Being the friend, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, or any other loved one of an addict is a devastating role. You have to watch your loved one stumble through destructive behaviors, losing jobs, losing friends, and doing irreparable harm to their health and well-being. You may also have been taken advantage of by this person. Addicts tend to lie, steal, cheat, and do anything they can to get their fix. Their family members and friends are often the ones who are the recipients of these behaviors.
Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem. Deaths from the abuse of prescription painkillers tripled in less than ten years (1999-2008). What is to be done when family members recognize the presence of abuse? Should they be allowed to force loved ones into rehab beyond programs measured in only hours? How does the law protect an individual’s civil rights without denying loved ones a voice when the individual’s very life could be at stake? Full Story
Australia beckons travelers with its beautiful shoreline, interesting wildlife and incomparable geography. However, for many Australian children, the wonder of life there is being dulled by the negative effects of alcohol abuse. The online journal Addiction recently published findings which suggest that children in as many as 20 percent of Australian homes are suffering as a result of alcohol consumption. Full Story
Alcohol abuse can take its toll on the user and their entire family. A cycle of abuse can result in liver damage, pancreatitis, and coronary heart disease. But alcoholism is also a mental disease. Besides contributing to dementia, about a quarter of chronic users will deal with psychiatric problems, namely anxiety and depression. Full Story
Attempting to communicate with a loved one who is dealing with an unacknowledged substance abuse problem is a little like trying to carry on a conversation with someone when you both speak entirely different languages. And in the case of addicts, the language they speak has a grammar and a structure that is so unique and so different from yours that finding any kind of common ground can at times seem next-to-impossible. Nothing you say ever seems to make any impact or any difference to them, and from your perspective the things they say and the rationalizations they make to explain their self-destructive behavior don’t seem to have any connection to reality as you understand it. Full Story
With the joys of parenting also comes responsibility. Parents are expected to be role models and offer the strength that guides their family. Sometimes parents need strength and guidance or their children’s lives are completely altered. Parents who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction need to find treatment that will help them recover and be the supporting and responsible parent they would like to be for their child. Full Story
As you watch your children grow, you begin to notice some strange behaviors. The teachers are concerned that your daughter is more aggressive than the other kids in her class. Your son has no friends and is bringing home Cs and Ds on his report card.
A new book from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) acts as a parents’ guide to helping prevent middle-school students from drinking alcohol. “Delaying That First Drink: A Parents’ Guide” was created by the AAAS’s Science Inside Alcohol Project, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Parents can find information about the impact of alcohol on the developing brain as well as tips on how to talk to kids about alcohol.
Unless you’re confronted with a situation where your loved one or close friend is struggling with addiction, you’ve likely never thought much about how to support an addict. Why would you? But for millions of people in the U.S., addiction is a very real disease that affects not only the addict, but the entire family. And there’s a lot of misconception about how and when and what to do to support the addict.
Alcoholism brings consequences that extend far past the addict, and well into the lives of family members and friends. The disease is often most difficult for family members who are closely connected to the addict, even to the point of bringing physical and emotional symptoms.