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Family & Addiction

If you are concerned a family member may be suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse, chances are you are right. You are probably feeling hopeless and your family is dealing with high levels of stress, anxiety, and even embarrassment. To cope with this uncontrollable situation, family members may try to avoid the truth or a genuine connection with the addict. Nothing is more painful than watching someone you love struggle with addiction. Helping your loved one to recovery is necessary and possibly life saving.

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ADDICTION

Addiction is equally possible in affluent persons as well as those below the poverty line. Race, ethnicity and gender make little difference when it comes to many types of addiction. Although some addictions can be slightly more prevalent in specific groups, addiction can potentially strike anyone in any life circumstance. No single factor can predict exactly when or who addiction will strike.

Addiction is a very real disease that requires addiction treatment and medical attention in order to be overcome. While it has both biological and environmental components, in most cases medical intervention is required for a full recovery.

Drugs disrupt the way the brain functions by either overstimulating its reward center or mimicking natural chemical messengers. Drugs in effect “fool” the brain, activating false messages and brain chemistry, or overloading it with abnormally large amounts of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. This rewarding feeling fuels the person’s desire to feel it again, and they keep using the drug. The brain then adapts by producing less and less dopamine and reducing receptors in the brain. Long-term drug abuse causes levels of glutamate to fall as well; this is the neurotransmitter connected with decision making, learning, memory and good judgment.

Many people who suffer from addiction have what is called a “co-occurring disorder”; this means that alongside their addiction, they have at least one mental health issue. This can be an anxiety disorder, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), depression, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), bipolar disorder, a personality disorder, or schizophrenia. A recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that over 40 percent of those with a substance abuse disorder had a mental health issue as well. Also, people with a mental illness are twice as likely to abuse drugs.

While family history can predispose someone to addiction, it is not a guarantee. The truth is that no one factor is predictive of drug addiction. Risk is influenced by many factors including biology, environment, and life stresses and circumstances. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their risk of becoming addicted to a substance. Family history, genetics, environment, peer pressure, abuse, and the age at which drugs are first tried all factor into a person’s risk for addiction. Just as each person is unique, the nature of their addiction will be unique.

If you think you can “just try it once” and avoid addiction, think again. Many drugs can cause addiction after just one use; heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine are just a few examples. Alcohol and marijuana can cause addiction after just a few tries.

Many people mistakenly think drug abusers lack morals and principles. But this is simply untrue; addiction is a very real medical condition, and should be treated as such. Morality has nothing to do with addiction, and only serves to shift attention away from a focus on recovery.

While will power is a component of overcoming any habit we wish to change, it isn’t enough to overcome most drug addictions. Treatment of the roots of the issue as well as ongoing aftercare is usually required for lasting relief from the disease of addiction.

Addiction is not a hopeless condition; it is a treatable disease that responds to professional help. The key is receiving customized care from a professional facility that knows how to treat the client’s specific addiction type. A combination of addiction treatment medicines, behavioral therapy and ongoing aftercare is highly effective in many cases. Treatment should be tailored to each individual’s specific addiction and situation address any co-occurring issues.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says relapse is as common in addiction recovery as it is in other chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension. It doesn’t mean the person has failed, just that their treatment plan should be reinstated or adjusted. In most cases, addiction will have to managed for the rest of the person’s life. However, recovery is possible, and addicted persons as well as their families and loved ones should draw hope and inspiration from this fact.

Addiction is a disease that calls for compassion as well as specific medical treatment. If you or someone you love needs help, contact a professional today today.

How to Help Your Family Member

Even knowing that your actions come from a place of love, it can still be intimidating to get your loved one into rehab, especially if it is against their will. You have obviously seen signs of addiction if you are reading this section. Drug or alcohol addiction can lead to problems at home and issues at school or work. For most parents or spouses, the breaking point comes when their loved one is acting dangerously or recklessly.

How to HELP an Addicted Friend or Relative,” states there is unfortunately no fast and easy way to help someone with addiction. Read this article as it is helpful for supporting an addicted love one and how to care for yourself.

Feel free to call us today at (330) 953 3300 . For any questions or concerns you may have about getting your loved one into New Day Recovery. Your call is confidential.

Recovery For The Family

Receiving support for what you are going through as a family member of an addict is very important to healing the wounds of addiction. We encourage family members to get involved with support groups such as Al-Anon. It is beneficial to be a part of a supportive team of people who are going through the same experience you are, and to know that you are not alone.

It can be beneficial if the family members enter therapy sessions with the addict. This increases awareness of unhealthy behaviors and dysfunctional roles that addiction has created in your family and home.  This is key in helping you, and your love one have greater chance of overcoming their addiction with your loving support.

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