Addiction knows no boundaries. When one person is struggling, it’s also touching family members, children and friends in some way. Anger, sadness, resentment – so many emotions stir amongst the addict’s close circle. It can be difficult to process those feelings, whether the affected person has sought treatment or still needs convincing. There are several resources for families to consult, whether it’s a great book, a support group or a website resource. It’s a good idea to learn how to process your emotions and learn how best to communicate with your loved one to avoid situations you’ll both regret later.
Family Resources – Educate Yourself About Addiction
The more you understand the science behind addiction, the more you will begin to understand exactly what’s happening to your loved one’s brain, their behavior and why it’s so tough to quit. To learn more about the science of addiction, drugabuse.gov offers a great overview as to the brain’s reaction to taking drugs and the long-term effects. For an in-depth look at addiction in the U.S. the Surgeon General’s Report, Facing Addiction in America will provide some insight into the epidemic.
These books are some great resources to get you started. Addict in the Family by Beverly Conyers, a mother whose daughter who fell to the grips of heroin, the gathers stories of fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters of addicts who speak to loving, detachment, intervention, and self-care during this challenging time. Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You by Charles Rubin will speak to those who need to learn to detach from their children’s destructive behaviors. For further reading on codependency and setting appropriate boundaries as a parent, Afraid to Let Go by Mary Crocker Cook, D.Min., LMFT, CADCII, will be a great resource. When a teen or young adult is struggling with addiction, parents have questions – and lots of them. From financial questions to coping with life after treatment, The Addicts’ Mom: A Survival Guide: A Financial, Legal and Personal Guide for Parents of Teens and Adult Children with Drug and Alcohol Issues tackles topics on every parent’s mind. Author Cassandra Collins draws from both her legal background and personal experience with her sons’ addiction problems.
Join an Al-Anon Support Group
The important thing to remember, whether you are a spouse, friend, sibling, child, parent – you’re not alone and your loved one is not the only one struggling with substance abuse. For more than 60 years, Al-Anon has provided fellowship and support to family of alcoholics. Regular meetings provide an outlet for family members to share their experiences, emotions, anger, hope and strength with each other. Being able to verbalize your feelings with people who understand exactly what you’re going through is incredibly therapeutic. Find an Al-Anon meeting near you.
For additional information, visit our Family Resource page. Contact us today if a loved one needs treatment. Our admissions team can help.