Overcoming addiction is a tough—but totally doable—goal made all the more possible with supportive companions. Yes, we’re talking about family!
Continued healing and growth are up to the person working through addiction, but no one can do either of those things without the help of others.
Family support plays a huge role in overcoming addiction. After all, we need one another.
Why Family Members Need Each Other on the Road to Recovery
You might be surprised to learn that more than a quarter of the U.S. population claims a direct relative who struggles with addiction. That means if you’re walking through tension brought on by drugs or alcohol in your own family, you’re not alone.
Thankfully, you can work together to find your way through the tension and toward sobriety and peace. There are two big gains to be found in working together:
- A person working to overcome addiction benefits from the support family brings
- Family members benefit from the freedom to hurt and heal that follows addiction
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits.
Families Offer Support to The Person Working to Overcome Addiction
Parents, siblings, spouses and children are in a unique position to support a loved one through treatment and into sobriety. You can do so in three key ways:
If someone you love struggles with addiction, you might be hesitant to speak up. Can we give you a gentle nudge to push through and speak up anyway? As Recovery Answers explains, your encouragement might be the very thing that helps your loved one start and stick with a plan to overcome addiction.
Learn all you can about what might be happening in the brain and body of a person struggling with addiction. Work to understand the science behind the problematic behavior as well as possible solutions. You might start with this helpful guide. And decide now to accept the fact that your loved one is beginning a lifelong commitment.
Overcoming addiction is not something easily checked off of a to-do list.
Consider your home and family activities, as well as the company you or your loved one might keep. Work together to establish boundaries on what you’ll allow and limit triggers that might encourage substance abuse.
It might mean evaluating your own alcohol or drug use. It may also mean you’ll temporarily take on a few extra burdens or chores to reduce your loved one’s stress.
Of course, just like a person working to overcome addiction benefits from the involvement of their family, family members may benefit from the partnership as well.
Family Members Enjoy the Freedom to Hurt and Heal
There’s a lyric from a song by the band, Dr. Dog, that repeats the line, “Yeah, you did to yourself, but you did it to me too.” Could this statement be more true to the experience of a parent, spouse, child or sibling watching their loved one abuse drugs or alcohol?
If you’re the family member of a person working to overcome addiction, you may carry pain, fear and frustration around as you try to be supportive. And you might feel guilty for doing so. But let us reassure you those emotions are completely normal and OK.
You can ease the burden by working together with your loved one with the goal to freely admit your own struggles and prioritize your own healing in the process.
You might do so through:
- Family therapy or individual counseling
- Support groups like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon
- A network of friends or extended family
- Healthy habits and regular self-care
When it comes to overcoming addiction for the long haul, family members need one another. If you’re working toward sobriety, remember that your loved ones want to support you as much as they can, but they may also need to recover in their own ways as well.
You can all learn to overcome addiction together. The Right Step DFW can help.
Call us at 844.768.1161
By Stephanie Thomas