When your loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, it can be one of the most difficult things in the world to understand the best possible way that you can lend support. Families often feel very lost in the process, especially when they, themselves, have never had to struggle with addiction. As a family member of a loved one struggling with addiction, the most important thing you can do is become as educated as possible about addiction, addiction treatment, the recovery process, and how to best support your loved one throughout their journey.
Understanding Addiction and Treatment
The first step in supporting your loved one struggling with substance use disorder is understanding what addiction is and learning about what exactly your loved one is going through.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 40.3 million people aged 12 or older reported substance use disorder. This number may seem staggering, but it is important to note that your loved one is not alone in their struggle. Addiction is a disease, and it should not be viewed as a behavioral flaw.
Substance Use Treatment
According to the same SAMHSA 2020 survey, out of the 40.3 million people aged 12 or older who reported having a substance use disorder, just four million people received any substance use treatment. The reasons for not seeking treatment can vary and might include factors such as:
- Talking about addiction with loved ones
- Being judged
- Feelings of guilt and shame
There are many different treatment programs out there that serve the unique needs of each individual, and it is crucial to become familiar with these different types of programs so that you can lend support to your loved one struggling with addiction. Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient are two such programs that focus on the long-term goals of addiction recovery.
To create a solid support system for your loved one going through treatment, options like family therapy can be a wonderful tool. Family therapy will give you the chance to sit down with a trained medical professional to talk about what your loved one is struggling with and any sensitivities or issues that may arise between family members.
The purpose of family therapy sessions is to give everyone a chance to be heard and teach one another about the best possible ways to utilize a familial support system during the addiction recovery process. Having guided support from a professional will also ensure that the conversation remains constructive rather than confrontational.
Have Honest Conversations With Your Loved One
If your loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, they may feel outcasted or cut off from the world. To provide the best support possible, let your loved one know that you are there to listen.
Understand Your Loved One’s Struggle and Your Place in Their Journey
Honest conversations among family members can open up a world of possibilities and enrich or rebuild important bonds. Let your loved one talk about how they feel and what they are going through, and let you know the best way you can help them through their addiction and treatment. Addiction can affect the whole family, so it is important to have these honest conversations with one another and let it all out instead of pushing feelings further down.
When you can begin to have honest conversations with your loved one struggling with substance use disorder, you will have the ability to create an atmosphere where they feel connected to support.
Talk About the Re-Building Process and Focus on Joy
It is important to have conversations about the struggles your loved one is facing. It is also crucial to begin conversations about rebuilding their lives and bring their focus back to joy. Hold discussions with your loved one about what truly makes them happy and what they would like to focus on in their life as they go through the addiction treatment process.
Ask them about different activities they would like to do to fill the void of substances they used to consume and try to make it a point to implement these activities into your schedule so that you can enjoy life together. Addiction recovery can feel very dark and depressing. Still, when you hold space for discussion about the positive things in life and things to look forward to, this can turn a negative mindset and set your loved one up for continued positivity and happiness along with their journey.
The addiction recovery process can be a long and lonely journey, but when you can learn how to best support your loved one through treatment, you will help make them feel connected and supported. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we believe that in order to create the best support system possible for your loved one struggling with substance use disorder, it is crucial to educate yourself about addiction as well as the different methods of treatment that will work best for their unique needs. There is also heavy importance on having open and honest discussions with your loved ones, which will allow you to strengthen and rebuild important familial bonds that are crucial to the recovery process. The importance of familial bonds and familial roles in addiction recovery, and our intensive programs are designed to create long-term success and happiness. For more information, give us a call at (214) 983-1408.