The author is a QUB Political Science honors graduate and a Powerlifter
Trying to help an addict in the family can be frustrating, heartbreaking and unrewarding. The most important step, for the family wishing to help the addict is to cease enabling the addiction. Covering up for an addict and their behaviour, will only keep him or her firmly in denial! This in turn enables them to avoid taking responsibility for their own addictive and often self-destructive behaviour.
Thankfully, there are family-centred addiction self-help groups, such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon and Alateen. Their programme is applicable to the families of addicts suffering from all addictions. Central to Al-Anon type programmes is that the family of the addict must let their family member take responsibility for their own addiction. In many cases family members will have become, through the best intentions, Co-Dependent on the addict, invariably thinking that they are the only person who can help the addict and they can end up just as emotionally ill as the addict.
Al Anon type groups rely heavily on what they call their Three C's, meaning that the family of the addict learns the key truths about addiction. The Three C's essentially are:
The family did not Cause the addiction;
The family can not Control the addiction;
The family can not Cure the addiction!
Familiarising oneself with the nature of addiction and the programmes of recovery available to the addict will allow family members to assist the family member with addiction issues in promptly seeking help when the window of opportunity arises. In many cases, this will come after that golden moment of clarity for the addict, which can often come when the addict has reached a personal low. The relative of an addict can effectively become the signpost, that directs a loved one into taking the first faltering steps towards recovery.
Being knowledgable about the times and places of local Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other sel-help groups for addicts, will empower the family when the window of opportunity arises. Discussing the problem with a family Healthcare professional or counsellor will help the family familiarise themselves with the problems of addiction, in the short term and in turn allow family members to help the addict in the long term.
Numerous organisations provide free information online about addiction and the family, such as: the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; Narcotics Anonymous; Alcoholics Anonymous, to name but a few.
Sadly, for the family of the person with addiction issues, there are no quick fixes or fast-tracks to recovery for the loved one suffering from addiction problems. Until such times as the family member with addiction problems, reaches the point of seeking help and accepts that they have a problem, the family's first priority is that they do not enable the addict or become hopelessly co-dependent.
It is often a frustrating, lonely and traumatic time for the family when they feel powerless to stop a loved one from embarking on a seemingly self-destructive course. Ill-timed family 'interventions' can invariably be counterproductive. Generally speaking, the best course of action, for the family is to ensure that their family member with addiction issues, takes responsibility for their own behaviour.
It is a well-used cliche, but it is equally true, that rarely does anyone seek help with addiction issues unless they actually want it themselves. In the meantime, family members should limit the consequences for themselves of the family member with addiction issues' behaviour.
© Liam A Ryan
Drug abuse and drug muse are constantly changing. For instance, in the field of so-called 'legal highs, a tweaking at molecule level can render an essentially Cass 'A' drug into a substance that is beyond any legal strictures.
Streoids and SARMS
At present, ASS and PED (Steroids) are used by strength athletics, bodybuilders,in Powerlifting and Weightlifting. Not only are elete athletes using ASS but they are rife in commercial gyms and used recreationally. In the UK, Steroids are effectively de-criminalised, whether it is a negative thing remains to be seen, although it has been said that all the draconian legislation pertaining to Steroids have failed miserably.
There is little hard data on the long term use of SARMS and they remain more or less unquantifiable, as yet. Some of the older steroids such as Dianabol can be Hepatoxic in large doses while powerful steroids like Trenbalone can have a devastating effect on the Central Nervous System, interpersonal relationshipb and a predilection towards temper, ie classic 'Roid Rage'.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.