Addiction Affects All of Us: How to Help a Recovering Addict
Fear. Anger. Guilt. Uncertainty. Shame. Isolation. Helplessness.
Family members grapple with similar feelings to those addicts themselves struggle with. Drugs barricade the connection between addict and loved one, fend off attempts to help, and instill toxicity. Recovering from addiction exemplifies a time when family could hardly be more important, or difficult. Figuring out How to Help a Recovering Addict is often disparaging, but remember: you are not alone.
Drug addictions among family members put their empathy to the test. Without personally experiencing the cravings, loved ones see only the horribly detrimental consequences. Understandably, they resent the substance at the root of their pain as they watch drugs coerce someone they hold dear into making harmful choices. Maintaining love for an addict, without accepting the drug or the ways that substance abuse can encourage an addict...
The benefits of long term drug rehab program are many, beginning with how we identify those who participate. We do not call them clients or residents.
We refer to them as students, because they learning a new way of living. We believe that through proper training the learned behavior of Drug & Alcohol addiction can be broken and a new way of life can be learned.
At Teen Challenge students are given the following opportunities as benefits when they enter our program:
1.They are able to separate themselves from the environment and relationships that have contributed to their life-controlling problems
2. They come to a controlled environment which helps them to avoid the substances and behaviors that have contributed to their self-destruction.
3. They enter into a loving and supportive Christian community.
4. They are mentored by others who have walked the same path to freedom and understand the process they are going through as they grow.
5. They are positioned to...
When your loved one is battling addiction, you feel every up, you feel every down, you feel the highs, the lows, you celebrate every victory, and you mourn every defeat.
The reality is you get left feeling tossed about not really certain when the next wave is going to come and where it’s going to leave you.
It's important as you walk through this storm that you find a safe place to anchor to. Otherwise your well-meaning attempts to help and love for your family member can pull you out into vast storm of this addiction.
I did a little research on selecting the right anchor for a boat. When choosing an anchor the ship’s owner is concerned with the holding power of an anchor. The right anchor doesn’t have to be that big relative to the size of boat it’s trying to secure.
“The holding power of modern anchors is remarkable, varying between 10 and 200 times the anchor’s weight. This means that some anchors that weigh only 5 lb. can hold in excess...
This can be such a hopeful and stressful time in your life. You’ve possibly had quite a few conversations in the past with your loved one about finally getting help. Some have gone terrible and ended in arguments and others have shown glimmers of hope. Today is one of those days. They have finally acknowledged that they are ready to get help.
You sit down at the computer, open your internet browser, pull up google, and type the words “Drug Rehab” as you start to search for a location to send your family member.
You’re, undoubtedly, immediately faced with a variety of options as your sort through all the different programs that are available.
Faith Based Alternatives
How can anyone possibly look through all of these options and make a wise decision?
Which one will be right for my family member?
Take a second right now and just breathe.
There are plenty of amazing options out there for your loved one to...
Just this week I took my oldest daughter to the park to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time.
This is an exciting, yet nerve racking moment. Chloe, my oldest daughter, is so excited to graduate to her big girl bike. She is ready to conquer the world on one hand. But on the other hand she isn’t ready for Dad to not be by her side as she learns something new.
On my side, I am excited for my little girl, ready to see her learn how to finally ride this bike on her own. As we spent time on the bike, we began to learn the basics. I showed her how to get on the bike. The importance of her balance when on the bike. The importance of holding on, learning how to pedal, etc.
Even after all this Chloe doesn’t know that I’ve never taught anyone to ride a bike before. I mean, I know how to ride a bike myself. I have seen videos on tv where parents have taught kids. Though I don’t recall when my parents taught me. I know they did teach me, but...
I think I live in the minority. I have a hard time viewing addiction as a disease.
I am not so opposed to some of the reasoning this label exist today when it comes to addiction. I can certainly understand the physical and mental effects that addiction can have on an individual. Very often pursuing “cold-turkey” methods of quitting can be dangerous and life threatening without the help of a medical professional for detox.
There are also cases where children are born addicted to drugs because of poor choices made by parents and these children didn’t choose to be addicted and this could be a scenario where this label also fits.
But that's where the definition ends for me.
I am no stranger to health issues in my family. I have, over the course of my life, watched many loved ones battle different medical problems. Many of which there is no real cure for, just medicine to maintain quality of life, while the medical community still searches for an answer. I have watched...
The story of Naaman is a very interesting story in the scripture. When we dig into this story, it gives us a really good perceptive on Getting Clean.
In 2 Kings 5:1-14, we read the story of a great and powerful man that had an issue that he tried to conceal well from everyone around him. He was a commander of a Syrian army, who was stricken with a terrible condition.
We know from the scripture that the King, Namaan’s wife, and the servant girl knew about this issue. I wonder how many others knew.
The servant approaches Namaan and gives him a scenario of how he can get free. After a few conversations and some controversy with the kings, he ends up at Elijah’s door.
Elijah gives Namaan a very clear way to get healed. The caveat is that Elijah gives these instructions through a servant. “Go wash in the Jordan 7 times.”
Namaan’s pride is hurt. He’s furious because he has traveled all this way and Elijah doesn't even speak to him.
Such a frequently used phrase yet in reality is a challenge for the majority of us to do. The other day I began to contemplate the story of Joseph’s life. What an amazing story about letting go and trusting the purpose of God irregardless of what he suffered.
I saw the correlation here with Joseph and to those of us who have suffered on account of family members battling with addiction.
If you really think about the life of Joseph the beginning of his struggles started at the hands of his family members. Gen. 37
The story of Joseph is a commonly told story but in short, Joseph spoke out about a dream that he had to his brothers and as a result they got angry, wanted to murder him, and settled for selling him into slavery.
Think about this; Joseph was sold into slavery by his family.
That is tough! How could the people we love and care about so much be the result of so much pain and hardship in our lives?
While we have never experienced exactly what Joseph did many of us...
This is the all-encompassing question. The truth that every loved one is searching to answer. So often these topics of codependency and enabling come up when folks begin making attempts to help their loved one that is an addict. They are not just topics or ideas, but quickly and easily become realities when the family that is helping is not careful and focused in the direction of their efforts to help.
I am certain that codependent and enabling relationships are simply healthy efforts to help, turned unhealthy.
Let’s be honest. When the struggle shows it’s face in our families, we are not prepared for it. We don’t expect it and so we have absolutely no clue how to cope with the thought of the children we love and care about living bound by a life-controlling problem.
So how do I help?
We know the addict probably needs rehab of some sort. Whether inpatient, outpatient, medicinal, or non-medicinal. Do they need a doctor? Do they need a therapist? Should I...
The grief of watching a loved one battle an addiction can be absolutely overwhelming. It can leave a person depressed, worn out, physically & emotionally sick. Just to name a few.
As we go through this struggle of helping someone we care about we will never be okay with the addiction. The pain of this battle can cut deep over and over again. If we don’t find a way to channel all that we have been through into something positive and life giving, it can eat away us.
I don’t think I have to spend time elaborating on the hurt. I think we all connect to what it means to grieve pain and hardships. I think what’s important here is that we focus on finding a way to use this hurt to help others.
I was thinking about this and how my parents were able to use this struggle. They initially got the call of God to launch the Teen Challenge program around the same time 3 children were beginning to actively fight addiction.
At the beginning, they fought with the thoughts of...