Four Ways to Help a Loved One with Substance Abuse Issues

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September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, a month meant to raise awareness to the fact that over 20 million Americans and their families battle substance abuse every day.  Substance abuse and addiction do not discriminate, and they impact the lives of members of every age group, tax bracket, and community.  Are you one of the millions of people struggling with how to handle the addiction issues of a loved one? Let us discuss four ways that you can help: 

1. Learn.  Before you can approach a loved one about addiction, educate yourself on the subject.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) are both great resources for learning more about the disease and ways that you can help.

2. Listen.  People suffering from addiction may not do so by choice, and they often feel hopeless, powerless, alone, and ashamed.  You can help by listening and providing a safe space for them to share their feelings.  Come from a place of empathy and understanding, rather than a place of judgment.

3. Consult.  You do not have to tackle this on your own.  Reach out to counselors and addiction specialists to discuss how best to approach your loved one and encourage him or her to get treatment.  If the loved one suffering from substance abuse issues is a member of your family, you should also consult an estate planning attorney who can help make sure your family’s finances and well-being are secured.

4. Persist.  Unfortunately, there may not be a quick fix to addiction.  You may need to have multiple conversations with your loved one about your concerns for his or her health and safety and your desire for him or her to seek treatment.  What may be most important is that you keep reminding your loved one that you are concerned and are there to support him or her through it all.

There are several tools you may be able to put in place to help protect and provide for a family member with substance abuse struggles. Our office is happy to help and answer any questions you may have. Contact us to schedule an appointment time.