Coping with an addict in the family

I came across an article which had no date, however based on some of the statistics they sited, it is at least ten years old.  Regardless, the points made in this article entitled, “10 Ways to Cope with an Addict in the Family” by Maria Trimarchi are still valid and on target.  Her piece was posted on a website called, How Stuff Works.

As the title suggests, the author lists ten ways to cope with a family member’s addiction.  They are, in reverse order:

10 – Understanding that Addiction is a Disease

9 – Educate Yourself

8 – Are you an Enabler?

7 – Attend Family Therapy

6 – Seek Professional Financial Counseling

5 – Seek Legal Counsel

4 – Attend Individual Therapy Sessions

3 – Maintain Open Communication

2 – Maintain “Normal” Family Activities

1 –Take Care of Yourself

Take time to read the entire article as Trimarchi has some very insightful thoughts on each point that will help families.  The article, which can be read in full by clicking this link:  https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/10-ways-to-cope-with-addict-in-the-family.htm OR click on any of the listed points above to go to that specific topic.

Tomorrow starts the New Year 2020.  A Place For Mary will be here with useful information to help guide you on your journey with your loved one’s addiction.

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Surviving the Season of Stress

‘Tis the season, so lets continue the conversation about the upcoming holidays, and the stress they put on anyone dealing with addiction, from the addict to their families and friends. 

I’d like to direct your attention to an article written back in 2011 for Social Work Today magazine by Christina Reardon, MSW, LSW.  The article is titled, Families and Addiction — Surviving the Season of Stress and can be read in its entirety by clicking the magazine cover, or the title above.

This article has so much useful information for families as the holidays approach.

Highlights of this article include:

  • Managing expectations
    • Expectations that the addict will be magically “cured” over the holidays will likely cause more stress and frustration
  • Handling actively using addicts
    • Firm ground rules and expectations of behavior should be set and agreed upon prior to a holiday event, with strict consequences if not met.
    • Is this a good time for a family intervention?
    • Realize that family gatherings can be very stressful for the addict too
  • Supporting the recovering addict
    • If alcohol is the problem, refrain from cooking with wine or other liquors or serving candy with alcohol centers.
    • Respecting the needs of the addict does not mean everything has to be perfect
  • Learning to let go
    • Take care of yourself!
    • Accept that you are not responsible for whatever happens

Take some time and read through this helpful article.  Then start setting your expectations for the upcoming holidays.  May they be joyous.

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Happy Holidays!
Betsy