Family Members and Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. The great debate about whether it is a disease or a choice does little to aid in the recovery of a drug addict. One of the reasons that addiction inpatient recovery centers have a higher rate of success is that the client is able to address the withdrawal from drugs as well as address the issues that were triggers for drug use in the past. They can do this without the judgment that occurs in the outside world which in turn gives them a chance to face the realities of their addiction.

Although drug addiction worsens over a period of time, people with addictive personalities can become instantly addicted to a drug with first time use. The statement ìwhy didn’t you stop after the first time you used the drug?î becomes irrelevant because these people did not realize how quickly they would become addicted to the feeling of the drug.

How can Family Members Understand Drug Addiction
Family members of people who have abused drugs make every attempt possible to understand the problem and how to help their loved one. They generally fail at grasping the effects the drug has had, but not because they lacked the desire to understand it, but because they have never faced the problem themselves. A drug addict is therefore more apt to find greater success in entering a facility where others understand their needs.

Family member involvement is crucial to the recovery of someone addicted to drugs. When someone realizes that they have an addiction problem, it is time to support them in the effort. In order for families to be a strong support system, they should take part in the recovery process. Families can learn to understand addiction by speaking with the counselors and other members of staff, which will help guide them in that understanding. When all else fails, ask questions, even if they seem irrelevant or ìstupidî. It is a learning process, so treat it like it is a classroom.

Family Member Guilt

Family members of a drug addicted person often place the blame for the addiction on themselves. They begin to question everything they did to push this person into a deadly pattern of drug abuse. ìI shouldn’t have been so hard on himî or ìI should have been more involved in her lifeî are common phrases that parents use when they are dealing with an addicted child. The truth is, there are always things that parents wish they had done differently. That is not what caused the addiction though.

Addiction often comes from low self-esteem and the inability to cope with life in general. It is often born out of curiosity rather than some bad experience in life. The addict must accept responsibility for his or her actions. Once families are able to accept that the addiction was not their fault, they can truly begin to help their family member search his or her way through the maze of the recovery process.