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For the Family: Having Patience is Key

Addiction is hard on families. If you have a loved one struggling with addiction you may find your life totally upended. You may find out your husband is spending the rent money on alcohol or that your child is stealing your stuff to buy drugs. You may find yourself struggling with feelings of anger and betrayal mixed with a sincere desire to help the person who hurt you.

Helping a loved one recover from addiction can be painful but you must be patient because your love and support might be necessary for a successful recovery. Patience is the quality that allows you to keep trying until something works. Not all approaches to rehab are the same. There are different methods, different time frames, and different people. An approach that works well for most people might not work for everyone.

Seek support. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are support groups for families of alcoholics and drug addicts, respectively. You can talk to people who know exactly what you are going through who can offer advice or just listen. There is likely a group near you.

Manage expectations. Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. If you think it’s all downhill once your loved one has admitted her addiction and agreed to go to rehab, you’re likely to be disappointed. Addiction, itself, is a sticky problem and depending on the severity of the addiction, there may be secondary problems that take a while to sort out even if recovery goes well.

Learn as much as you can. The process of recovery is hard enough without wandering in the dark. Learning as much as you can about addiction and recovery will help you know what to expect. Instead of dealing with one big amorphous problem you can start to see addiction as a group of interrelated smaller problems. This can give you a clearer idea of what’s working and what isn’t. Seeing success in some areas can give you more energy to keep working.

Give yourself a break. Supporting a loved one through addiction is tiring. You need to make sure you are taking care of yourself so you can continue helping. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and exercise. Addictive behavior is often a response to stress and helping your family member find ways to deal with stress more constructively will also help with recovery.

The Serenity Recovery Center at Encino Medical Hospital is offering your loved ones a new way to begin their journey of recovery. Excellent clinical care, medical management, and the highest levels of comfort are our priority at Serenity. Call us today for information: 866.294.9401