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Family members and loved ones of a person with addiction issues can try to convince him or her to go to rehab. A well-conducted intervention can convince the parent to seek treatment, because it points out the financial and legal issues a person with addiction can face. Most people will choose treatment after an intervention, which is facilitated by a certified interventionist. A certified interventionist helps families and loved ones communicate effectively, and adds credibility to the discussion.
Learn to Cope
If your loved one is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, learning to cope with this disease can help you deal with the emotional effects of the disease. Addictions can affect the family dynamic, and people may avoid each other or even become estranged. To cope, set aside time for the family to get together and reconnect. You can organize a family dinner, or invite other members to join you. Whatever your choice, finding ways to cope with addiction will make the journey easier.
Those affected by an alcoholic family member may feel confused and overwhelmed. The addiction can affect many members of the family, and the immediate family is particularly affected. Family therapy and residential treatment programs can repair damage done by an addict, but it is difficult for the family to understand the impact of the addiction on loved ones. Fortunately, there is Al-Anon. Its services are free and widely available. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, consider attending a meeting to learn how to support and encourage the addicted family member.
Behavioral couples therapy is a type of intervention that is designed for married and cohabitating couples. This type of intervention focuses on fostering abstinence by rewarding abstinence with a Recovery Contract. The SUD person signs the contract each day, expressing his or her intention to stay abstinent from alcohol or other substances, and his or her partner affirms and supports those efforts. Behavioral couples therapy can help improve communication and reduce stress, and can even help maintain abstinence.
If a loved one is undergoing addiction treatment, communication challenges may arise. As a social skill, communication is vital to family functioning. Often, parents with SUD experience difficulties asserting themselves or discussing sensitive topics with their children. As a result, children witness poor communication and affect dysregulation that can have significant developmental consequences. They may experience anxiety or may think their parent’s use of drugs is somehow their fault.
Finding a caregiver
Addiction is not a victimless crime. It is a condition that affects the entire family, not just the addict. Often, family members will feel the harsh judgment of colleagues and distant relatives. However, families can become part of the change. In fact, a family member can help to create a culture that is supportive of recovery. Family members can educate themselves about the disease of addiction and how to cope with it. Family members can also attend support groups with their loved ones or seek support from addiction treatment organizations.