Family and friends of people who’ve developed a substance dependency often struggle to work out what to do.
A community organisation that is on hand to help people understand what to do, how to begin coping, and begin the process of working with loved ones at risk of illness, job loss, relationship loss or possibly death from substance problems is Family Drug Support
They stress that different situations require different approaches, and there is no particular ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of going about it.
Open and honest communication is best, and if verbal communication isn’t possible, writing a letter is another useful technique to broach sensitive topics. People shouldn’t be afraid to speak to others about how they are feeling when affected by drug use. Families need help, so if you know people in a difficult situation, reach out and offer support. The old adage that ‘listening is the best communication skill’ most certainly applies.
Some of the most useful tips you can give people in a difficult family situation because of alcohol or drug misuse are:
- Look after yourself. Take care of your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. For a positive outcome, you and the family have to survive the process.
- Expressions of emotions and acknowledgement of feelings are therapeutic. Sharing information with other families creates collective wisdom.
- Professionals have skills, knowledge, resources and expertise useful in helping families.
- Family support is a paramount factor in successful outcomes.