Addiction is a complex disease that often causes a person to face numerous changes in their daily life. Some people are more withdrawn. Others struggle with health complications. Some become abusive and neglectful of family. All of this impacts the rest of the family. That type of impact can change the course of a person’s life, often leading to numerous concerns related to mental health. What can be done in this situation?
Understanding Addiction as a Disease
It’s hard for loved ones to watch their family member suffer through addiction. It may seem easy enough to “fix” the problem by taking away drugs or alcohol. Yet, addiction changes the function and chemical makeup of the brain, leading to numerous complications. That includes the inability to stop using these substances without professional treatment.
Recognizing this may still mean there are risks and worries for family members. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Take the time to enter into therapy yourself. It’s not just your loved one’s illness, but you are facing health complications as well.
- Recognize that you can provide a helping hand to them but still limit their ability to use substances. Avoid providing money to those who are using it for alcohol and drugs, for example.
- Think about your own mental health. Sometimes, you have to step away from those who are causing your pain and discomfort to take care of you, too.
- Don’t ignore the fact that children in the household also need treatment for their mental health when they are faced with addiction.
- Recognize the process takes time. Prepare yourself for the ups and downs that come with addiction treatment.
Addiction’s impact on the family may not be something you realize and see right away. Often, years later, a person may face trauma from watching a loved one battle substance abuse. That may lead to numerous mental health concerns. In some cases, these individuals are more likely to also struggle with their own problems with substance abuse.
The best thing you can do now is to reach out to your loved one with a helping hand. Encourage them to get into treatment, so they can start on the path to recovery. Invest in family therapy and your own personal therapy to ensure you have what you need to overcome these challenges and heal from addiction.
Are you or a loved one struggling with alcohol or other drugs? Call us to speak confidentially with a recovery expert now: (901) 521-1131 or visit our website serenityrecovery.org