How to Keep a Family Member from Overdosing

Drug and alcohol addiction involves all members of a family. The addict may dismiss his habit as something that only affects him, but the truth is that the lives of everyone in the family are changed by this deadly disease. Parents, spouses, children and siblings all have a role to play in the recovery of the addict. Preventing permanent consequences or even death by overdose is of the utmost importance. Accomplishing that will often require professional help.

How Addiction Works

Many people misunderstand the nature of addiction, its causes, and the most effective ways to treat it. Though there is certainly a strong physical aspect to addiction – and fear of withdrawal is one of the main things that prevents a person from getting clean – the real power of the disease is in its ability to change the psychological functioning of the brain. Neurological pathways are chemically re-wired by addiction. These changes have the power to drive behavior much more than rational thought ever can. Thus, no matter how much an addict intends to stop using, she will likely be unable to do so without professional help. Understanding the ins and outs of addiction and recovery is important when it comes time to confront your addicted family member.

Help for Family Members of Addicts

If family members want to help end a loved one’s addiction, they can seek family counseling and support from therapists and other organizations specifically designed for this purpose. This type of support can provide information to family members about several aspects of the disease including the following:

  • Healthy communication skills
  • Establishing and protecting healthy boundaries
  • Protecting family members from self-destructive codependency
  • Understanding addiction and how to confront the addict
  • Equipping families to intervene in their loved one’s addiction when the time comes

How to Hold an Intervention

Any time a family member confronts someone about substance abuse, that person is having an informal intervention, but these discussions can be made much more effective with good preparation and the help of intervention experts. The first step should always be individual conversations in which the family members share their concern about the addict’s behavior; they should affirm their full support and belief in their loved one. If this fails and the abuse continues a group intervention may be in order. These are high-risk confrontations, though. Many families have benefitted from the help of professional interventionists.

Family Addiction Help

If you are concerned about the substance abuse of a family member, call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today. Our specially trained addiction counselors are available right now to answer your questions and to connect you with the best recovery resources for your exact needs. We can put you in touch with family counseling options, professional interventionists and highly successful treatment programs. We can even help with insurance or logistical concerns. We know your concerns, and we know how to help. Call today.