Family Support Services

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Substance use is complex and challenging. It has far-reaching consequences, that affects not only the person struggling with it but also their closest family and friends. However, recovery IS possible with the right support and treatment. By understanding substance use, recognizing its signs, and offering compassionate support, families can play a crucial role in helping their loved ones on the path to recovery. Remember that seeking professional guidance and assistance is often the most effective way to address substance use.

Substance Use Defined

Substance use is a chronic and relapsing brain disease characterized by the compulsive use of substances or engaging in behaviors despite negative consequences. It is often associated with a loss of control over the substance or behavior, cravings, and an inability to stop using or engaging in the behavior, even when it causes harm.

Causes of Substance Use

Substance use typically develops over time and involves a combination of factors, including:

  • Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to substance use, making them more vulnerable to developing it when exposed to certain substances or behaviors.
  • Environmental Factors: A person's environment, including family, friends, and community, can play a significant role in the development of substance use. Exposure to substance use or addictive behaviors can increase the risk.
  • Mental Health: Co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma, can contribute to substance use. People may use substances to self-medicate or cope with emotional pain.
  • Social and Peer Pressure: Social influences and peer pressure can lead individuals to experiment with substances or behaviors that can become addictive.
  • Neurological Changes: Repeated substance use or engaging in addictive behaviors can lead to changes in the brain's reward and pleasure centers, making it difficult to control cravings and compulsive use.

Support Through Recovery

Be it to substances or behaviors, substance use is a disease that knows no boundaries. Understanding thatit’s not a moral failing but a complex interplay of factors is crucial. Supporting a loved one through substance use is a delicate balance between helping without enabling, setting boundaries without pushing away, and encouraging treatment without imposing. Learning to navigate this path with care, understanding, and love, will ensure your ability to offer steadfast support in your loved ones journey to recovery.

Creating Healthy Boundaries

In recovery, establishing boundaries is essential. Common recovery boundaries may include things like maintaining a substance-free home, respecting personal space, defining financial limits, setting emotional boundaries, and establishing communication guidelines within the family. While resistance may be expected, it's crucial to stay firm yet compassionate when enforcing these boundaries, as they are designed to create a healthier environment. Seeking professional guidance from a therapist or counselor specializing in substance use and family dynamics can offer valuable support when needed. Setting and maintaining these boundaries is an act of love and support, fostering a positive and respectful environment that encourages recovery and growth. Remember that ongoing communication and adjustments are necessary as the situation evolves.

How to Set Healthy Boundaries

  • Self-Reflection: Take time to reflect on your feelings, needs, and limits. Understand what you are comfortable with and what makes you feel uneasy.
  • Clearly Define Boundaries: Be specific and clear about your boundaries. Use “I” statements to express your needs and limits without blaming or accusing. (Example: “I need to have a quiet and drug-free home environment.”)
  • Consistency: Consistency is key in maintaining boundaries. Stick to your boundaries even when faced with resistance or emotional manipulation.
  • Set Consequences: Establish consequences for violating boundaries, and be prepared to follow through with them. Consequences should be reasonable and related to the boundary. (Example: “If drugs are brought into our home, I will need to ask you to leave.”)
  • Seek Support: Discuss and coordinate boundaries with other family members. Consistency among family members is crucial for success.
  • Practice Self-Care: Taking care of your own well-being is essential. Setting boundaries may evoke strong emotions, so make self-care a priority.

For additional questions, referral info & admissions, contact the Lakeside Referral Coordinator, Mon. - Fri., 8am-4pm:715.848.4483.