How Family Members Of Substance Abuse Addicts Make It Through


Families with a member having issues with substance addiction often hear, “You are one the greatest encouragements in that person’s life.” But then you are told, “You didn’t trigger it. You can’t heal it, and you can’t control it.” According to Steven Gifford, LICDC, LPC, “For family and friends of drug- or alcohol-addicted individuals, addressing the addiction is one of the most difficult aspects of helping the addicted person seek treatment.”

So what do you do if you are influential, but not in control?

You can’t make him quit.

You can’t initiate an involvement nor can you pressure an addict to quit. The situation is out of your control. He has to own his addiction to substance abuse. The addict himself must get involved by his own will.


Push him to recovery even if he doesn’t want it.



An addicted person has no logic. Even after rehab, the addiction takes over the person’s brain, and it’s possible that he will lie, hide and control anyone to sustain the use of drugs. You can’t prevent the lapses for your loved one. Relapse is an ordinary phase of the recovery process. An addicted person, with the help of his loved one, has to seek for aid just to stop it from getting worse. Recovery from addiction is more than possible, but requires a person’s strong commitment to change,” says John M. Grohol, Psy.D.


Don’t accept the conducts that go against your limitations.



State your boundaries and at the same time, do not allow people with addiction to defy you. It will damage your integrity and enable the substance addiction. Bluntly tell him your rules and make sure that he understands that you mean it. Limitations can be as simple as being clearheaded if he is at home and for you to establish a life-changing consequence once the rule disregarded.


Be knowledgeable.


Equip yourself with knowledge about addiction such as the signs, the treatments, and the relapse triggers (check also a relevant article in You can learn details about this in books and on the internet. It can help to talk to the young ones about the causes and effects of illegal drugs at a very young age. Knowledge is a useful tool for avoiding the unlawful use of drugs and perhaps, a path to a drug-free life.


Engage in support programs that are available when a loved one goes into treatment. These centers offer knowledge on this “support” so that you can provide help for your loved one after therapy if he is bound for a relapse.


Safeguard yourself.

Another life is beyond your control, but taking care of yourself enables you to provide sustenance and motivation to your loved one. It will also allow you to face the problem head-on. Some people participate in group gatherings while others seek therapist aid privately. People cope differently, but sometimes helping others with the same struggles can be a vital part of the healing process.


Open up.



Speaking freely about the substance abuse problem is a critical step to recovery for both the addict and the people around him. It is the very first step. And after this, everything else will follow. There are some who deal with their addiction and ask help from their loved ones but are too embarrassed to open up to the public. There are also some who needs to talk about their struggles to heal.


Real-life stories about addiction are tear-jerking. It is tough when it’s beyond your control no matter how much you want to save your loved one. Take solace in knowing that there are ways you can aid yourself and the substance addiction victim in overcoming this devastating mental health disease. Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC notes that , “Many people find that intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment is necessary to curb addiction and learn healthy coping strategies for depression.”