addiction

Do you know someone who’s been suffering from addiction? Does that someone aim to seek assistance from other people to help themselves get out of the destructive cycle of harmful practices? How do you deal with addiction if it involves your family and loved ones? Will you let them succumb to it or fight with them to overcome it? 

As a family member, it might be heart-wrenching to see your loved ones being trapped in the web of addiction, more so if it concerns your child or yourself. You may be wondering what lead them to that situation and thinking of ways to help them free themselves from it. While the process may never be easy, a single spark of hope can be of great help for someone who’s hoping to recover from addiction. 

The help of the family members and loved ones can also give the patient enough reason to pursue recovery and be better. While the process to recovery can progress over the years, what’s important is that it guarantees healing and full recovery for the person. Opportunely, there are various addiction treatment and recovery centers that offer assistance to treating a family member’s addiction. For more ideas about these centers, you can click here

1What’s Addiction and Why Is It Hard to Quit?     

Addiction isn’t always made out of someone’s choice. Most of the time, it’s the result of a certain traumatic experience, unpleasant memories, and disturbing thoughts and feelings. While most people may not view it as a life-threatening scenario, addiction and addictive disorders should be given enough medical attention as soon as possible to prevent worse-case scenarios.

What’s alarming about developing an addiction is that you may not know what it’s all about initially. Similarly, people who are experiencing severe addiction conditions barely know that they’re dealing with one. What these people always think is that they’re doing things to appease what they perceived as a temporary need for that time. It’s only later after that scenario will they realize that they can no longer stop. 

Addiction poses an impact on the frontal cortex of your brain, which significantly alters your sound judgment and impulse control. Aside from that, addiction also alters the brain’s reward system in a way that the memory of a certain experience can trigger an increased ‘hunger’ or craving for drugs, liquor, and cigarettes despite negative consequences.

Studies show that around 21 million people, or approximately 8.1% of the population, need adequate medical treatment for addictive disorders. Based on this data, one can’t deny the number of people affected by various forms and types of addiction. 

In helping your family member or loved one recover from addiction, willpower and determination play a vital role during the process of breaking a certain habit and recovery. For example, simply hoping to heal won’t work. You have to embed to the person the need to change and recover from that situation. 

They must have the strength and focus on pursuing goals. Also, here are some comprehensive programs and treatments to effectively cure addiction and help your family member.

2How to Cure Addiction?

The pathway to healing and recovering from addiction is often considered to be a rocky road. This journey can progress over the years and needs constant medical support, even with the help of family members. Particularly, addiction involves not only the individual suffering from the condition but also everyone around them.

Various programs and treatment options for addiction usually depend on several factors, such as the type of addictive disorder, severity of the condition, and the effects on the individual. Similarly, professional doctors and physicians significantly rely on the physical complications that an individual has developed as a result of certain behavior. 

Common interventions utilized by doctors and counselors to treat addiction often involve a combination of outpatient and in-patient programs, medication, rehabilitation, and psychological counseling.

Below are some steps to better help your loved one who’s been suffering from addiction:

  •  Assess the Situation

To have a better understanding of the enormity of the situation your family member has been in, it’s essential to know where it originated. For example, if you’ve been observing a drastic change in your loved one’s behavior, you should know first what made them act that way. Talking about the problem and allowing them to share their problems with you can be of great help in this stage. 

Most of the time, addiction stems out from traumatic experiences and unpleasant memories, which most people try to suppress but still fail to do so. When a person’s been dealing with disturbing emotions and thoughts, they tend to find a way to let it out through defense mechanisms. However, when this fails, some people resort to using harmful substances and new routines to forget, often leading them to develop harmful routines and behaviors. 

To effectively resolve the problem, it’s best to evaluate the situation. Know how they reached that point and then formulate adequate ways and interventions on how to help them accordingly.

  • Address the Behavior

You may be wondering how you can address your loved one’s situation without triggering their condition. One of the primary things that you can do is to talk to them about their problems, their thoughts and feelings, and how they deal with them. Also, you should be keen on observing their behavior as this may be a useful tool to identify what they’ve been going through.

Addictive disorders pose a significant impact on a person’s biological functioning, affecting emotional regulation, impulse control, motivation, and pleasure-seeking behaviors and altering the brain’s reward system. Because of this, the body becomes dependent on an outside substance to achieve a sense of happiness and simply maintain the ability to function.

Aside from learning about the root cause of the problem, you can seek professional help regarding adequate interventions, which you can utilize to better help them resolve their condition. Bridging gaps between your family and building healthy communication between each family member can be a great help in curing addiction and other addictive disorders. Also, you can persuade them to attend seminars about addiction and make them engage with other people.  

Addictive disorders pose a significant impact on a person’s biological functioning, affecting emotional regulation, impulse control, motivation, and pleasure-seeking behaviors and altering the brain’s reward system. Because of this, the body becomes dependent on an outside substance to achieve a sense of happiness and simply maintain the ability to function.

  •  Establish Firm Boundaries

Setting firm boundaries on your family member can help them know your overall goals and steps to better cure their condition. For example, you can set distinct limitations about the behavior that you do and don’t want to see. You can also implement a combination of appropriate consequences along with positive reinforcement to encourage the kind of behavior that you’d like to see. 

Apart from reinforcements, you can also make them learn the goals that you’re all working hard for; even setting a specific timeline for recovery can be of help in some cases. Tracking the inputs of the recovery and making your family member learn about them, along with the expected positive results, can further help you achieve your goals of recovery.    

Providing moral support and emotional care for your loved one can also be a useful tool in curing addiction. Make them feel that you care for them. Make them see your affection and love, and this might help them realize the beauty of their lives and motivate them to change and be better. 

  • Educate Your Family

How can you resolve something if you don’t have a single idea about it? This goes the same for curing addiction. Not knowing anything about it can be a huge hindrance in achieving goals of recovery and healing. This is why educating yourself about your loved one’s condition is crucial in helping their recovery.

In particular, educating yourself about your family member’s overt behavior, identifying the drastic change between how they react then and now, and acquiring enough knowledge about their condition are some of the things that you can do to achieve favorable results in the end. You should also educate yourself about professional services and available resources which you can utilize for this journey can also be of great help not just to you but also to the people around you. 

You can also learn about the environmental (substance availability, peer influences, triggers) and biological (substances’ effects on brain changes) underpinnings of addiction and the variety of programs and interventions for a speedy recovery. In terms of researching, you should take the initiative of updating yourself with the latest research and medical studies regarding treating addiction and helping people to recover. 

Similarly, you may also familiarize yourself with the proper terms and languages to help avoid stigmatizing their condition and effectively address your loved one’s condition in a constructive and objective approach. By doing so, you’re able to empower yourself to make logical and sound decisions and equip yourself with proper information about that certain condition. 

Final Thoughts

Supporting a family member or loved one to recover from addiction is never easy. Seeing them suffer because of their condition can be heartbreaking and devastating for you. That’s why balancing the act of offering moral support and giving them as much emotional support as they need can be of great help. When helping a family member who’s been dealing with an active addiction to alcohol or any other drugs, it’s crucial to educate yourself about their condition.

Aside from this, you can also implement various interventions and programs to help them better, as well as some practices to do, such as assessing the situation, addressing the behavior of your loved one, establishing firm boundaries of what’s acceptable and not, and educating your family can substantially help your family member in their journey to recovery and healing. Also, regardless of their condition, you must make them feel your unconditional love and support to make them realize the beauty of life.