Every year, thousands of people go to prison for drug crimes. Completely cut off from their support systems and their families, shamed and punished by society, it’s supposed to be rock bottom — that pivotal moment when everything is supposed to change. And yet according to NADCP (National Association of Drug Court Professionals), research shows that 95% of those who go into prison addicted, resume using upon release. Because the cold truth is that isolation and punishment only send the addict deeper into that black hole. Separation from non-using family, shaming and shunning are not the answer. Most addicts do not seek a drug & alcohol detox program alone. If your loved one is battling an addiction, and you want them to seek treatment, enter drug & alcohol detox and then drug rehab, emerge into a recovered life without relapse, compassion is the answer.
Addiction is constantly being studied. And we learn new and better ways to help addicted individuals. Learning about addiction and how it affects the body and mind will help you better understand and respond to what you are seeing.
This insight from learning about addiction will allow you to see a person and not just an addiction. When you understand the physical and psychological hold that this poison has on your loved one, it will help you empathize and respond with kindness.
In order to help the one you love, it is important to understand that all things are connected. All close family members should attend counseling and work with the individual. These sessions are not about blaming others. Rather they allow everyone to talk through reasons, triggers and trauma as well as well as unite in a purpose of helping someone you love.
It can take years to overcome an addiction. Family counseling, individual counseling, inpatient and outpatient treatment, daily struggles and temptations will happen over time. Manage expectations. And celebrate small victories with your loved one as both of you rediscover joy in your lives.
Addiction can feel like the end of the relationship and everything that this person ever was. But addiction is not the end. It is a beginning. The exhaustion and despair of your loved one and the entire family can make it very difficult to remember what hope looks like. But people do recover. They can escape the hold that addiction has had on their life and the lives of their family members. There is hope.