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What is The Family’s Role in Preventing Drug Abuse?

The family plays a crucial role in preventing drug abuse in a loved one. Addiction has a ripple effect on those closest to the individual, which is why helping family members with addiction is essential if you notice signs of substance abuse.

Identifying the signs of potential substance abuse is the first step in ensuring that the issue doesn’t get out of hand. A family needs to be able to sit down with the at-risk family member and have a candid conversation about their substance usage and be prepared to become a support system for them. 

This is only the beginning, though. An individual’s family should be prepared to take on several other roles if they want to help their family member overcome their potential addiction. Here is what those roles look like. 

Identify the Signs of a Potential Addiction

The more aware you are of a loved one’s emotions and behaviors, the more likely you’ll be able to spot a potential addiction before it occurs. Addiction can begin to affect everyone differently, and preventing drug abuse can be tricky if you have a hard time identifying characteristics of potential abuse.

Some signs of a developing addiction can include the following: 

  • Emotional and mental unavailability
  • A change in regular behavior
  • Poor communication 
  • Isolation from the family 
  • Conflict at home
  • Irregular financial difficulties 

These are some of the most common signs, but any indication that your loved one is acting out of the ordinary warrants attention. 

Issues That Can Lead to Drug Abuse 

Part of understanding your loved one’s habits is understanding why they’re using or at least attempting to understand. Families aren’t always going to get along, but there’s a difference between occasional arguments and an unhealthy environment.

An individual can struggle more with drug abuse if they are constantly exposed to the following: 

  • Personal conflicts
  • Unresolved past issues
  • Financial instability 
  • Relationship issues with family members 
  • Unresolved feelings of resentment and anger 

A combination of any of these things makes for a tumultuous home environment. In these types of situations, the temptation to abuse drugs can become overwhelming for your loved one, and when you should aim to offer the most support. 

Being Aware of Codependency 

Falling into the “codependent member” role is something that is common in families with an individual who may be suffering from drug abuse. This codependency is an unhealthy attachment to a person, which can lead to an overwhelming sense of responsibility that can cloud their ability to help their loved one. 

An example of this is if you push back on a loved one’s request to seek treatment at a rehab facility out of fear of not being with them. This reliance on your loved one can prevent them from getting the help they need and may worsen their situation. 

Here are some signs of codependency you can look out for within your family: 

  • An unhealthy sense of responsibility for your loved one’s actions
  • Low self-esteem
  • Disregarding your health to take care of your loved one
  • Need for approval
  • Avoiding conflict in an unhealthy manner 
  • Guilt when you do something for yourself
  • Fear of rejection and abandonment 
  • The need to make decisions for your loved one
  • The need to be around your loved one at all times
  • Feeling frustration or resentment in your relationship

Aside from looking for these signs, you’ll be able to feel when you’ve become codependent on your loved one if others in your family begin to point out mood changes and abnormal behaviors. It can be difficult to see these things in yourself, and a family support group should also aim to keep each other in check to better help the loved one dealing with addiction.

Drug Abuse in Youth

Drug abuse in youth can be highly dependent on their upbringing and the way their parents react to the conversation about substance use. The more parents talk to their children about the risks of substance use and establish clear and respectful boundaries, the less likely they are to use. 

What Can I Look for If I Suspect My Child is Abusing Drugs? 

If you’re a parent and you suspect your child is dealing with a substance use issue, you should be aware of the following signs: 

  • Declining school performance 
  • Family relationships suffering 
  • Less honesty and openness
  • Abnormal sleeping 
  • Health issues
  • A change in their social group 

With proper communication, you can avoid your child falling into substance use. 

What You Can Do For Your Loved One 

There are various steps a family can take to help a loved one steer away from the path of addiction. First and foremost, it’s important for you and your family to educate yourselves on addiction to navigate the situation adequately. 

You shouldn’t force someone to go to a substance abuse treatment facility if they’re not ready, but as a family, you can: 

  • Express to your loved one that change can happen. 
  • Encourage your loved one and stay committed to being their support system. 
  • Establish and maintain healthy boundaries with them. 

These actions will help your loved one feel better about beginning the recovery process and can make the possibility of drug abuse less likely. Ultimately, helping your loved ones come to terms with seeking professional help is the best thing you can do as a family. 

Get Your Loved One the Help They Need at Ardu Recovery Center 

Helping family with addiction can be a daunting responsibility, but it’s family that can significantly impact an individual working to overcome their addiction. If you’ve been able to help your loved one to the point that they’re ready to give a substance abuse treatment facility a try, get in touch with us at Ardu. 

Our Provo, Utah, facilities offer various addiction treatment services and programs for individuals dealing with different types of addictions. Help your loved one take the next step in their recovery journey today with Ardu Recovery Center.