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Help! My partner, son or daughter are using drugs.

As a relative, there are many feelings and thoughts that make it difficult to live with an addict and help them in the right direction. Anxiety is a big problem.

Worry often causes the relative to make decisions such as giving money to the person "for food", driving the person to various places so that things do not happen on the road, paying drug debts, cleaning up after the person, being the person's alarm clock and making sure that the person comes to work etc.

The problem with this is that if the addict is deprived of their own responsibility, there is no reason to change their behavior.

Another reason why relatives give in to the addict's requests and demands, may be that they want to avoid the addict becoming angry or upset. For fear of saying no or imposing rules, it feels safer to fold and play along. Otherwise, the addict may "explode" and press various pain points until the relative rolls back and returns to the status quo. 

It is never good to create situations that can lead to aggression. So the relative needs help to find ways to handle the situation without creating situations where the relative feels worse or is exposed to danger. The person trapped by a strong addiction does not like their role or their image of reality to be challenged or questioned. They may want to persuade you that there is no problem, that everything is fine and under control, that something else is the real problem. Or to be pitied, that they are victims or that it is the family member's fault that they suffer and have a hard time.

When the addiction has become very strong, the person does everything they can to resist and silence any kind of change. This includes looking at and talking about reality as it actually is, as this can lead to a change in the map where addiction loses ground.

Another thing that causes problems for relatives is that they try to prove to the person that there is a problem. The relative is constantly looking for bottles of alcohol and zip bags of drugs and spends hours searching. When found, it is used as evidence that there is a problem. Sometimes the person then agrees to make a change and the relative begins to have hope and feels relief.

The drug addict can take advantage of this and say things like "ok now it's gone too far, I'm going to stop but I want to handle it myself". "I just need to get a job", or "I can go and talk to someone" or "I now understand that it is serious". The person says what they think you want to hear. They straighten up for a little while so that you as a relative lower your guard, but soon the person is up and running again.

The reason for these empty promises is often that the addiction has taken over the person so profoundly, that they are prepared to lie, manipulate and exploit loved ones they really love, in order to protect the addiction and cling to it as long as they can. Addiction has taken central place in their life.In other cases, it may be that the addict actually means what they promise in the moment. But when they try to live sober, they feel so bad for various reasons that they resort to the simple solution of drinking or drugs to feel better momentarily.After the scenario of a serious talk and empty promises has happened a few times, the relative begins to feel hopeless. That it seems that whatever you, it is all for nothing.

Sometimes the relative tries to be a therapist and that doesn't work either. You as a relative are far too close to the person. Failures become far too personal and you probably lack professional training, knowledge and insight into addiction problems and other mental illness.

Another obstacle for relatives is guilt and shame. Questions like "what have I done wrong" "the divorce between me and his father took a toll on him and since then things have gone wrong. We should have handled it better.” The addict can use the guilt and press these points in order not to be challenged in their addiction and resist change.Do you recognize yourself in any of what you have read now?There are actually ways that can help you reach the person better and ways for you as a relative to feel better.

We offer Relative Education through CRAFT

CRAFT, The Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training.

CRAFT is based on:

Improve the relative's well-being (emotional, physical and relational)

Improve the relationship between family members

Reduce/eliminate the loved one's addiction to alcohol and drugs

Engage relatives to start treatment

Relatives who participated in CRAFT have, according to research, shown less anxiety and depression at the same time that they have received tools to improve communication and support the loved one with alcohol and drug problems to seek help.

You can do get CRAFT on site or online

We also have the opportunity to have motivational talks with the person who abuses substances as well as an informational meeting about our treatmentContact us and we will help you.

Call: 0046 731-533156


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