14. Realize You Are Not Alone
Many families feel totally isolated when someone in the family is addicted. They may be ashamed of having a problem like this. Many families don’t reach out for help and advice because of this shame. Wives may feel that asking for help from other family members will make them look bad in some way or maybe they would feel terribly embarrassed. Parents may even feel that the addiction of a son or daughter is somehow their fault when they actually had little or nothing to do with it at all.
The truth is that more than two million Americans enter drug or alcohol rehabs each year. Many of today’s drugs are so addictive that just a few experimentations with a drug like crack cocaine, ecstasy, or prescription opiates can hook a person. Addiction is a broad social problem, and family failure may not play any significant role in the person’s drug abuse.
The most important thing is that the addicted person gets the right kind of help. Feelings of shame, failure or embarrassment need to be put on the back burner until the right rehab program is found and the person is safely on his way to sobriety.
How to do it wrong: A wife is being constantly criticized and belittled by her alcoholic husband, even slapped around. The children are terrified of their father and are often sick. The wife is too embarrassed to admit the problem or find any help from her minister, her family or her doctor. She has been convinced by her alcoholic husband that all the problems are her fault. And so the problem can continue, month after month.
How to do it right: After some months of abuse by the husband with the worsening alcohol problem, the wife sees that she and the children are getting sicker and more depressed day by day. After careful review of her options, she admits the problem to close family members and asks for help. The family supports her by protecting her and the children while insisting that the husband enter an alcohol rehab program. The family is reunited after he recovers his sobriety.
Message for Families from Narconon
Addiction is one of life’s most difficult situations to deal with. A family member struggling with this problem should realize that his or her struggle is normal. Dealing with addiction is never easy. By using the guidelines above while the problem exists, families can prevent far worse problems and losses and can arrive at a solution faster.
In over five decades of working with addicts to fully recover, Narconon staff around the world have seen that families suffer right along with the addicts. This advice is offered to help during this critical time. For more information or help, contact us or call (800) 737-5250 to speak with a consultant.