Close to 25 million Americans have tried some form of illegal drug at some point in their lives.
However, especially with increased attention on the Opioid Crisis in America, it seems like that number will only continue to rise.
Now, nearly 115 people die every single day because of drug use.
For the families of addicts, these statistics can be especially harrowing. We know that you want to help the addict in your life, but you’re likely not sure the best way to do it.
You may be unknowingly enabling them, you may be afraid that if you let them go, they’ll end up in more danger, or you may simply have no idea if they’ll even accept any help you offered to them.
Looking for advice on what to do next?
Read on to learn some of the most important things families of addicts need to know.
It’s a situation that all families of addicts are likely familiar with.
You’re on your way to work, to school, or just to run a quick errand at your local grocery store. Suddenly, your cell phone rings. It’s the addict in your life. They’re crying, screaming, yelling obscenities, and begging you for money for drugs.
They threaten to leave and live on the streets — or worse, harm themselves — if you don’t give it to them.
So, even though you know it’s wrong, you give in.
Or, because you’re concerned for their safety when they’re going to buy drugs, you drive them to meet their dealer because you don’t want them high and behind the wheel.
Maybe you continue to allow them to live rent-free in your home, maybe you let them use in your home, or perhaps you even continue to allow them to hang out with fellow drug abusers.
You think you’re acting in the best interest of the addict — but you’re not.
This is called enabling, and it’s a slippery slope that puts you in an incredibly difficult and unfair situation.
Instead of giving them a way to continue to perform their addictive and dangerous behavior without consequence, it’s time to break the cycle.
Intervention Is An Option
For families of addicts, it can be tough to understand the kind of help that would be best for your loved one.
You may feel ready to stop the cycle of enabling, but struggle to understand how to proceed next. You may not know the kind of treatment center that the addict in your life would benefit from the most. You may simply not know the kinds of things to say that can make an addict stop and truly listen.
Luckily, working with a professional intervention specialist to hold an intervention for your loved one is an option.
A specialist will help you write letters to the addict so that they can understand how their using is impacting you. You can also express how much you love and care about the addict, and can no longer stand to see them in pain.
Further, you can outline the consequences of what will happen if the addict decides not to accept the help offered.
Finally, you can plan the best time and place for the intervention, as well as get a professional opinion about the center that can help your loved one the most.
Be aware that sometimes, no matter how much effort and time you put into planning the intervention, the addict may not always accept the help. Though frustrating, it is crucial that you keep the promises you made regarding consequences.
You can always try to intervene again in the future.
Providing A Safe And Supportive Sober Environment
Families of addicts also need to think about what will happen to the addict once they make the decision to get help.
You may want to work with the treatment center directly to get a better understanding of exactly what kinds of therapy the addict in your life will undergo over the course of their stay.
As the family member of an addict, you may also find that you have feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, or simply confusion about why the person you cared about is an addict.
You may wonder if you could have done anything differently, and you may be nervous about how you should act around them once they finish treatment.
There are programs and therapy options for families of addicts just as there are addicts. You may find it helpful to meet with a therapist to deal with your own feelings surrounding the addict.
Additionally, you need to prepare your home — or the other living environment — for the addict once they get out of treatment. You can discuss the proper changes you should make to help keep an addict sober with an addiction counselor as well.
There Is Help For Addicts And Families Of Addicts
If you’re the family member of an addict, we know you’re dealing with lots of conflicting emotions.
Sometimes, you may even feel as powerless as the addict themselves.
It is important to remember that, in today’s world especially, there is help and hope.
It’s time to take that next step and start looking for rehab centers for the addict in your life.
We can help.
Spend some time on our website to explore a variety of treatment options. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. Above all, happy healing to you and your family.