A person addicted to alcohol or drugs is not doing so by choice. The most important thing to understand about a family member, who is addicted, is that the addiction that they are going through is as much a source of harassment to him or her as it is to you or others in your family. Addiction is like a disease. Just like a person does not chose to get cancer, addiction is also not by choice.
Dealing with an Addict in the Family
Helping a loved one in the family deal with addiction involves dealing with the frustrations on your level too. The feelings of anger, resentment, frustration and helplessness should be replaced with an understanding that addiction is a disease to be dealt with. The following tips will help you to deal with addiction of a family member.
- Learn about the disease through research, joining a support group or through discussions with people who are going through similar situations. This helps relieve much of the stress and anxiety as you meet up with other people and see that you are not alone.
- Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous hold open meetings for friends and family members of addicts to spread deeper understanding of how to deal with it. One of the important tools that they teach is to love in a detached way. To love the family member and make them understand would mean you are saved from the physical pain and stress that goes in the family due to the behavior of an addict.
- The first and the foremost practical thing that you would have to do is to take the finances in your hand by closing all joint accounts and refusing to give in to the demands of an addict to borrow money. This requires a lot of resolve.
- The behavior of an addict could make the family fall into legal problems arising due to arrests or other complains. It is therefore best to seek legal advice and be aware of what are your rights and duties and way to go in the future.
- Not only the person who is addicted, but all the members in the family of an addict need to get personal counseling. By helping your family members get counseling, you will be helping them to cope with the trauma of dealing with the behavior of an addict.
- Maintain a normalcy in all family activities to help all in the family as well as yourself to be in a normal setting and avoid falling into depression yourself.
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