What to Do If a Family Member is Struggling with Addiction

This article was written by Horton and published by S2L Recovery


Even if we love our family more than anything, they can be trying. It can be difficult to accept someone for all of their positive attributes as well as their faults. We try, but we occasionally fall short. And that’s okay. Because at the end of the day, we’re all human. We’re doing the best we can and that’s all that can be asked of us.

But what happens when the things being asked of us seem beyond our control? What if these things legitimately are beyond our control?

A family member who is struggling with a drug or alcohol problem can often seem like they are beyond the point of being helped. Or maybe, they act as if help is the last thing they want. It is in these times that we fall back on the teachings of Christ and the love we have for our family. Even though it doesn’t make sense sometimes, life’s hardships can persist, and helping a family member who is struggling with an addiction can be one of those times when it doesn’t make sense.

However, this is manageable. This can be done. With a little information, preparation, and a lot of hard work, these impossible situations can become possible. Christian recovery centers in Tennessee like S2L Recovery are here to help. The first steps in this process can often be the most difficult. It’s like a big ball that is hard to move, but once it rolls just a little, the momentum begins to help.

So, here are our suggestions to get that ball rolling.

Start Slow

We often don’t know the extent of someone’s substance abuse struggles. Many people hide their use because they are ashamed. They know it’s wrong but there’s something inside them that propels them toward harmful behavior. And when this happens, it’s up to those who love them to find out exactly how bad the damage truly is.

The thing to remember throughout this process is you don’t want them to grow defensive. This will happen either way, but you should be aware of how your actions and questions are being interpreted. Defensiveness shuts them down when what you most want is for them to listen to you.

So ask questions. Show them you care. And pay attention to their behavior, mood swings, and habits. If there’s something to find, you will find it.

Get Support

If possible, find others to help you. These habits are often deeply-rooted and are going to be very hard to quit. Getting more people to help you get the point across to your family member that this behavior is destructive and will no longer be tolerated will help drive your point home.

It also helps to simply have a different perspective. As we said earlier, this behavior is often hidden. Putting together the whole puzzle is much easier when others can help you find the pieces.

Speak with friends and other members of your family. If everyone agrees the family member’s behavior is becoming a problem for everyone involved, it’s time to move to the next step.

Confront Them

It’s recommended that a professional is brought in to help guide you through this stage of the process. This can either take the form of an advisor, or a direct participant in the conversation with your loved one.

You will need a plan—who is going to talk, what is everyone going to say, and what you are going to ask of the family member who might be struggling with addition. Write out what you want to say. This will help align your thoughts and make sure you don’t leave anything out. The conversation will be difficult. It’s easy to lose your place or simply forget something you wanted to say. Having this written down will help that.

Bring in a group of people that love and care for your family member. Have them write down their thoughts as well. You want to express you love and concern for them, but also let them know how their behavior has affected you.

There needs to be a direct line toward recovery at the end. It’s up to the family member if they will walk that line, but you need to make your intentions clear. Research Christian recovery centers. S2L Recovery guides their students through a Christ-centered curriculum that teaches them the skills they need to heal while being supervised by a medical and clinical staff.

Get Professional Help

The knowledge and guidance of a professional will help at any stage in this process. Recovery centers in Tennessee like S2L Recovery have helped a number of people get their lives back on track.

Pastor Adam Comer, CEO of S2L Recovery encourages loved ones to:

“Make it as hard as possible for your loved one to stay in a life of Addiction, and as easy as possible for them to walk into a place of Recovery”

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