How Does a Family Deal With Having A Member of The Family As An Addict At Holiday Time?

“Let’s face it. The holidays can be a stressful time for families – especially if you have a loved one with an ADDICTION. Ask for
outside help.”

What to Do When a Loved One Struggles with Addiction pic 3

We all know that holiday time can be stressful with all the drama happening just from the season, but then add into the mic dealing with a family member as an addict can be even more stressful for everyone. So how can families deal this it? Here to help is a featured article is from the community and website of  Drug Free.Org …

They help families get answers and resources to deal with this dilemma and much more all year long. When I was still deep within my gambling addiction, I can tell you I had no idea what impact this made on my family around the holidays. All I knew as I would gamble even more in desperation to get MONEY I had lost most likely to buy gifts for family. We all know how that turned out! YOU WILL never win enough for anything, let alone for holiday gifts to make everything look NORMAL for the holidays. So let’s get some advice on how do deal with the addict at holiday time…

guy with santa hat looking out of a window

First, there’s the frenzy in the air and what seems like a million things to do.  Second, our feelings are often magnified around this time. We may feel exhausted, over-committed and extra sensitive. We often expect everything to be perfect, aspiring to some idealized version of how things should be. But the truth is that life, especially with an addicted family member, can be messy and chaotic.

This can leave us feeling disappointed, frustrated or wistful.

You may feel alone – like you’re the only family in the whole world dealing with an addict and abuse issue. Please know that you are not alone. And, while it may seem impossible to enjoy yourself when a loved one’s life is out of control, there are things you can do to make yourself feel better. So why not ask for outside help from other PARENTS?

“In this season of giving, we invite you to take inspiration from these parents to take action and help make a difference for families in need.”

1. Jacqueline is volunteering as a parent coach. Jacqueline lost her son to an accidental overdose. Now she is a volunteer Parent Coach, helping other parents find healing. You can support families who are in need of one-on-one support by becoming a volunteer Parent Coach like Jacqueline or by making a gift of just $25. Your gift will allow Jacqueline and others continue to coach families and offer them hope and help for their child.

2. Cyndi is hosting a grassroots fundraiser. When Cyndi Glass lost her son Jeremy, she was determined to help ensure other families struggling with their child’s substance use find the support they need. Cyndi created Jeremy’s Run, raising money on behalf of the Partnership. You can support Cyndi’s fundraiser and others in our nationwide community of grassroots fundraisers — or you can host your own event. Whether you decided to run, walk, bike or bake, your fundraiser will provide valuable resources to families who are struggling.

3. Andrea is shopping at IGA where her purchases give back. Andrea is doing her part to end substance use simply by shopping. You can turn your holiday groceries into hope for families by shopping at your local IGA grocery store and purchasing specially marked IGA-branded products. A percentage of the products you buy goes back to Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

When you shop through smile.amazon.com — and indicate the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids as your charitable organization — we receive 0.5% of your total purchases at no extra cost to you.

4. Richard is shopping through Amazon Smile where his purchases give back. Like Richard, when you shop through smile.amazon.com — and indicate the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids as your charitable organization — we receive 0.5% of your total purchases at no extra cost to you. Need a holiday gift idea? Purchase a book from our Amazon bookstore to give to a family member or friend.

5. Bill is advocating for change. Bill and his wife Margot suffered a tragic loss when their son passed away after being denied insurance benefits. Now Bill is fighting for other families to receive benefits that the law already promises to protect, and is gathering signatures for further legal action.

6. Patty is teaching her community to carry life-saving Naloxone. Patty, who lost her son Sal to an overdose, made it her mission to ensure that every police department in her county carries Naloxone to assist them in reversing opioid overdoses and saving lives.

7. Michelle is telling her late daughter’s story. Michelle’s daughter Casey said that if something were ever to happen to her, she’d want her to write an honest obituary about her struggles with addiction. When Casey died of an accidental heroin overdose, Michelle has told her story everywhere she can to help break down the stigma that prevents so many from getting help.

Continuing Care eBook

8. Jane is sharing Partnership’s resources with other parents. Jane’s son Adam is now on the road to recovery thanks to the resources she found on drugfree.org — like our Treatment eBookMedication-Assisted Treatment eBook and Continuing Care eBook. Jane called our Helpline at 1-855-378-4373 and talked with a trained and caring masters-level specialist who helped her develop a personalized action plan to help Adam. Please share our online resources and Helpline with anyone you know who is struggling with a loved one’s substance use.

