Unfortunately, drug and alcohol addiction can strike anyone at any time, and the consequences of this disease can be mortifying. If you even suspect that anyone in your family is struggling with an addiction of any kind, you must not ignore the issue. You need to get them help right away.
Though addressing a family member’s drug or alcohol problem can be extremely difficult, especially if they aren’t ready to accept your help, it’s essential to try. Your efforts could literally save their life.
Here are some excellent tips for dealing with a family member who is struggling with substance abuse:
- Pay attention to their behavior — First, you have to actually identify the problem in order for you to take the necessary next steps toward their recovery. Unfortunately, the temptation to give into denial and accept lies and excuses is strong. But if you notice any drastic changes in a loved one’s behavior, whether it be lethargic or erratic attitudes, constantly making excuses for missing family events, suspicious requests for cash, or just strange behavior, start paying attention to how they are acting. If you are worried a loved one has a drug or alcohol problem, they usually do.
- Talk to them about their addiction — Once you realize that they are, in fact, struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, you need to talk to them about it. Again, this will be extremely difficult for everyone involved, but it needs to be done. Sweeping the problem under the rug only enables drug-seeking behavior. Don’t verbally attack because that could have adverse effects on your relationship. Stick to “I” statements and reassure them that you love and support them. This is a time for tough love.
- Start finding a family doctor — Finding a family doctor who can handle difficult situations like this might sound impossible, but there are plenty of alcohol and drug detox doctors that have plenty of experience with issues like this. Keep in mind that alcohol and drug detox must often be completed before your family member enters drug rehab. Talking to a doctor at rehab detox centers can help get them on the right track.
- Continue to monitor their progress — Throughout their recovery, whether it’s months or years down the line, you need to offer your constant support. Quitting and staying off drugs and alcohol isn’t impossible, but it’s very difficult, and it will change your loved one forever. Very few people are successful in recovery if they don’t have the support of friends and family. Make sure you are helping them throughout every difficult part of their journey so they don’t fall back into bad habits.
If you’re starting your search for finding a family doctor in order to help your loved one deal with his or her substance abuse issues, give Peace Medical a call right away.