Families Together Against Addiction logoFamilies Together Against Addiction

What Can You Do to Help Someone Who is Battling Addiction?
 
Addiction not only affects individuals but also stresses families to the breaking point.

Families Together Against Addiction connects, supports and educates friends and families who love someone that is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. 
 

Do you know someone who needs help with their addiction?

Addiction causes an intense, uncontrollable craving for drugs or alcohol, despite harmful consequences.
 
It controls every part of a person including their emotional, physical, and spiritual self. It affects judgment, decision making, learning, memory and behavior control.
 
Addiction is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness. With treatment,  people can recover from addiction and lead normal, productive lives.
Do you know someone who needs help with addiction

Addiction Affects the Whole Family

Addiction changes your personality. It changes how you react to certain situations and to other people. It alters how you express emotions, or makes it so you cannot express emotion at all. Addiction to drugs and alcohol make it so you cannot recognize problems with your own behaviors and relationships.
 
These personality changes often lead to fighting, lying and betrayal within the family. Fighting becomes worse and more often as the addiction progresses.
 
You may feel overwhelmed, as your addicted family member usually under-functions and is not dependable. They are no longer able to manage their responsibilities and you must pick up the slack.
 
You may struggle with painful and conflicting emotions, including guilt, shame, self-blame, frustration, anger, sadness, depression, anxiety, and fear.
 

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

Change in sleep patterns. You may notice they are sleeping for long stretches of time or staying up for days on end. Some people stay up after hours so they can use drugs or alcohol without others knowing.
 
Change in appearance. Weight loss and a change in personal hygiene are common in addiction. They look unhealthy. Eyes may be watery or bloodshot. Stuffy, runny or bloody noses are more frequent.
Signs of Addiction
Mood changes.  Ups and downs are common. Substance abuse makes people more  irritable, defensive, anxious and rapid mood changes are common.
 
Finding drug paraphernalia in the home or car. This is different based on the drug of choice but may include papers, pipes, tin foil, needles, caps, straws, or balloons.
 
Loss of motivation or interest. Abusing drugs takes time and energy and people often give up their normal hobbies like playing video games or sports. This is often a big red flag for adolescents.
 

What Can You do to Help Someone Who Is Battling Addiction?

Do not ignore the addiction or dangerous behaviors. Address the problem. Try to be a non-judgmental, sympathetic listener. No one chooses to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. Do not enable them or lie to cover for them. Like other medical conditions, addiction needs treatment in order to be controlled. Treatment is available.
 

What Types of Treatments Are Available?

Addiction is a disease that effects the mind, body and soul. Prescription medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies provide the most successful approach. With treatment, people can recover from addiction and lead normal, productive lives.
 

How Can You Convince Them to Get Help?

No amount of fighting, pleading, begging, or threatening will change their addictive behaviors. They must be ready to get help. Be ready to help when they ask for it.
 

How Can You Help Yourself

You will find relief and validation by connecting with other families who have experienced the slamming doors, sleepless nights, and shameful secrets that come with addiction. You will discover that your family is not so different. 
Find help through support group
Families Together Against Addiction
meets every 3rd Wednesday at 5:30 pm
Havasu Community Health Foundation
94 Acoma Blvd S. Suite 104