Addiction Within the Family and The First Step to Dealing With the Problem
It is very often that parents who have children with addiction will believe that the addiction has taken over their children’s life to the point where they are unrecognisable. Some parents have to resort to outside help to remove children from the home and into a rehabilitation programme. But family can be the biggest source of support for a person suffering from addiction.
Many parents will ask the question – How do I talk to them to get them to stop using? Getting into conflict with an addict is the wrong way to approach the situation because for them the only thing that is right, against any kind of rationality, in their frame of mind, is their addiction.
It is common for an addict’s loved ones to become enablers of the problem. It is easy to feel sorry for the addict and to not want to cause any more pain than they are already experiencing or it is too hard to fully acknowledge the problem and have to deal with it and the long road ahead. Therefore it is hard separating the person from the person with the addiction.
Very often, for example, within a marriage where one partner has a substance abuse problem, the other will ignore it rather than face the problem head on as they may think it will potentially create or cause more problems than they are already facing.
Sometimes a mere loving suggestion is helpful. But as the abuse of a substance grows into addiction, such a suggestion is meaningless. With addiction the notion ‘tough love,’ is generally just what is needed. Depending on the situation, rather than repeatedly going through the pain of endless arguments over their using, bluntly tackling the problem is the best solution.
In order to gain help with this an intervention can be staged. An interventionist is professional and trained to implement the best strategy in helping an addict seek treatment. In other words, it can be a huge aid to seeking professional help in overcoming the stage of denial. Effectively you have to allow the interventionist to be your coach.
By allowing an independent third party into your situation, you are giving yourself an opportunity to take a step back. While still doing the right thing and being a helpful part of the scenario. People can easily go a long time without ever knowing what they should do whilst the addict is spiralling deeper and deeper into their addiction. Having an interventionist help with the first step is necessary.
Seeking Professional Help
If the intervention results in the addict disallowing treatment or any help and continues their path of addiction you will still know that you sought the help of a trained professional and it is just not the right time for the addict to recognise their problem and you will have the tools and knowledge of what to do if you want to intervene again. Seeking professional help and getting the addict into treatment is a strong, loving move. Finding and supporting a treatment plan for a loved one with addiction is the right thing to do. It is providing loving, emotion and practical support.