Nearly 25 million people in the United States suffer from drug or alcohol addiction. And that’s not the most alarming issue. Some experts believe that number is on the rise.
The worst part is that it’s not just the addicts that are suffering from this condition, it’s their loved ones as well. Addiction causes stress, anger, and disconnect among family members because often families simply don’t know how to cope with the problem. If you are a loved one is suffering from addiction, there are a few ways you can help. Here are four strategies for managing the problem and living drug or alcohol free.
Admit That You Have a Problem
The most difficult step for many addicts and their families is to admit that there’s a problem. Often, addicts themselves will know that they have a problem, but they are unable to stop and unsure of how to begin addressing the situation. Family members may develop coping mechanisms which cause them to ignore the problem or deny its existence. The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a substance abuse or alcohol problem to yourself and to your family. This will help you move forward in the recovery process for the long term.
Begin the Process of Detoxification
After admitting you have a problem, it’s time to take the next step and begin the detoxification process. Detoxing is neither fun nor easy, but it’s necessary. Sometimes addicts will need to seek medical attention to help them through the process. Patients may detox in a hospital or private clinic, or may choose to go through the experience in the privacy of their own home. Or chronic substance abusers may choose to detox with the help of a methadone clinic. Methadone clinic patients work towards tapering off the drugs to gradually eliminate dependency. Detoxing from drugs or alcohol is a difficult process, but it will help you get on the road to recovery.
Attend Group or Individual Therapy
Beating a serious addiction is hard to do on your own! It’s a good idea to seek help from a professional that specializes in addiction treatment, or attend a support group such as Al-Anon. These treatment sessions will help keep you on track, and improve your chances of recovery for the long term. Often, group meetings are offered weekly for those who are recovering from addiction. Forming a support system will help you feel better and keep you on the straight and arrow.
Talk to a Family Counselor
Since addiction affects families as well as individuals, it’s a good idea to participate in family counseling as part of the recovery process. This will heal to repair damaged relationships and improve communication among family members. Family counseling can be sought privately, or families coping with addiction can work with counselors at treatment centers or hospitals to help them move forward with their lives more easily.
Drug and alcohol dependency is a common issue in the United States, and unfortunately the numbers of those addicted continue to grow annually. If you or a family member is suffering from an addiction problem, it’s time to get started on the path to recovery. It may be a long and difficult process, but it may help save your life and your relationships!
About the Author: Bill Martin is a freelance writer covering topics related to addiction recovery and improving overall health and wellbeing. In his spare time he enjoys fly fishing and spending time with family.