Having someone in your family with a substance use disorder can be a scary experience. For me, it was completely foreign. My loved one and I were always really close, we talked to each other about everything. I knew they had started smoking, but they said it was just to get rid of some anxiety, so I didn’t think about it that much. But the use became more frequent, and they started to experiment in other things. It was hard to see them like this, and it didn’t feel like they were the same person anymore. They started stealing, lying, and asking me to lie and cover for them. I didn’t want to disappoint them, or “rat them out” to my parents, but I know now that it would’ve been the best thing for them. Yet, I can proudly say they are three years sober, and even though it can be awful, they can get through it.
The most important thing is to be there for them, and to know that it will be a different path for everyone. Help them find options, and don’t blame yourself if it takes a while. Don’t judge, don’t pry, just support them through their recovery. But, it’s equally as important to not let it overtake your life, and to make sure you are also taking care of your own needs. There is only so much you can do, and at some point it is on the person to want to get help for themselves. If it is too much for you to handle, reach out to people you trust for help.
We offer programs to support family members through this, so please reach out to us at (603) 702-2461. It’s almost impossible to do it on your own, I thought I could at the time, but I was wrong. So, it’s important for you to get the support you need for yourself and your loved ones.