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Coping with an addicted family member

May 09, 2013

Coping with an addicted family member

Take Care of Yourself, Too

When someone you’re close to is struggling with an alcohol addiction, you know that he or she is not the only one in pain. You worry about the person. You are anxious for your loved one to seek help, and it hurts to think about what could happen if he or she doesn’t.

Think of Yourself

Though your needs may seem like they can wait, they’re fulfillment is important. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else.
Look into joining a free support group. Al-Anon is directed toward family and friends of alcoholics. There is also a group for adolescents, called Alateen, who have an addicted relative and are looking to find comfort. These groups are open to the public and can be found in most cities. They provide information about addiction and hope for families.
Reassure yourself that it’s OK to doubt if you’re doing the right thing for your loved one. Sometimes you’ll have to make choices that seem unlike the decisions of a caring parent or good friend, but they are in the best interest of the addict.

Stress Less

Emotions can wear you out. Distress and anger can easily overcome you, but they can be managed. When you’re feeling like this, it means that your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. Use breathing techniques to send more oxygen to your brain, which will help you relax.
Also, be active. Do things for yourself, even if it’s cleaning the house, organizing your closet or running errands—do whatever keeps you busy. It doesn’t have to involve a lot of physical energy, so if you’d like, write or draw. That way, your focus will be shifted back to you. It will be nice to take a break from your emotions, too.
Do you have a family member or friend who is addicted? How do you cope with him or her having an addiction? Share below or on our Facebook page.

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