Things Every Family in Addiction Recovery Should Know
Addiction recovery is a process for the whole family, yet many feel that the family often goes unsupported. What should the family know?
Below we’ve asked experts with personal or professional experience in the field.
- Ask sensitive questions. “How do you feel about your life these days? I’ve noticed you’re drinking more than usual.”
- Use the pronouns “I” or “we.” “I feel frustrated and sad when I can’t talk to you after you’ve been drinking.”
- Have a clear treatment plan ready. “We’ve found a good rehab program close to home; we want you to get outside help.”
- Stay calm and compassionate. “I know this is hard. I’m here for you.”
- Seek support from others. “Your brothers and sisters are here for you too, and we’ve found a counselor who can help all of us.”
- Make angry accusations. “You never spend any time with the kids anymore; you’re too busy getting high.”
- Use the pronoun “you.” “You don’t listen to me when you’re drunk!”
- Make bargains that allow substance use to continue. “If you cut off your drinking by 7 p.m., I’ll give you one more chance.”
- Act judgmental or outraged. “You’re being weak and inconsiderate; using meth is a crime, you could stop if you really wanted to!”
- Try to tackle the problem alone. “I can’t handle this by myself. You and your drugs are too much for me to deal with.”
As Diane Buxton explains, “It’s a family disease, isn’t it? [See Diane’s personal story here] There should ALWAYS be more for the family. In my experience, the key has been getting active in the community, as in groups like PAL.