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3 Ways To Rely On Family To Sustain Sober Living


Addiction is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. However, it has become increasingly common in the last few years. According to the Addiction Center, 21.2 million US citizens suffer from addiction. And sadly, out of these people, only 10 percent receive the treatment they need.  

Treatment is one of the critical factors that can help addicts get back on their feet and live normally. Treatment can consist of therapy or it could involve checking into a rehab facility. Therapy is a good option for those who can manage their own recovery between sessions, but rehab may be a better option for those who need more support. Rehabilitation often involves a rehab drug test at frequent intervals to monitor progress, which can be useful in cases where addicts suffer from relapses. Family also plays a vital role in the recovery process, however. According to a National Institute on Drug Abuse study, constant and intensive family support is a significant catalyst in a successful journey to sobriety.

Families frequently feel helpless and terrified watching their loved ones struggle with substance abuse. It turns the family into a dysfunctional unit. The recovery process isn't easy. Hence, a constant support system can motivate an addict to try sober living and help maintain it. 

Here are some of the roles that family members play in maintaining sobriety for a person struggling with an addiction. Each person in your family plays one of these roles. 

  1. As A Savior Or Hero:

A person struggling with an addiction often looks for a savior to pull them out of the darkness. A savior will go to great lengths to ensure your well-being, is incredibly selfless, and overcompensates for all the shame that the family feels by being the family superstar.

They actively try to find ways to ensure that the addict has access to proper treatment. They'll be in direct contact with a rehabilitation facility to see whether a medical detox or a residential treatment plan would work best for their loved one. 

If you are a savior or hero, you will be the one researching to learn more about your options to help your loved one. You might also consider finding a rehab facility like Delphi Health Group. The experts there can help an addict design a unique treatment strategy catered to their particular needs.

  1. As A Mascot:

A mascot is a family member who tries to use humor and wit to try to lighten this intense situation. When a loved one struggles with addiction, the family dynamic is bound to become stressful. Here, a mascot minimizes the pain that everyone is feeling. They essentially use it as a coping method by finally deflecting the pain. They try to ensure that the addict sees the silver lining and are often their cheerleader, rooting for them to battle their addiction. 

  1. As A Rescuer Or Enabler:

An enabler is someone who works as the shield for the addicted person and excuses their dysfunctional behavior at every turn. That is usually a parent or any other person of authority in the family close to the addict. They emotionally cannot hold the addict responsible and accountable for their behavior and actions. 

They act as their caregivers and encourage them to make informed decisions. However, they often lack to give an addict the honest-to-God truth about their actions and how it is impacting them and their family.

They attempt to maintain order and only intervene when necessary, so the addicts don't take the brunt of their behavior. They often do this to avoid the feelings of embarrassment and shame that stem from the addict's life choices. It results in stunted recovery for the addict and often worsens the situation. 

  1. As A Scapegoat:

A scapegoat is someone who is a troublemaker and often diverts attention to themselves from the addict. They create problems and distract the family members from other pressing issues to themselves. 

While some of these roles benefit an addict's recovery process, others make the recovery process harder for them. Hence, a family must act as one unit to work in favor of the addict collectively.  

Here are some ways in which a family can make sober living easy for an addict:

  1. Going To Family Therapy:

Addiction isn't going to be easy; it will have a lasting impact on the person struggling with it and the family. Recovery isn't easy either. To effectively pursue sobriety, a person must go to therapy and release all the negative thoughts and emotions they are feeling. Family therapy also plays a crucial role in patching broken relationships and creating a healthy environment for the addict. It can lead to the development of beneficial family roles. 

When negative family roles are converted to positive ones, you'll see that the recovery process will become relatively smoother. For example, a sibling, previously a scapegoat, can become a hero or savior and encourage the addict's recovery. 

Remember, an addict is just looking for someone who they can fall back on and someone who can give them a reality check whenever necessary. Sober living becomes relatively easier when their environment is positive and encouraging.

  1. Support Groups For Families:

Besides family therapy, you can also seek a family support group for the person suffering from an addiction. Sitting and talking with people going through exactly what you are will make you feel better and more understanding. 

Families usually opt for a 12-step support group. Their main target is to support and guide the family in dealing with someone struggling with substance abuse. To facilitate the addict's recovery and sober living, they aim to establish a healthy family dynamic and helpful family roles. 

  1. Listening Ear:

There is a big difference between hearing someone and listening to them. A lot of addicts want to be understood. Remember, addiction recovery will not happen in one day, and learning to live in sobriety is going to be hard for your loved one. Listening encourages the recovery process for an addict and empowers them to make better decisions post-rehab. 

An addict will not be able to understand their codependency on a substance in the initial stages of addiction. Even when family and friends point it out to them and confront them, they are more likely to deflect. You must learn to listen to them in these stages and empathetically point out where they are wrong in their judgment. 

After rehab, when the person adopts sober living, you need to lend a listening ear to them to see how they are coping with the changes in their lifestyle. And it would be best if you continued to support them so they can improve. Constant encouragement and support will aid in maintaining a sober lifestyle. 

Bottom Line:

The journey to sobriety might be difficult, but returning to normal life is essential. Family and friends play a vital role in a person's recovery. They are often the pillars on which an addict's sober life depends. If any of your loved ones are struggling with addiction, the best way to help them is to seek professional help. You need to be present and active during their recovery process. It will help them adapt to sober living much more effectively. 

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