Living with a family addiction can be more than challenging. You may have hidden knowledge of your addicted family member from your friends and extended family due to your embarrassment about the situation. Managing addiction within your family may involve getting answers to the following questions:
- How do you handle it when your family member’s addiction starts to intrude in other areas of your life?
- What if your loved one shows up at family functions while under the influence?
- What if your family member arrives at your place of employment while intoxicated?
- What if they showed up at parent-teacher evenings at your children’s schools?
Handling Shame Associated with Family Addiction
It can be humiliating to try and handle your family member’s addiction while admitting to those around you that you are living with a family addiction. The following are a few steps that you can take to rise above the embarrassment:
- Remember that you don’t have any reason to feel ashamed. It feels humiliating to have this person you care about saying and doing things that are inappropriate. However you are not the one with the addiction. You are the one who will take control and get the situation dealt with.
- If apologies are necessary for their behaviors or for damages they may have caused, you may apologize on their behalf if you feel the need to issue a few apologies. Keep in mind that excusing loved ones’ behaviors is just one of the signs that you are enabling their addiction.
- If necessary call in the authorities to remove your family member from a social situation. By excusing their behavior to those around you and shuffling them out of the venue you will be enabling their behavior. By making them face up to the legal consequences of their behaviors you are taking the first step toward getting addicted family members the help that they need.
- Opening up an honest dialogue with your friends, family members and coworkers may reveal that others have gone through similar situations.
Now might be the perfect time to discuss the idea of a family addiction with those around you who have seen firsthand the addiction situation you have been trying to cover up. This may lead to a decision to hold an intervention. An intervention is the following:
- An intervention is an opportunity for all of those who care about the addicted person to confront him or her with the realities of the addiction
- An intervention is your opportunity to make your feelings and embarrassments known in an effort to help your loved one come to realize how severe addiction is
- An intervention is a good starting point to introduce the idea of rehab
Consider addiction as a family crisis. Your addicted family is not going to get better on his or her as, as addiction is a progressive disease that will steal more and more of your loved one if left unchecked.
Help Addressing a Family Member’s Addiction
Get help for your family member. There is no reason to delay seeking help for a family crisis, and help can start with a call to our confidential and toll-free helpline. Our highly qualified and compassionate counselors will be able to get you and your addicted family member much-needed help. The sooner you reach out for help, the sooner your family can start to heal.