What is an addiction? A substance or a behavior which begins to become pleasurable and then progresses to a compulsive state. Once the substance or the behavior enters the compulsive stage several things start to happen which disrupts normal activities. The effect of the compulsive activity begins to affect family, work, relationships, health, and self-image. The person who begins to experience the need to continue the substance or behavior might be unaware that they are hurting others or causing problems not only for themselves but also for those who are close to them.
More times than not the family becomes involved and in an effort to stabilize the addict the members begin to take on roles. These roles revolve around the substance or the behavior in an effort to maintain balance within the family. Alcohol and drug abuse will affect families in different ways and an addict is often unaware that his substance abuse or behavior impacts the flow of the family. The effect of substance abuse on the family system is complex and will escalate especially if the addict is not receiving any therapy. Addiction recovery can have a positive effect on all members of the family. When you first realize that a member of your family has become addicted you may feel overwhelmed and scared. Addiction is too big for one person to handle, but with treatment and help recovery is possible for the addict.
What does recovery mean for the addict? What is recovery? The answer according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)is that “Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness, and quality of life.” Recovery is a process based on a series of changes that support a transformation which is positive and life-altering. This change for an addict means many different things to many different addicts. Some of these reasons for change were obtained from a project titled “What is Recovery?” and are listed here:
- learn to be honest with self
- learn how to deal with hard situations without resorting to alcohol or drugs
- get along with family and friends
- don’t replace one addiction with another
- enjoy a healthy relationship
- improve self-esteem
- help other people with drug and alcohol problems
- become more spiritual
- give back to the community
- understand limitations and abilities
These reasons for change are a few of many but they are important for the addict since they are often the driving force behind seeking help. When the addict begins to want change and accepts responsibility for the damage they have done to themselves, their family members, and friends, then it is time to begin the recovery. As a family facing the problem of addiction, you must first decide to tell your loved one they need help and guide them towards addiction recovery. Sometimes it is those who are closest to the addict who must step in and help so when your family member is ready please have them contact us so we can help them begin their journey towards recovery.