What Can Someone Do If a Family Member Has a Drug Problem?

Loving someone with an addiction is never easy. In fact, it can be emotionally, mentally, and even financially draining. This is especially true if you aren’t comfortable setting firm, healthy boundaries, or if you’re worried about their situation growing worse. It’s not uncommon for people to make excuses for their addicted relatives, clean up their messes, and even bail them out of their legal and financial problems. Unfortunately, even though all of these things can feel like helping, they’re actually doing quite the opposite. Doing things for an addicted person that they’re perfectly capable of doing on their own is known as enabling. Enabling an addict can keep them from seeking the help they truly need.

Recognizing that your family member has a drug problem is the first step towards helping them and helping yourself. Many addicts are in denial about their addictions. They can also be incredibly effective at convincing everyone else around them that they’re in control. Once you’ve acknowledged your family member’s drug problem, you can establish a solid plan to help them acknowledge it as well. This is known as staging an intervention. In interventions, friends and family members come together to tell addicts how their drug use is impacting their lives. They set firm boundaries, and they offer access to rehab. Addicts then have the choice to receive treatment or to face the consequences of refusing it.

Is Staging an Intervention the Right Choice?

When done properly, an intervention is all about making a person feel valued and helping them recognize that they’re going down the wrong path. Although having an addicted family member can be trying, it’s important to avoid making this process about yourself and the stress that you’ve been feeling. While well-planned interventions can encourage people to seek treatment, interventions that are haphazardly thrown together can do far more harm than good.

One of the major benefits of an effective intervention is that it allows enabling individuals to move out of the way. Addiction is largely a family disease. Although there may be only one addict in your household, other people are likely playing roles that encourage or allow unhealthy behaviors. When enablers step out of the way, addicts can experience the full consequences of their addictions. As a result, they’re often able to recognize the need for outside support.

If you want to help your loved one face addiction head on, consider working with an intervention specialist or an addiction counselor. These professionals can help you:

  • Define your goals for the intervention
  • Choose the right venue
  • Build your intervention team
  • Identify and eliminate enabling behaviors
  • Establish clear and reasonable consequences for refusing help
  • Create a solid plan for offering help and for following through once help is accepted

Another important part of helping a loved choose recovery is taking part in family counseling. Addiction causes a tremendous amount of stress for families. Everyone in the home is affected by it, and everyone has addiction-related trauma to heal from. Signing up for family therapy or joining a support group for family members of addicts can help you better understand addiction. Although you might think that your loved one’s drug use is a matter of personal choice, addiction is actually a chronic and incredibly complex disease. As you learn more about it, you’ll also learn how to better support your loved one throughout the recovery process.

It’s important to note that addiction treatment can only be successful when addicts are willing to help themselves. You cannot choose health and sobriety for your loved one. However, you can choose to stop supporting their habit, stop enabling their behavior, and stop making excuses for their actions. You can also make a commitment to start living your life more fully and to stop putting your own needs on hold.

When addicts are offered addiction help and refuse it, family members have the right to lovingly detach. With loving detachment, you’ll no longer be available to clean up your loved one’s messes or to mitigate the consequences that their actions have wrought. However, you’ll still be on hand to help them enter rehab when they’re ready to do so. If you’re looking for quality addiction treatment for your relative, we’re here to help. We can assist with intervention planning and share information about our rehab programs. Get in touch with us today to speak with an admissions counselor by calling 833-820-2922.