Addiction can strike anyone, including members of loving families. When an addiction develops, family members and friends are frequently directly affected. That is why, besides assisting your loved one in entering a treatment program, family members and friends must understand addiction while continuing to care for their health.
Here at Positive Reset, we want to help arm you with as much information as possible. That way, if you need to speak with a loved one, you know what options you have. Let’s explore ways to help you deal with a drug addicted family member.
Signs of Drug Use in the Family
Without recognizing the signs of addiction, it can be challenging to identify a drug or alcohol use issue. Substance use disorders can alter how people look, act, and feel, and substance addiction symptoms can be physical, behavioral, or psychological.
Many characteristics of addiction are easy to spot, and many types of drug addiction share similar signs and symptoms. If someone recognizes the signs of addiction, they may be able to assist a friend or family member suffering from this disease.
If you know what signs of substance abuse are, it can make determining if a loved one is abusing drugs easier, allowing you to prevent them from endangering their health, school, work, and family life. There are broad symptoms to look for if a person abuses any drug. These are some examples:
- Difficulties in school, a lack of enthusiasm for school-related activities, and a drop in grades.
- Poor performance, being habitually late to work, appearing exhausted and disinterested.
- Job obligations and obtaining poor performance ratings are all signs of poor performance.
- Physical changes include improper or unclean clothing and a lack of interest in grooming.
- Changes in conduct, such as a greater need for privacy.
- Relationships undergo radical transformations.
- An obvious need for more energy when carrying out routine tasks.
- Spending more money than usual or asking for a loan.
- Financial management issues, such as failing to pay bills on time.
- Changes in appetite, such as a decreased appetite and concomitant weight loss.
- Bloodshot eyes, pale skin tone, and a tired or rundown appearance.
- Defensiveness when asked about drug use.
What Do You See with Drug Use in Adolescents?
While general moodiness is normal during adolescence and adolescence, drug usage is usually accompanied by more extreme changes in mood or behavior in this age range.
Parents should be aware if their child begins to associate with a different group of peers, as changes in peer groups may be related to substance use. Adolescents who use drugs may miss classes, skip school, or alter their food or sleeping patterns. Parents can also listen to their children by using slang for abusing substances.
If drug usage is suspected, immediate intervention is required. Guidance counselors, general care physicians, and drug misuse treatment providers can all assist parents.
How Do You Manage Drug Use Disorders?
So many loved ones are left wondering, how do I manage drug use disorders in my family? The truth is, you need to arm yourself with information, and have an ally by your side. Here are some other ways to help you manage substance abuse issues within your family:
Learn About Addiction
Education can help families avoid engaging in the blame game. Rather than believing that a person’s addiction is a result of weakness, willfulness, or tenacity, it may be advantageous to understand how brain changes contribute to it. Realizing that addiction is not a choice may help you let go of your wrath and hatred toward the addiction of a loved one.
There are numerous online resources available to educate families about addiction. Additionally, most bookstores sell literature on the chemistry of addiction and the science underlying addiction treatment.
Engage in Therapy Sessions for Families
Frequently, the spouses, siblings, and parents of an alcoholic or drug addict bear the brunt of his or her substance abuse. Many individuals find it challenging to discuss harmful behavior openly, so they remain reticent.
If they tire of arguing with a cherished one, family members may become estranged. They may blame themselves or the addicted individual for their dissatisfaction if the addiction persists.
These silences and games of blame may discourage a family from pursuing assistance. Family members may need the resources and strength that come from family therapy to assist someone in active recovery with help.
Join Them in Meals
It’s all too easy to eat separately in today’s modern, chaotic environment. One partner picks up a burger on the way home, the other eats a salad at work, and the kids heat ready-made items from the freezer.
A family lunch allows everyone to reconnect after a stressful, lonely, or traumatic day. Each meal contributes to the progress made in family therapy, and dining together can foster a sense of common ground and unity.
The action does not have to stop at the table. Spending time together preparing meals or cleaning up afterward might boost the advantages. Even one dinner together every week can make a big difference.
Stay in Touch with Them
When people are responsible for their happiness, managing expectations becomes easier. That means every recovering family member must devote time to calming and gratifying activities. These and similar activities can make the participant happy, maintain a sense of efficacy and worth, and help improve mental health.
Advocate and Educate
It’s difficult to remain optimistic in such circumstances, but families may help to bring about change. They can communicate the truth about addiction whenever they hear a sentence like this. They can share part of what they’ve learned from private research, support groups, and therapy sessions with their friends and give them destigmatizing terms to use instead.
Advocating on behalf of people suffering from addiction takes courage. It’s also a necessary, empowering, and health-promoting activity, families that speak up help to improve the situation. Those chats could lift a family’s mood and positively impact their communities.
Assist Someone In Need
If you’ve noticed some of these drug addiction warning signs and symptoms in a friend or loved one, you may be hesitant to approach the problem. Nonetheless, it is critical to reach out. Here are some measures you can take to develop an intervention strategy:
- Work with a trained interventionist. Their sole objective is to assist you in planning an intervention most effectively and safely feasible.
- Invite close family and friends.
- Prepare and practice your remarks.
- Outpatient detox is when your friend or loved one can detox at home with professional assistance.
- Inpatient detox, where your friend or loved one receives the care they require at a medical facility around the clock.
- Medical detox is a medically supervised withdrawal therapy that can be outpatient or inpatient.
Get Help for a Drug Addicted Family Member from Positive Reset
Dealing with a drug-addicted family member can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience. However, families can navigate this difficult journey with compassion and understanding by implementing specific strategies and approaches.
Together, families can make a positive impact not only within their own lives but also in their communities by promoting awareness and empathy towards addiction.
For mental health consultations in New Jersey and comprehensive addiction treatment and outpatient services, turn to Positive Reset Mental Health. Our experienced team is dedicated to supporting and guiding individuals and families dealing with addiction. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!