When a loved one thinks you have a drug or alcohol addiction
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So, a loved one thinks you have a drug or alcohol addiction. We know this can be incredibly hard to deal with. Here’s what to do.

What To Do If A Loved One Thinks You’re An Addict

So, a loved has confronted you and thinks you have a drug or alcohol addiction. We know this can feel like a personal affront. It can be confusing, painful and infuriating. And it can be even harder to take when they’ve given their opinion in a way that blindsides you or comes off as judgmental and preachy. You may feel like they’ve turned against you.

Your feelings are completely understandable. Unfortunately, all these emotions can make it hard to remember one very important thing: This person’s words — no matter how harsh, and whether they’re right or wrong — are actually coming from a place of love. And you owe it to yourself to consider their point.

While the simple fact that a loved one expressed their concern does not conclusively point to an addiction, it does mean that there may be a bigger problem than you realize. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes addiction. But the fact that someone you love has built up the courage to talk with you about it means they most likely have a good reason for doing so.

The first step is to look within and determine if you really do have a problem. Be blunt, upfront and honest with yourself and you’ll be better prepared to get drug or alcohol addiction help if needed.

How To Tell If You Really Have A Problem

Ask yourself if you can truly control your drinking or drug use. Do you continue to use despite negative consequences or causing harm to you or those you love? Ask yourself if you’ve had the following issues due to your drug or alcohol use:

  • Lost contact with friends and loved ones
  • Lied about your drug or alcohol use
  • Been informed by a doctor that your health issues are due to substance use
  • Tried and failed to stop using
  • Lost your job or been kicked out of school
  • Had legal problems connected with alcohol or drug use
  • Harmed yourself or others
  • Been confronted by others about your drug or alcohol use

If can be difficult to determine whether you need a drug rehabilitation center or not. But if one or more of these issues apply to you, it may be a strong indicator that you need to look into residential substance abuse programs to get help.

How To Talk To Your Family About It

It can be scary to open up to your family about your struggle with or possible newfound awareness of your addiction, especially if their confrontation caused a riff. They may not have known the right thing to say, or how or when to say it. The whole situation may be messy. Despite all that, try to remember that your loved ones care about you deeply and only want to see you happy, healthy and free of your addiction. Let them know that you’re open to alcohol or drug treatment programs if it means getting sober.

There are three common sentiments that addicts most often want to convey to their family and friends when approached about their addiction. While it may be tough to express these thoughts, know that you’re not required to express them all at once — or ever. But it may make you feel better if you do.

Sentiment 1: “I’m Not Evil”

Addictions are complicated. While society often portrays addicts as evil, dangerous, emotionless people, they’re not – and you’re not. Explain to your family that you aren’t devoid of emotion and that you’re simply someone who happens to be battling a severe illness. It may help to explain to your family the following points in your own words:

  • I am powerless over my addiction and my life has become unmanageable.
  • Although I’m not responsible for my disease, I know that I am responsible for my recovery.
  • I no longer blame others or varying circumstances for my addiction. I am ready to face my problems and my feelings.

Sentiment 2: “I’m Not Trying To Hurt You”

Family members and friends often think that an addiction stems from something they did or is an attempt to hurt them emotionally. If it’s the case, you need to let your loved ones know that you never intended to hurt them. If it has been difficult to discuss your addiction with your family, tell them that. Convey that your silence was not in any way hostile and was simply due to an inability to express your true emotions. Let them know that you had to open up on your own time, when you were ready.

Sentiment 3: “I Need Help”

Drug and alcohol addiction can often cause changes to one’s brain, making overcoming that addiction an incredibly burdensome battle. While not always explicitly expressed, most addicts want the help of their loved ones. It’s normal to feel ashamed and think your loved ones won’t be there to support you. But trust that they will. Express that you need help and their support. Once you begin to take positive actions to overcome your addiction, you’ll start to realize that there’s nothing to feel shameful of.

Finding The Right Drug Treatment Centers

Once you’ve accepted that you have a problem and that your loved ones are only trying to help, you can begin the journey toward sobriety. This begins with looking into alcohol and drug rehab programs to find the right fit for you, whether you’re battling alcoholism, opioid addiction or another form of substance abuse. There are a few key questions you should ask when researching and comparing alcohol and drug rehab facilities, such as:

  • If I have a known co-occurring disorder, such as depression or anxiety, does the facility offer integrated treatment?
  • Does your program offer a way to alleviate cravings?
  • Does the treatment rely on the use of other drugs?
  • And other questions

By asking these questions, you’ll be able to verify if a specific addiction program is right for you. Stay away from rehab centers that guarantee success. And don’t equate luxurious amenities and high-end price tags with quality. You need a program that is going to work for your needs and that will allow you to focus on getting better.

Take The Next Step Toward Recovery

At Daylight Recovery Services, we know it can be incredibly difficult to admit you have a problem and even more difficult to ask your loved ones for help. That’s why our focus is on ensuring that any individual who has made the ultimate decision to get sober will emerge from our facility with the confidence and ability to combat their addiction. Have a question or need more information? Feel free to reach out to our drug and alcohol addiction experts today.

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