People with addiction issues are not the only ones who suffer, their family members and friends suffer too. This is a sad truth. When family is involved, each one of them suffer in their own ways. The members may feel abandoned, anxious, angry and embarrassed because of the addict’s behavior and habits. The damage can extend throughout the friend circle in some cases. For all of these reasons, it is necessary to understand what addiction can do, how to help someone with addiction and how to improve life thereafter read more.
Knowing Addiction is a Disease
The most important thing, if your loved one is an addict, is to understand that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing or sin. This is a good news, because addiction can therefore be treated successfully with appropriate medication and rehabilitation. It may take a long while to come to this understanding when you are preoccupied by the negative effects the addiction of the loved one has caused. You may have trouble letting go of the anger that has accumulated for many years. The resentment toward the addict seems to remain forever. However, understanding the fact that addiction is treatable and curable is a big step toward success.
Learning Coping and Communication Skills
When your loved one is a victim of addiction, it is essential to learn new coping and communication skills while learning to protect your own emotions. This will help them and at the same time support them through their recovery process. Family members need to recognize the health problems of addiction and various other issues arising from them, and understand that what they say or do will have positive or adverse impact on the addict’s road to recovery. The good news is that many family members have been successful in learning the skills and reversed the addiction with proper treatment. In essence, acquiring healthy coping and communication skills can lead to rewarding outcomes for both the family members and addict.
Codependency is one of the major problems seen in families with addicts. This is a complex relationship between family members and the addict which appears to be fun and loving on the outside but inhibits successful transition from addiction to cure. In a codependency situation, the addict becomes increasingly dependent on the family for everything. The addict learns to depend on others to ‘fix’ his or her issues. For instance, the addict may ask family members to bail him or her out of jail, after getting into trouble with law. The family members in return will do what is being asked, even clean up the “mess” created by the addict in order to protect the addict and themselves.
This behavior may continue as long as the family members are enabling it and letting it to happen again and again. It can take a toll on the life of everybody involved, not just the addict. This is a dangerous situation to be in, something that many family members cope with in order to survive the emotional pain and distress caused by the loved one’s addiction. Enabling behavior like these can temporarily lessen the conflict, but for the long run they are highly counterproductive and dangerous. Knowing this fact is important before such a behavior is entertained.