1. Addiction Is Treatable!
Recent advances in the scientific understanding of drug addiction clearly indicate that the brain has the remarkable ability to recover after an extensive absence of using drugs, even with such a harsh substance as methamphetamine. Even after a prolonged addiction, recovery is possible. Treatment for drug addiction is not unlike treating a chronic illness. It must include the transformation of deeply embedded habits, thoughts, and beliefs. As these internal patterns find change, an addiction will slowly loosen its grip on your loved one’s life.
2. An Addiction Can Affect an Entire Family
Addiction has been a subject well researched in the mental health field. Over the years, the patterns in the life of an addict as well as in the lives of an addict’s family have been well documented. Although there is much more to understand, there are typical patterns and roles in a family of addiction that continues to be observed by clinicians time and time again. Central to the roles of a family with addiction is codependency and powerlessness. The belief in being powerless in life leads to a dysfunctional relying on others for things that one can and should do on their own. To the extent that powerlessness is woven into the fabric of a family’s daily functioning, it can lead to patterns of care taking, low self-worth, controlling, denial, poor communication, weak boundaries, anger, and lack of trust. Fortunately, becoming aware of the ways that addiction affects the entire family facilitate healing family relationships.
3. Your Loved One Needs Your Help and Support
When your loved one’s life is on the line, you’re likely willing to do anything for him or her. An addiction puts your friend or family member’s life at serious risk. It might have been clear to see how over time his or her life has gone from good to bad to worse. For this reason, he or she needs your support. An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one or many people – usually family and friends – to get someone to seek addiction help. When a family intervenes, they do so to strongly encourage, if not force, their loved one to get drug treatment for their addiction.
4. Relapse Is a Common Part of the Recovery Process
During your loved one’s recovery, it is possible that he or she might experience relapse. However, this doesn’t mean that recovery is impossible; in many cases, a relapse can strengthen his or her commitment to stay sober. In fact, relapse is a common experience for someone struggling with staying sober. The average national relapse rate can be as high as 80% for recovering addicts. This is especially true for those who have weak networks of support, existing mental health disorders, began to use drugs early, or who abuse multiple forms of substances. Of course, there are many factors that might play a role in your loved one’s experience of relapse. Yet, it’s important to know to give your friend or family member time to cross the bridge between addiction and sobriety.
5. The Person You Love Is Still There, Beneath the Addiction
Addiction can create great harm in one’s life. Because it’s a disease that affects the brain, perception, judgment, and decision making, you might see your loved one destroying his or her life. Perhaps you knew the life of your friend or family member before the addiction took hold. It’s important to remember how your loved one behaved before the addiction, when he or she was well. Remember that an addiction is a disease, not a personal flaw. Your friend or family member needs to find addiction help in order to accurately treat the disease and to recover from the addiction.
These points might be helpful to remember when you’re in the middle of chaos with your loved one. Taking a step back and accessing the larger picture might be essential in order to find the addiction help your loved one needs, or to help him or her access that support on their own.