You may often hear addiction called a “family disease” because of the way it deeply affects every person within the family unit. It only takes one family member to suffer from addiction to start a family in a downward spiral. If your family member is dealing with an addiction, it’s likely they don’t want to talk about it or even admit it. However, you must address the problem before it’s too late. What can someone do if a family member is on drugs? Let’s read on to learn more.
Signs of Addiction
You may not always be 100% certain that your family member is using drugs. Since most addicts will tend to dismiss your worries or become angry at your questions, you might not even know just how bad the problem is. Look for the following signs of addiction if you believe your loved one is dealing with an addiction:
Secrecy- Are they hiding paraphernalia? Sneaking in and out of the house? Lying about where they are? This may be a sign of addiction.
Money issues- Addicts often steal to support their habits and then lie about where their money goes. If they always seem to be broke or have stolen from you, they may be spending their money on drugs.
Risk-taking- Addicts often indulge in risky behavior while they are under the influence, such as drunk driving, fighting, or promiscuity.
Behavioral changes- Eating or sleeping more or less, displaying symptoms of anxiety or irritability, and other major behavioral changes can indicate drug abuse.
Learning About Addiction
If you want to help your loved one with an addiction, you must learn as much as you can about the disease first. When you have the knowledge to back you up, you are giving yourself a better chance of being heard when you talk to your loved one. Check out reputable online resources or start attending local Al-Anon meetings. It’s important to know what you are up against before you can make a difference.
Approach with Empathy
Addiction can and does cause anger, disappointment, and fear. You may be upset with your loved one because of what they are doing to themselves and their family. You may even be very resentful and have feelings of hate and bitterness towards them. While these feelings are common and even understandable, displaying these emotions to your loved one will do more harm than good. Yes, your feelings are very valid, but you will want to put them aside for the time being. Always approach your loved one with as much empathy as possible when you talk to them. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Allow them to build a sense of trust and camaraderie with you.
Consider an Intervention
Close family members are often too close to the addict to do any good. An intervention may be your last-ditch effort to get someone you love into rehab. If you believe this approach may be your last shot, talk to a professional. It’s best to have an impartial person there to lead the group and keep things from getting heated. You and your family are probably exhausted from dealing with your loved one’s addiction, so the interventionist will be there to provide a clearer view of the situation.
Once you have decided this is your best approach, consider who will be invited. While you may think “the more the merrier,” you don’t want people there who could cause issues. For example, if your loved one has a bad history with one family member in particular, it may be a better idea to keep them out of the intervention altogether. Then, explain to everyone involved that they must stay calm, even-tempered, and composed.
Find a Rehab Facility
When your loved one finally decides that rehab is the best choice, it’s time to find a facility. You can help by offering to research different centers for them if they are unsure of where to begin. You may also see if they need help with the insurance portion of the process if they have health insurance available. Many addicts don’t want to admit that they don’t know how to find a rehab facility on their own, so your help will be greatly appreciated if that’s an issue.
When the time comes, give us a call at 866-963-7200. While you can’t make them commit to the program in the very end, helping them get there will be the best thing you can do for the situation. We can also help you with the entire process from start to finish.