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How Families Can Support a Loved One Suffering from Addiction

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Addiction affects millions of Americans each year. Throughout the course of their addiction, it is typical for the addict to begin to remove themselves from friends and family. Unfortunately, this is the worst possible situation for a person suffering from substance abuse. It is vital to the success of the recovery process for an addict’s family to be supportive and involved in their lives.

Here are several ways families can support their loved one suffering from addiction:

Stop Enabling

Are you confused as to what is considered “enabling” versus “helping”? The easiest way to differentiate between the two is: If you are aiding an addict with something they should be able to do themselves, you are probably enabling their behavior, sometimes without even realizing you are making the problem worse.

Have you ever lied on behalf of the person suffering from the addiction, or provided money to them? Is the person making you feel guilty for not “helping them?” These are clear signs of enabling. Enabling unfortunately causes the struggling person, to continue to use longer and get deeper into their denial about their behaviors and use.

Understand Family Suffers, Too

What many people do not understand is the family of the addicted person suffers from the addiction, too. This is why it is imperative for families to receive educational tools to help them support their addicted family member. This is challenging because addicts tend to feel guilt and shame, therefore withdrawing from the family and heading further down a destructive path.

A reputable treatment program will include family members in the individual’s recovery process. Family members can also attend their own 12 step support groups as well as individual therapy for themselves. This establishes clear boundaries and programs for each family member and their loved one in treatment. This process creates a sense of trust moving forward.

Seeking professional assistance is vital to recovery. A Residential Treatment Program, followed by a step down to an Intensive Outpatient Program, can help your loved one’s recovery by providing the necessary coping skills, a safe place and education as they continue their sobriety journey.

Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have been offering Licensed Residential Treatment in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or