6 Tips to Help Families Cope With Substance Use Disorder
In 2018, roughly six percent of American adults were dependent on alcohol or had difficulties relating to alcohol use. That same year more than 11% of Americans aged 12 or older reported using an illicit drug in the prior month.
These figures reflect millions of people who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction. All of them have family and friends who are hoping and praying for their recovery. Families play an essential part in the healing process and spouses, siblings, parents, children, friends, and others should know how to cope if they feel stressed.
#1 Learn as Much as Possible About Addiction
Education about addiction can help family members to stop blaming each other. Weakness, willfulness, or stubbornness may not be the cause of the person’s substance use disorder. Understanding that addiction is not a choice may help you let go of your anger and hatred toward your loved one.
Many online resources exist to educate families on addiction. Most bookstores also stock books on addiction chemistry and addiction therapy science. That kind of knowledge might make a family feel hopeful about their loved one’s recovery journey.
#2 Go to Family Therapy Sessions
Spouses, siblings, and parents often bear the brunt of their loved one’s addiction struggles. Many people are afraid to speak freely about harmful behavior so they remain silent. Tired of battling with a loved one, family members can grow distant. A family member may blame themself or their loved one for their own suffering.
Family members may lack the tools and energy to aid someone in active rehabilitation. Family therapy programs aim to reduce distrust and shame by allowing everyone to be heard. They can assist family members in understanding each other and resolving conflicts peacefully. Through family therapy, anger and addiction can be transformed into close-knit families with their members supporting one another through open communication and healthy boundaries.
#3 Manage Expectations
Addiction-related behaviors and patterns might take a long time to change. Likewise, a person may feel frustrated with the rehabilitation process. In the process of recovery, a relapse can be demoralizing. It’s important to remember that relapse does not indicate failure for your loved one or you. Relapse is an aspect of rehabilitation from addiction. While actions can be taken to avoid relapse, rehabilitation is a lifelong path with ups and downs.
It’s critical to control your own and others’ expectations. Relationships take time and work to heal. Even if things aren’t ideal, working towards a drug-free existence can make them more meaningful.
#4 Stay in Touch With Personal Joy
Managing expectations is easier when people are in charge of their happiness. This means that everyone in a recovering family ought to take the time to relax and enjoy themselves. This could include:
- Playing an instrument
- Taking nature photographs
- Volunteering with animals
- Playing with children
These activities can make the participant feel happy, preserve a sense of efficacy and worth, and help boost mental health.
#5 Get Regular Exercise
Exercise routines like jogging in the morning and swimming in the evening may not be suitable for every family, but they can provide significant benefits such as reducing stress and depression. According to a 2014 Stress in America survey, 43% of adults exercise to help relieve stress.
Stretching and tensing muscles cause the brain to produce pleasure chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin. High-energy exercise sessions can help families let off steam in a safe way that doesn’t damage others or leave scars. They can run instead of yell at each other. Meanwhile, something such as yoga can replace pacing. Regular exercise is a great approach to remain on track with recovery and it’s simple to start.
#6 Adhere to a Formal Sleep/Wake Schedule
Some of the most harmful addictive behaviors occur at night. People struggling with substance use disorder can meet dealers, overdose, stagger home from parties, or cause other problems for family members at this time. It’s no wonder that some families in recovery have trouble sleeping. Their brains are poised for the next nocturnal catastrophe.
Regular sleep loss might impede recuperation and lead to increased levels of anger, stress, depression, and mental weariness. Families can better support the healing process if they are physically and mentally rejuvenated. Regular bedtimes and wake times can help prepare the brain for deep sleep.
Addiction-affected families do not have to walk the road to recovery alone. Friends and family members who keep informed and maintain their mental and physical health are more able to deal with addiction, assist their loved ones, and put their families on the road to long-term recovery. If you have any concerns regarding family resources, the recovery process, or tailored addiction treatment alternatives that could be suitable for your loved one, please contact us right away. Mountain Peak Recovery is one of the several outstanding treatment centers that offer assistance to both the addict and their family. Our treatment teams have developed a series of programs aimed at patients’ relatives, including family weekends that provide educational seminars on addiction for family members. We also provide both group and individual therapy sessions. Call us today at (801) 824-8829.