understand the nuances of the illness will also make it easier on you to let go of the resentment you’re likely feeling and lead you to be more helpful in their path to recovery. 

Take Them To See An Addiction Professional 

A medical professional that specializes in addiction will be able to guide your loved one through their journey to recovery. This may be in a more formal rehab facility, at the doctor’s office, or even attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Seeking help for addiction may be the hardest thing they have ever had to do so being by their side will offer comfort and give them the support they need. 

Attend Family Therapy

While you should be encouraging your loved one to seek therapy on their own, additional therapy as a family can be extremely helpful.

Often addiction stems from past or current trauma, so being able to understand what led to their addiction can be a huge step towards helping them recover. Perhaps they have been keeping something secret from you.

In a family therapy session, you can fully explore and understand one another’s choices, and you will be able to discover what they need from you to move forward. 

Have you helped a family member through addiction before? Share your story in the comments to inspire and inform other readers. 

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