Family and Friends: How to Manage Recovery Expectations for a Loved One

With around twenty-three million Americans being addicted to drugs and alcohol, it is becoming more and more common to have a family member or loved one who is addicted to these substances and chemicals.  The sad truth of the matter is that substance abuse is getting worse and worse as the years go by, with more and more people becoming addicted to these dangerous and frankly quite worrisome drugs.

With so many people being addicted, it’s not at all uncommon for families to have at least one, sometimes more, family members and loved ones who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.  This has made for big problems.  A lot of people do not realize it, but when a family has an addict as a part of that family, the entire group suffers as a result.

Facts and Statistics on the Problem

Listed below are some facts and statistics that go more into detail on family members and their addicted loved ones:

  • Crisis after crisis has presented itself in the form of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction today. However, nothing quite shows the devastating effects of drugs and alcohol like the sheer number of Americans who are in some way affected by this issue, even if they themselves are not actually addicted.  True, by this it is not just meant those who actually are abusing drugs and alcohol, but it is instead meant the family members and loved ones who are also affected by these issues and problems.  In fact, truth be told, studies show that about one out of every five Americans know someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, and one out of every six Americans has at some point in their life been adversely affected by somebody who was addicted to drugs and alcohol.  One out of every eight Americans is closely connected to an addict.
  • About fifteen million Americans have an alcohol drinking problem of some kind.  Whether they drink daily or binge, they still definitely have an alcohol problem of one kind or another, regardless of the type itself. For them, their alcohol use has resulted in a criminal arrest, termination from their job, or family disruption such as divorce or something similar to that that has caused discord and upset and terror in their family lives.  It is important to realize that alcohol is a drug, it has always been a drug, and it always will be a drug too.  In 2005, 2.5 million Americans received treatment for alcohol addiction of one kind or another.

As one can see, both drugs and alcohol cause big problems in families.

What Families Can Do About It

Really, the best effort that family members and loved ones can do for an addicted family member is to hope that they find the ability, the strength, and the courage to get into an inpatient rehab center.  Once there, the next hope is that that same family member or loved one finds the strength and the courage to do the right thing and be able to win against addiction and keep on winning for the long haul.

Once out of rehab, the family members and loved ones of that addict need to again do the right thing and really see to it that that family member or loved one is able to maintain their sobriety.  The family members and loved ones of that addict need to really do the right thing and make sure that the recovering addict is getting the support and help that they need and that they are essentially doing what they have to do to stay clean and sober forever.


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