How to Handle the Surprise of Discovering a Loved One’s Addiction

How to Handle the Surprise of Discovering a Loved One's Addiction

To help your addicted loved one, learn everything you can about addiction

Discovering that a loved one or family member is struggling with addiction can be a devastating shock. Addiction affects everyone around the addict in many ways, including financially, psychologically and emotionally. Caring for and loving an addict is stressful. Family members often find themselves obsessing about the addiction of their loved one. However, it is equally important to take care of yourself and learn how to cope with the news. The following are some helpful tips for the family and friends of an addict:

  • In order to help an addicted person it will be important for family members to learn as much as they can about drug addiction. Spend some time trying to understand what the addict is going through mentally, emotionally and physically to gain new perspective. Research addiction and causes of addiction to understand what to expect from a loved one, how to help an addicted person and where you can get help to deal with this situation.
  • Understand that you are not responsible for a loved one’s addiction. Family members often blame themselves for not recognizing the signs of drug abuse earlier and getting help for their loved one. Try to put aside the guilt and focus on what you can do in the present.
  • Try to be sympathetic to your loved one and understand the root cause of his or her addiction, such as self-medicating traumatic pain or depression. Again, this is not your fault. In many cases, there is a biological cause behind addiction. In other cases, addiction may be caused by traumas or experiences that could not be avoided. Supportive yet firm help is the best way to overcome any addiction.
  • Search for anonymous local support groups and individual or group therapy. There are quite a lot of organizations that can provide an addict a support network. There are also many support groups for family members and friends of addicts. We can help you find resources near you.
  • Living with an addict can be very stressful. Speak with a counselor or a professional therapist. A therapist can provide you resources to help an addicted person and it can help stressed and confused family members deal with the situation better.

After the initial shock of discovering your loved one’s addiction, you may decide to stage an intervention where friends and family members come together to voice their concerns and encourage the addict to seek treatment. Instead of placing blame or judging, a family intervention focuses on confronting the loved one in a positive manner by recounting the ways the addiction has affected everyone. Most importantly, a family intervention offers the addict a clear plan for treatment.

It is very important to plan an intervention carefully, and many families consult professional interventionists to aid this process. An intervention can help an addict break the cycle of denial and seek treatment. A family intervention is a very delicate and complicated process so it is important to seek professional help from a therapist or a doctor who has experience in staging interventions.

Whether you need to find a rehab or simply want resources to help an addicted person in your family, our 24 hour, toll-free number is always available to provide you all the information and resources you need.