What should I know about my Family Member’s Addiction?

As the spouse or parent of a person struggling with substance abuse, you probably have a lot of questions about how to proceed as well as the nature of your loved one’s disease. While a better understanding of substance abuse disorder and the underlying causes can help you relate to your loved one and assist them in their recovery, the first thing you should know is nothing you can say or do will convince the addict to stop their substance abuse. Ultimately the decision to change their life is entirely in their hands. This reality, while painful, has to be acknowledged in order to move forward in a productive manner.

One important thing to keep in mind regarding your loved one’s disease of addiction is their behavior in active addiction, no matter how deplorable, is a result of their disease holding their decision-making hostage. Lies, manipulation, outright theft – these abhorrent acts are perpetrated by those in active addiction in order to satisfying the uncontrollable craving for more of their substance of choice. While you do not have to condone their bad behavior, you should not make the addict feel guilty or shameful about what they have done. Talk with you therapist and support group about productive ways to handle your loved one’s negative behaviors in active addiction in order to facilitate their choosing a life of recovery.

Another point to be aware of regarding your loved one’s substance abuse is that protecting them from the consequences of their actions only furthers the destruction of their disease. This may be a particularly difficult fact for parents to accept, as maternal or paternal instinct demands you shield your child from any pain or harm. It is important to let your loved one feel the full impact their decisions have on their life, as these negative consequences are often the driving force behind an addict’s decision to make a change and attempt sobriety. As difficult as it may be, remember that preventing consequences from coming to fruition is not the way to go about helping your loved one with their substance abuse disorder.

Addiction is a terrifying disease both for the addict and their loved ones. It is very possible you have no prior experience or knowledge when it comes to handling your loved one’s substance abuse disorder, adding to your feelings of helplessness. There are a few facts you should be aware of when it comes to the disease of addiction and how you should respond to negative behaviors resulting from your family member’s need to satisfy their cravings. At Evolutions, we believe the family of the addict should be incorporated into the treatment process. We offer family counseling sessions as well as resources for those family members who need assistance in their own healing. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 and inquire about resources for family members of addicts.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visitwww.evolutionstreatment.com