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These are all amazing ways parents are reaching out and helping other parents with a loved one with an addiction. Helping others is a way to help shatter Stigma and support others in from the addiction epidemic and makes an impact on the families and our Communities! Reading is an informative way to become educated about addictions of any kind. So if you have a neighbor who has a loved one as an addict? Reach out to them this Holiday Season and see how you can help make the Season a little “Brighter.”  Download eBooks, PDF guides and more to help a loved one >>

“Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon”

 

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Recovery Guest Author, Christine H. Is Here With A New Special Article…

Recovery Guest Author, Christine H. Is Here With A New Special Article…

The Line Between Use and Abuse

 

Once upon a time, the term “addiction” was reserved for dependence on mind-altering chemicals. However, now a dependence on anything from video games to shopping is termed “addiction.” It can be a confusing world when something that’s usually a healthy coping behavior (like going to the gym) can turn into a mental disorder.

Everyone needs an outlet. Somewhere to channel the stresses of life when they just get to be too much. And everyone needs a diversion. However, how do you determine where exactly your habit turns into an addiction? Where is the line between use and abuse?

Here are 5 questions that can help you get a better perspective on whether or not your coping mechanism has turned into something that can be harmful instead of helpful for your life.

 

Have you tried to stop numerous times and failed?

 

This is one of the most notable characteristics of addiction, but it can also be the most commonly misunderstood. Individuals are often dismayed when they find that even though they had resolved to change their behavior, they fail. However, this in and of itself isn’t a marker of addiction. After all, how many people actually keep their New Year’s Resolutions? How many people start a diet that only lasts a few days? That doesn’t that they’re addicted to spending money or not working out or sneaking junk food. It might mean that they were ineffective in goal setting, or that they’re not sufficiently motivated to change behavior.

The big difference is when you resolve to change behavior because you ARE properly motivated. If you notice that your behavior is costing you too much, and still can’t seem to stop, you might be working with addiction rather than a bad habit. The next couple questions can help you clarify.

 

Use and Abuse 2

 

Is it hurting your health?

Often, people first start to consider addiction a problem because of a talk with a physician. When a certain behavior is hurting your body, it’s a cause for concern. Occasional use of something doesn’t have the same effects on your body as habitual use, one of the common stages of addiction. A doctor won’t refer you to an addiction professional for just a few drinks… unless you have liver disease and you still won’t stop drinking.

Usually, this measure only comes into play for addictions that have a direct effect on your physical health. This includes food disorders, adrenaline-seeking behavior, and exercise addiction. Often, we don’t see the signs that a doctor will. However, if you’re getting concerned about some of your own behaviors, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it, being completely upfront about what you’re doing so that they can determine whether it’s threatening your health.

Is it threatening your relationships?


There are some addictions that will never have a toll on our physical health, but they have a huge impact on our relationships. These additions might include pornography or gambling or online gaming. These types of addictions also don’t seem to have an “outer” looking appearance to a person like a drug addict or alcoholic. And the afflicted person has no idea how the addiction is damaging their health on the inside. Many have hypertension or high blood pressure, heart disease, or even becoming a diabetic without knowing.

Often, this is a tricky situation to sort out. You might feel like there’s nothing unusual or harmful about your behavior, but someone you love is concerned and wants you to change. It’s possible that sometimes your loved one is overreacting. But it’s also true that relationships require investment from both parties. If you’re unable to change your behavior in order to nurture those relationships that are most important to you, it might be a problem. Relationships and families depend on healthy boundaries that are made with love and followed with consideration.

Do you need more and more for the desired effect?


One of the first signs of any addiction
is that you need to escalate your usage in order to get the same desired effect. This is because your body is becoming slowly inured to the effects. So in order to experience the same hit of dopamine in the brain, you need to have more and more of the substance (or behavior.) This happens most notably with alcohol. Once the body is used to operating as normal with alcohol in the system, you need more and more in order to get drunk.

However, it can be the same with other substances or behaviors. If you find that you need more and more, that’s when things start to get dangerous, whether you’re shopping or adrenaline-seeking. This effect drives us to do things that we know could be harmful and cross boundaries we know we shouldn’t.

 

Use and Abuse 3

 

Do you feel ashamed after using?

This might be the most telling sign of an addiction. If you’re ashamed after a certain behavior, it’s a sign that you know that you need to change… and yet you’re not. Shame can be subtle, and hard to recognize in many of us. Shame might manifest itself as:

  • Anger
  • Despair
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Perfectionism in other aspects of your life
  • Numbing your feelings (often by indulging more often in the thing that makes you feel ashamed)

 

If you or a loved one are exhibiting these signs of addiction, reach out for help. Get help early before you become so thoroughly entrenched that it costs you valuable things in your life.


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About The Author:

Christine is a professional writer and an avid reader who’s passionate about storytelling in all its forms. At any given moment, she’s in the middle of at least three books on anything from human psychology to ninjas. Although she’s a marathon swimmer and enjoys camping in the mountains, she believes there’s nothing better than a carton of ice cream and a Dawson’s Creek marathon.