If you become concerned that a loved one is harmfully involved with alcohol or other drugs, the first question of many is, “what can I do?” The most important step in helping a loved one is to learn as much as you can about addiction and how it affects the individual as well as family members and friends. When your loved one begins his/her recovery journey, it is important to understand the process on which they are embarking. Take the time to read books and reach out to your local drug and alcohol agencies.
Another important way to assist a loved one is to understand the importance of getting help for all family members. The disease of addiction affects everyone involved; there can be feelings of guilt, shame, rejection, resentment, violence, financial trouble, etc. You must be prepared and be open to getting the help you need. Drop in on a 12-step meeting or attend an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting. Absorb all that you can and ask questions. Another resource is your pastor or priest. Getting support for yourself can make it easier to begin and continue the healing process.
The Council on Chemical Abuse can help answer your questions and direct you to local drug and alcohol treatment and recovery resources. Contact the Council on Chemical Abuse at 610-376-8669 or online at www.cocaberks.org.