hand on head - coping with drug abuse

Coping: Loved ones struggling with alcohol abuse?

Don’t stay in the dark | about drinking and drugs!

The more you understand the facts, the greater your understanding will be about what someone’s going through, and how he or she can overcome it will help with coping when loved ones are struggling with alcohol abuse.

If you’re not sure what kind of drug an individual is using, or whether one has an addiction, education will help you recognize certain behavior patterns or health issues an individual may have that are associated with different types of substances and addictions.

Determine Your Safety

Sometimes folks will behave erratically once they drink or take medication. Their moods and actions will become erratic, which at the best is embarrassing or frustrating for friends and family, however, at the worst will become aggressive or violent. You have the right to put your safety and the well-being of your family first.

If you’re living with a person whose substance abuse or addiction behavior puts your safety at risk, consider having a backup plan. That plan may include arranging with family or friends to stay with them, or knowing where you can go in your community if an emergency arises.

Substance Abuse is a Disease

It is necessary to understand that misuse could be a sign of disease. The person who is truly addicted is not able to take control of this problem without professional help. As a loved one, you cannot stop the individual’s substance abuse. Families can, however, avoid covering it up or doing things that make it easy for the person to continue the denial. Encourage your family member or friend to get the treatment needed through a professional licensed treatment provider or family physician.

Talking to Someone Who Is Abusing Drugs or Alcohol

Perhaps you’re feeling upset, angry, pissed off, or maybe disgraced regarding someone’s issues. Whatever you’re going through, it’s okay to feel the way you do. What’s more, it’s often worth talking to the person about your feelings – being honest may even encourage one to open up to you about underlying emotions, too. When you talk with someone about drinking and drug use, listen and respect what he or she has to say. It may also help the individual to face up to the problem. If someone shuts you down initially, it may be more difficult to get him or her to open up later. Just listen.

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