Family Advice For Addiction
The best piece of family advice for addiction we can offer in the early stages is to not panic. As difficult as it may be for you when you discover your loved one is addicted, don’t panic. You will likely experience a wave of emotions from shock to anger, but unleashing them on the person won’t help. Like in aeroplanes when they tell you to apply your own oxygen mask first in a crisis, begin with self-care. Talk to someone. Go to a counsellor or support group. You must conscious not to patronize or belittle your family member. This can be hard when your parental nature springs up in reaction to the potential danger they’re in. You might not notice you’re doing it, but they sure will. The last thing you want is to drive them away.
Get Professional Advice
In the rush to help their loved ones in addiction, people can sometimes make mistakes. These can result in arguments or even their loved one running away. For this reason, you should always consult a professional on the best course of action. Everybody has opinions, but not everybody is an expert on a given subject. Your friend or co-worker might want to help you by telling you what they think. Yet, if the advice they give you backfires, you can be in a worse position than when you started. Addiction can be a very serious and life-threatening health condition. It should be taken seriously. Addiction can cause long-term effects for their health, financial, and legal standing. Start by contacting us now for a free consultation over the phone or by email. Alternatively, check out Spunout.ie.
Confront the Person
Create an Action Plan
An action plan is an agreed set of goals for you and your family member to work on. This is an important lesson in family advice for addiction. You must create this through mutual discussion and agreement. The action plan can involve a series of steps with the end result being freedom from addiction. Steps can include anything from going to counselling or support groups once a week. Or only spending a certain amount of money. It’s important that the person doesn’t feel patronized by the action plan. For adults, the idea of being home by certain times or giving their money to parents can be embarrassing. There has to be buy in from their end. Where possible let them lead the discussion around what the goals should be. Then, hold them accountable to their decisions.
Create Safety Plans
A safety plan, like an action plan, is an agreed set of actions designed to ensure the safety of the addict or others. You can create two safety plans if needed. The first may address their safety. It can look at things like what to do in the case of an overdose or relapse. It can include things like code words that they can use to let you know they’re in trouble. If they find themselves around dangerous people, being able to call you to collect them without any questions could save their lives. Likewise, a safety plan to protect you and the family could also be a necessity. If your family member is a risk to your safety or financial security, a plan should created. This could detail how they accept they cannot turn up affected. Or it could specify how if they steal anything, they won’t be allowed back. A safety plan like this is important for vulnerable family members, like children.