Family’s Role in Dealing with Substance Abuse

Family’s Role in Dealing with Substance AbuseWhen someone in the family is struggling with substance abuse it affects everyone. Fears about the addiction can keep family members from pushing for the help they know their loved one needs. However, it’s important to note that the majority of people in substance abuse treatment are there because the family intervened.

But how should a family begin? What should they say? What, if anything, should they do? These are the tough questions families face. Fortunately, there are counselors who work specifically with addicts that can be a valuable resource to families unsure as to what to do.

Some families may prefer to begin the process of intervention with no outside help or advice. The family may choose to approach their loved one first before contacting a professional in order to demonstrate the gentleness of their confrontation. There is no right or wrong – only what each family decides.

The goal of the intervention is that the loved one will enter into treatment. Here again, the family will need to make a decision. There are inpatient and outpatient programs and the family should decide together which kind of treatment is best.

The benefit of outpatient treatment is that the patient can remain in the home with little or no disruption to school or work. Because it is less costly than inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment can be maintained for a longer period.

Inpatient care is more intensive and more costly and it may take the patient away some distanc. Nonetheless, this can be beneficial since it means that the person is removed from friends and environments which contributed to addiction. Being apart from school, work and family also allows the person to focus without distraction on their recovery.

This is not to say that the family is out of the picture when someone enters inpatient treatment. Family involvement plays a role in recovery. Most inpatient facilities will schedule times for families to interact because the family dynamic is so crucial.

In fact, family members usually need to examine their own role in the problem. Enabling behaviors are just one area where the family may need to make changes. Addiction is a family disease, and frequent involvement between all family members is part of the healing process.

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