Compassion Behavioral Health / Resources / Articles / Finding Help for Family Members of Addicts
CBH Staff

Finding Help for Family Members of Addicts

help for family members of drug addicts

Coping with the Challenges of Drug Addiction as a Family 

Drug addiction can affect everyone in a person’s life. Family members of addicts are often left feeling confused and helpless. If you’re struggling to find help for yourself or a loved one, there are many strategies and resources that you can use.  

Today, we are going to discuss ways to find help for family members of drug addicts. If you are looking for immediate support, please consider reaching out to the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for further information on resources in your area. 

Find a Support Group 

Support groups can help connect you with others that are experiencing similar circumstances and challenges. While there are plenty of organizations for people living with addiction, there are also many meetings that provide help for family members of addicts. 

Nar-Anon provides in-person and virtual support groups for family members of addicts. Here, you can connect with others who share similar experiences and find support from those who are living in similar situations. 

Seek Out Your Own Counseling 

Are you struggling with your own thoughts or emotions while living with a current or recovering addict? Find a licensed therapist in your area that specializes in either family or drug and alcohol counseling. They can help you process these feelings so that you can experience greater peace at home and in other areas of your life. 

Educate Yourself on Addiction 

To some, living with a person recovering from addiction can seem “unpredictable” and cause anxiety or uncertainty. However, by also educating yourself on addiction, you can gain a greater understanding and more balanced perspective of substance abuse, addiction, and the recovery process. 

If you are currently receiving your own counseling or plan to start in the future, you can ask your therapist for resources on addiction. Professionals can help provide you with books, articles, and other materials to help you gain new insight. 

Plan Positive Family Activities 

When caring for a loved one who is recovering from addiction, showing your support and including them in your family activities can help create a better home environment. Plan outings, family dinners, and other activities where everyone can bond and grow closer together while maintaining appropriate boundaries. These activities can also provide a space for your family members to repair or strengthen relationships that might have been impacted by addiction in the past. 

Set Clear Boundaries and Expectations in the Home 

If you are living with someone who is experiencing addiction, set clear boundaries with them and communicate them to your loved one respectfully. Do not create unfair boundaries that make them feel unloved, untrusted, or disrespected. This can create additional tension and stress for them as they recover. 

An example of a reasonable boundary could be asking this person to give you a receipt if you lend them money. A common addictive behavior is asking to borrow money and spending it on purchasing substances. However, with a receipt, they can provide you with dated and timestamped proof of how they used the cash you lent them. Over time, this can help rebuild trust with the family member as they can show tangible evidence of how they used their funds. 

It is also important to mind what you keep in your home. You may decide that you no longer want to keep alcohol in your home if your loved one is living with you. Someone who is struggling with addiction may instead turn to alcohol if that is the only substance they can access. Removing a potential temptation can help your loved one relax and prevent them from negatively affecting the progress they’ve made in recovery. 

Make Time for Self-Care 

Take the time to prioritize your own health and well-being. Our first instinct when living with another person who is struggling with a disease might be to focus entirely on their needs at the expense of our own. However, when you are not caring for yourself, you cannot serve as an effective support system for your loved one. 

Ways that you can help take care of yourself while living with an addicted family member include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Eating a balanced, healthy diet 
  • Taking time to exercise or go for a walk 
  • Engaging in hobbies or activities that you enjoy 
  • Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night 
  • Planning or attending outings/events independently 
  • Continuing to visit with friends and other family members
  • Taking an occasional personal day or an extended weekend at work 

Encourage Others in Your Family to Seek Help 

Keep an eye out for other members of your family who are struggling with your loved one’s addiction. If you notice that they seem angry, depressed, or socially detached from the rest of your household, encourage them to seek out their own counseling and other support systems to help them process how they feel. 

Get Compassionate Addiction Treatment for Your Family Member in South Florida 

Are you looking for caring treatment for your loved one? At Compassion Behavioral Health, we provide a leading comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment program in beautiful South Florida. To learn more, call us at (844) 999-0874 or reach out online.