Posts Tagged ‘addiction’

Reclaim Your Family’s Health from Substance Abuse

February 5, 2016

The family of someone with a substance abuse disorder is in great danger of emotional damage. If someone you love has an addiction problem, following the pointers below will help you to initiate the healing process, both for you and for the ones you love.

Start the Healing Process Now

If someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, they need immediate help. Any delay allows the problem to worsen, so step in now before things deteriorate even further. Have a thoughtful talk with your loved one and let them know how their choices are hurting you and the rest of your family.

Keep Yourself Safe

Talking to your loved one is a healthy first step, but you have to remember to protect your own emotional health. Don’t become so focused and emotionally invested in fixing the issue that you forget to take care of yourself. Surround yourself with support, either from family members or close friends. Also, in your attempts to help your family member, don’t put yourself in physical danger either.

Remember It’s Not Your Fault

Your loved one made the choices that led to substance abuse on their own. You are not to blame. Additionally, if you are unable to help your loved one change, that’s not your fault either. Encourage your loved one in any way you can, but accept the fact that, in the end, you are not responsible for the change, rather they are the one who must make the decision to change.

Tactics to Avoid

Stay away from resorting to threats and bribes. Don’t shield your loved one from the consequences of their substance abuse problem. They need to face reality in order to move towards healing. Don’t use subversive schemes such as hiding or throwing out drugs.

Moving Forward

The most important step for you and your loved one is to see professional help. Don’t let the situation get any worse before you take action to restore the health of your family.

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Breaking the Cycle of Addiction

February 28, 2014

Childhood can and should be a time of wonder and discovery, when parents nurture, protect and care for the precious gifts of life they have brought into the world. But for children of alcoholic parents, life often is filled with shame, suffering, and fear. These children may find themselves trapped by the same disease that affected their parents and grandparents, unless there is outside intervention from caring adults in their lives.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, children of alcohol-addicted parents can suffer from physical illness and injury, emotional disturbances, educational deficits, and behavior problems. Perhaps most troubling, however, is the fact that children of alcoholics (COAs) are two to four times more likely to become problem drinkers and continue the addictive practices of their parents, with similar devastating consequences.

SAMHSA urges every adult to learn about the needs of COAs and the simple actions they can take to help COAs develop into healthy adults. We know that COAs are at greater risk for substance abuse problems in their own lives. But we also know what to do to help them avoid repeating their families’ problems. We can break the generational cycle of alcoholism in families.

That’s good news for the millions of children in the United States who live in households in which one or both parents have been actively alcohol dependent in the past. Experts say COAs can be helped, whether or not the alcohol-abusing adults in their families receive treatment. Adult relatives, older siblings, and other adults who have contact with COAs at school, in the community, through faith-based organizations, and through health and social services agencies do not need formal training or special skills to be caring and supportive.

The help a child of an alcoholic, one must take that first step – by showing you care. Since research shows that one in four children lives in a family with alcoholism or alcohol abuse, many adults will not have to look far to find a child to help.

Almost every community has resources to help make a difference in the lives of COAs. Services such as educational support groups and counseling are widespread. A free publication, It’s Not Your Fault is available from SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, offers important insights and resources for adults who want to help. For more information, call 1-800-729-6686 or http://store.samhsa.gov/product/It-s-Not-Your-Fault-NACoA-/MS732.