More than 22 million people struggle with addiction nationwide, but than 45 million people are impacted. Why? Addiction doesn’t just impact the person struggling – it affects family, friends, coworkers and entire support systems. Because of this, even if you’re not struggling personally, you could be impacted by substance use disorder and may feel helpless or unsure of what to do to support your loved one.
Here are five outlets to consider as a support person of someone struggling with substance use disorder:
- Community support.
First of all, it’s important to remember you’re not alone. You’re in the company of others who have gone through similar struggles watching someone they love battle addiction. It can help to find community where you can share your difficulties and gather support. In Southeast Minnesota there are different support avenues for families and loved ones – Common Ground can help get you connected to these community groups. Community support is anonymous and is often incredibly helpful in creating a safe space to talk about your journey with others who have been there.
- Classes and education.
It can be difficult to process a loved ones’ struggle with addiction and having education on substance abuse-related issues can help. By understanding the continuum of care, treatment issues, and physiological implications of addiction, you may experience greater understanding of your loved one’s struggle in a way that brings knowledge and objectivity.
- Consider counseling or therapy.
Counseling isn’t just for people struggling with addiction. Addiction is often called a family disease because of its widespread impact on the entire family system. For this reason, you may want to consider receiving counseling or psychological support to navigate the difficult circumstances and emotional impacts that coincide with addiction in the family system. Remember there is no shame in receiving support. Having an impartial, third-party voice in your life may help you come to new conclusions about the situation as you strive for healthy emotional well-being.
- Practice self-care.
Whether its meditation, daily walks, mindfulness, or yoga, you need to incorporate self-care into your life. This will help no matter where you are on your family’s struggle with addiction. Keep your inner self calm and at peace through an outlet of your choice. Self-care will keep you healthier, balanced and more equipped to deal with difficult circumstances that may arise as a result of addiction.
- Find a fun activity.
In the midst of coping and supporting a loved one, you need to have some fun, too. Don’t let yourself get burdened by daily stressors of life. Along with self-care, make sure to have fun. Whether it’s regular coffee with a friend, vacation, painting or a comedy show, have fun and remember to laugh and enjoy life. Keeping your life in check with humor, joy and self-care will keep you living your own life and not letting a loved ones’ substance use impact your overall health or wellbeing.
When a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s easy to isolate or to feel alone. You are not alone and there is a solution. Recovery is possible. As you help support your loved one and learn to cope in the midst of their struggle with addiction, try these tips to find joy, serenity and hope in the midst of difficulty.
We are here to support your loved one wherever they are in their journey of addiction or recovery. If you would like to inquire about our treatment options, give us a call.
Common Ground offers a regular Family Support Class for family and loved ones of those struggling with addiction. If you are interested in learning about our next class, please contact us today.