Families of addicts play a key role in their addiction recovery process. Hence, parents, siblings, spouses, and even friends need to learn how to help them. Addiction is not limited to a particular population. It can happen to anyone, even if you have the most loving people around you. People with addictive behaviors often directly impact their families and friends. That’s why, along with helping your loved one to get into an addiction treatment program, the families and friends must take care of their health as well. That way, you can provide the addicted person with the love and support they need to heal. These six tips will help you become a strong support system for your loved one suffering from addiction!
1. Learn About Addiction
Education about addiction, addictive behavior, and its treatment can help families of addicts to evade the blame game. Instead of assuming that an individual’s addiction stems from stubbornness, weakness, or willingness, it is helpful to learn how it stems from variations in the brain. Many online resources are available for families to understand the basics of addiction. Also, many books explain the chemistry of addiction, addictive behavior, and the science behind its treatment. An excellent way for families to learn about addiction treatment, the recovery process, and affordable treatment options is to explore an addiction treatment guide from any online resource. That sort of knowledge will increase a family’s hope and make them confident that they can get their loved ones out of addiction.
2. Join Family Therapy Sessions
Parents, siblings, and spouses of addicts can handle many consequences of their loved one’s addiction. Many families find it hard to talk openly about their miseries, so they stay quiet. Sometimes, the addiction can create conflicts between the family members and the addicts resulting in the isolation of either of them. Family members start blaming themselves or the addicts for their discontent. In that situation, they can turn towards family therapy programs to break down the guilt and distrust by providing them a chance to speak their heart out. It will help the families to understand each other and sort out disputes in a healthy way. It makes them capable of supporting one another by creating sober communication and strong boundaries.
3. Build Regular Sleep Schedules
Mostly addictive behaviors occur at night, such as meeting drug dealers, drug overdose, or returning home drunk from the parties. All these situations, along with addicts, impact their families as well. Some of the addict’s families struggle with sleep as they think about the next crisis they may face. Regular sleep disturbance can lead to feelings of stress, anger, and mental exhaustion. For helping the addicts, it is essential for their families first to keep themselves physically and mentally active. People who maintain their sleep schedule well will better assist their loved ones with addictive behaviors to recover fast. Build a proper schedule with fixed sleep and wake times to relax your brain.
4. Do Fun Activities
Every member of the addict’s family should spend some time relaxing and fulfilling activities, such as playing with kids, taking photographs, caring for pets, gardening, cooking, etc. These fun activities can help manage the expectations easily and make everyone responsible for finding their way of bliss. It will keep a sense of worth and efficacy and boosts the mental well-being of recovering addicts and their families. When life is filled with struggles, hardships, and challenging situations, fun activity or a hobby can be an excellent comfort for both addict and the family.
5. Regular Exercise
Commencing your day with a brisk walk or swimming in a pool at the end of your workday can provide considerable advantages. A survey revealed that over 43% of people use workouts to deal with their stress, and exercise is proved to relieve depression as well. When you stretch muscles and push tendons during exercise, it will trigger the brain to release chemicals such as dopamine. Families of addicts who perform high-energy workouts can better vent their stress and worry that they don’t hurt others or cause long-lasting scars. Exercise is an excellent way for addict’s families to heal and is easy to get started.
6. Private Therapy Sessions
A private therapy session is the safest place for stressed families to speak up and work through problems. It follows a skill-based format that helps caregivers learn about coping with destructive habits and thoughts generated during addictive behavior. With these private sessions, family members can handle stress, work on different skills, join groups for anger management, or learn to avoid codependent behaviors. Families who join these private therapy groups can get the help needed to support their loved ones with addictive behavior. Also, it gives them enough strength and determination that was missing until today.
Family members who help their loved ones recover from addiction can also get help for themselves. For recovering addicts, their families and friends must support them through this challenging journey. It takes patience and longtime determination for both addict and their families to recover from an addiction or addictive behavior successfully. Every family member needs to stay informed and maintain their mental health and physical well-being to better cope with addiction, assist their loved ones with addiction, and stay on track of lifelong recovery.