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Introduction: How to Help a Family Member With Addiction

How to Help a Family Member With Addiction

If one of your family members suffers from addiction, you may feel helpless. It is difficult to watch a loved one suffer from addiction, and it takes a toll on you as well. Addiction is heartbreaking, draining and complex, and it affects everyone involved. As the family member of an addict, it is common to experience a range of emotions, from guilt to anger, sadness and loss.

But help for families dealing with drug addiction is available. And finding help for families of alcoholics is possible too. You are not alone.

Addiction affects many families. A Pew Research Center survey found that 46 percent of Americans have a friend or family member who has been or who is currently addicted to drugs. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 20.1 million Americans over age 12 had a substance use disorder (SUD) relating to alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year.

How to Help a Family Member With Addiction

As difficult as addiction is, there is hope for you, your family and the addicted family member. Although you cannot control the choices your loved ones make, you can influence their decisions. In this guide, we will help you feel empowered to rebuild relationships within your family. Through help from drug and alcohol family support programs, not all is lost.

With this guide, you will learn how to help a family member’s addiction in the following ways:

  • Recognizing the signs of alcoholism or drug addiction
  • Discovering treatment options
  • Learning how to talk to an addicted family member
  • Learning how to have an intervention and different techniques you can use

The first step to helping a family member recover from addiction is to educate yourself about their addiction. Alcohol and substance abuse usually has deep roots and involves complex emotions. Once you learn more about your loved one’s addiction and absorb this advice for families of addicts, you will be prepared to approach your family member with compassion and understanding.

As a family member, you cannot control your loved one’s addiction, nor can you cure it. However, this does not mean you have to give up hope. With support, love, education and professional assistance, you can get addiction help for family members, and help a family member with a drug addiction overcome their struggle. Let our guide help you move toward a life free of addiction and reclaim the relationship you once had — or build a new relationship that is strong and loving.

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