Dealing with addiction doesn’t come with a rule book or a “one size fits all” approach. There are so many different variables that can affect how addiction permeates the world of the individual and the entire family. And one of the topics that is often lesser addressed is that there is a path of healing for both the suffering addict, and the loved one, caretaker or family who has been left in their wake.
But there are guidelines and solutions that can and do help addicts, families and loved ones recover from crippling addiction, and even thrive in a new, sober existence. While it may sound like a far cry from the emotional turmoil of active addiction, there IS an opposing reality to addiction, and that is recovery.
In many cases, the addict has and is suffering due to causes of addiction. It is often said that chemical dependency (whether it be alcohol, drugs or another form of compulsion) is but a symptom of the underlying problem. And discovering the foundational reasons for addiction is what therapy and treatment is really all about.
Addiction can be caused by many, many different things. Evidence suggests that addiction can be precipitated by a genetic predisposition, by childhood trauma, issues of self-actualization, PTSD, and hundreds of other causes. This alone makes clear that in order for the individual to recover, they must first understand, address, and overcome the causes of their addiction.
In this instance, it is the addict who must take a journey inward and uncover the cause. And it’s nearly impossible to do this on one’s own. Surely, if overcoming addiction were that easy, the statistics of long-term recovery would be much more favorable. Rather, recovery is achievable with the help of others in the form of one-on-one therapy, group therapy, 12-step fellowship groups, and sponsorship. Depending on their drug of choice, and possible co-occurring disorder(s), medication assistance may also be a source of necessary support in order to achieve long-term recovery.
As a parent or loved one, it’s easy to advise our loved one to “get help” by first attending a 12-step meeting, or by visiting a therapist. While these are reasonable requests, human nature often prevents many of us from doing things we “don’t feel like doing”, or are told to do. Overcoming addiction is hard – very hard. Our experience tells us that in order for someone to really recover, they must come to a place where they themselves want to get better. This often happens only when there is no other solution, when all other attempts to change have failed, and when they are out of lifelines. Understanding this fact has helped many loved ones to recognize the harmful effects of enabling.
The Role of the Family in Addiction
You are reading this because you are looking for answers – trying to understand how to get your child, partner, friend or loved one to stop abusing drugs or alcohol. And while they will need to figure that out for themselves, you also will have to play a role in understanding how you may have contributed to their situation, or how you will have to change in order to help them get better.
While stereotypes may make it feel otherwise, most addicts are supported by a loving group of people who only want them to get better. And while they journey on their path toward sobriety, you (the family members and loved ones) will dramatically improve their chances of long-term recovery by getting the help you need, too. Self-help groups like Al-Anon and one-on-one therapy sessions are excellent ways to accomplish this. These groups are especially helpful as seeing the success of another person who has been where you have been, and felt how you feel, is living in a solution. Seeing the success in another proves that recovery is possible. And with that, the loved one is far more likely to listen and heed the advice of the group that in turn will help their loved one recover from addiction, too.
Parents and loved ones of addicts often don’t see themselves as the problem. And while (in some cases) you have not caused their addiction, there may be many reasons why your actions, feelings and lifestyle are preventing them from recovering. Perhaps you love too much and are enabling with money and resources. Or, someone in their life may impose entirely too much expectation, stress or emotional trauma on them, which is only compounded by the evidence of their addiction.
In some cases, when the causes of addiction are not within the control of the suffering addict, it’s critical to understand how a change in their environment may lead them to find lasting recovery. For instance, if someone in their life is causing their internal turmoil, such as a toxic relationship with a loved one, parent or relative, then developing a future either without them or with healthy boundaries is paramount to their success.
Getting Help for Addiction
It’s devastating watching your loved one suffer with addiction. But, if they are ready to get help, and receive the treatment they need to finally get sober, then Lumiere Healing Centers of Ohio is a great place to start. Give us a call today and let us help you get going on the road to recovery. You can call us anytime at 513-987-9392. We’re here 24/7 and all calls are confidential.