As a family member it can be hard to understand the nature of substance abuse with a loved one.  Especially when we continuously want to believe that by some chance they may be able to handle or control what is going on in their life.  Coming to terms with the reality of the addiction, as a family member can be very difficult.  Many many people do not know what to do.


10 Ways a Family Member can Help a Loved One:

1.  Become knowledgeable and learn the facts about drug and alcohol addiction.  Al-anon & Nar-anon Meetings can be found in your local hometown to help.

2.  Do not try to help or rescue the addict.  If Karma has caught up to them, let them experience it.  The cause of their addiction has brought them here and they need to experience consequences.

3.  Do not financially support the addict by helping them with groceries, bills, court fines, etc.

4.  Don't try to understand or create delusional reasons why the loved one is an addict.

5.  Actions speak louder than words.  Commit to what you say.  Don't get angry over a situation, make threats or initiate consequences, and then backtrack. 

6.  Do not get caught up in their promises.  Becoming clean is a very difficult process for the addict.  They may relapse 2, 5, 10 times before they are able to create and maintain long lasting changes.  The point is they are trying.

7.  Support the addict's new positive ideas and aspirations even if they sound absurd and unrealistic.  This new positive direction, whatever it may be, is a sign that they are finding something to be passionate about.  If they begin to create action towards their aspiration, they have now been able to find something positive to cling to, and have a better chance in staying away from substance abuse.

8.  Don't Preach or Lecture.  This can push the addict in the opposite direction.  Talking doesn't make changes, actions do.

9.  Don't Blame Yourself.  They are an adult and if they use the scapegoat that you are the reason, they are ultimately using you along with many other dimensions of their life as the associated illusion to their addiction.

10.  Don't live in the Past.  The key is to deal with the issue as it exists now, and to focus on the addiction of substance abuse.  Do not go into the past and focus on old negative issues.  The past is gone, and the present is now.  Work on the NOW.