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Coping With Drug Addiction In Your Family

Drug Addiction doesn’t happen overnight for the person abusing the drug. Often, families never see it coming. When someone you love begins their long journey down the road of drug addiction, it is a path that seems to have more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. The ups and downs occur every day and seem to be never ending. As a family, you start to doubt anything the family member has ever told you. If anything in your home was ever missing, you suspect they took it. If they go to the bathroom, you think they are doing drugs. There is absolutely no trust whatsoever and you begin to fear there never will be.

Families coping with addiction

You talk to people about help and they tell you of another 12 step program support system or of something they know nothing about. You thank them smile and never hear a word they say because you are more concerned with where the family member is right at this very moment and you are wondering what they are doing or if they are even alive.

Young people are not just smoking pot anymore.

They are huffing, snorting, smoking drugs that you have never heard of and they don’t plan to give it up. If they get caught, they’re sorry, but they will look you in the eye and tell you they’re sorry. After that they will be even more careful to avoid being caught.

These drugs allow the people on them an amazing level of self-confidence with authoritative people in their lives. They are going to do drugs and with the slack laws, well there is nothing you can do about it.

WRONG. There isn’t anything you can do with your children once they turn 18. If they choose to do drugs after their 18th birthday, they can do just as much as they want to do and you will not be able to stop them and no one will help you control them, because legally, they are no longer under your protection – they are legal adults now. However if you are coping with a drug-addict that is under the age of majority, you can take drastic measures. In many cases you should.

The drugs that are available to kids these days are more dangerous than anything you ever experienced in your younger years. The kids opt for pain killers such as Oxycontin, Percocet, and Loratabs. Then when those highs don’t cut it, they get turned onto meth amphetamine (crystal meth). It is an extremely popular social drug that has devastating effects. No one seems to walk completely away from because the temptation is there each and every day for the rest of their life.

So when you get that phone call in the wee hours of the morning, you hang up the phone and decide right then, do you take action? Remember if you don’t, it will mean you could be giving up someone you love.

 

Dealing With Drug Addiction In Your Family

Dealing with addicted family members is always a big challenge. There are some important issues to explore when someone you love is harming themselves.

ARE YOU CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEM?

People use various addictions to avoid their painful feelings, especially their feelings of anxiety, stress, emptiness and loneliness. Is there some way that you are contributing to their pain? While you are not responsible for how someone deals with pain, you are responsible for anything you are doing that may be contributing to it. Some of the ways you might be contributing are:

  • Being judgmental toward the addicted person in an effort to control them regarding their addictions or regarding other behavior.
  • Caretaking the addicted person by covering up for them or doing things for them that they need to be doing for themselves.
  • Being discounting or dismissive toward them, when they try to share their feelings with you, about something you might be doing that is difficult for them.
  • Telling yourself that you are responsible for them, rather than taking loving care of yourself.

 

ACCEPTING YOUR LACK OF CONTROL

Regardless of how you might be contributing to the problem, their choice to act out addictively is still 100% their choice, and you cannot control this. When you do not accept your powerlessness over another's choices and behavior, then you might stay in situations that are detrimental to you, trying to get the other person to change.

 

STAYING TUNED IN TO YOUR OWN FEELINGS AND NEEDS

Are you focused on the addicted person rather than on your feelings and needs? Are you putting yourself aside in your attempts to help them? Are you abandoning yourself in your efforts to get them to stop abandoning themselves and harming themselves?

If you focus on your own feelings and your responsibility for yourself, what would you be doing differently? Are you feeling sad, used, angry, or anxious much of the time? If this is the case, then you need to start taking care of yourself rather than abandoning yourself.

 

TAKING LOVING ACTION

If you completely accept your lack of control over the other person and stop caretaking them or judging them, and if you tune into yourself and discover that you are distressed as a result of this relationship, then you have some hard decisions to make.

It is very important to understand that whatever is truly in your highest good, is also in the highest good of all. When you take loving care of yourself, you open the door for others to take loving care of themselves.

What are some of the loving actions to take regarding the addicted person?

  • Join the appropriate 12-Step group to help you move out of enabling the addicted person and out of enmeshment with him or her.
  • Get professional help to heal your need to control through your caretaking or through being judgmental.
  • Contact a professional who does interventions and bring together all the people who are sad about the situation and are willing to stop contact with the addicted person until he or she goes into a treatment center or gets some other form of good help.
  • Decide for yourself that you will no longer be involved with the family member as long as he or she is acting out the addiction. This means leaving the relationship, which may be a very hard thing to do. You may need professional help to take this action.
  • Accept the person as he or she is, completely accepting that the addiction will continue, and learn to take care of yourself within the situation.

When you completely accept your lack of control and deal with your own controlling behavior, then you can open to learning about the loving action to take in your own behalf and in behalf of the addicted family member.

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Reference: ZIP articles

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