How do I help my loved one to stop drinking or doing drugs?

I get this question daily. How can I stop my child/spouse/sibling from doing drugs, drinking too much, and even watching too much porn or gambling? Families feel they have tried everything and the helplessness of watching their loved one self-destruct is overwhelming. Not to mention how it affects the rest of the family and those relationships.

You can affect change. It’s not fast, it’s not guaranteed but you can improve your situation and create an environment for change. It’s important to understand how the person using a substance thinks and feels and how your actions play into their use. Empathy is part of that equation. So many will tell you to use “tough love,” “throw them out of the house” and all sorts of advice. But what works for one situation can end up with disastrous consequences in another. And situations differ greatly. So I wanted to point out helpful resources that actually make a difference and have the evidence and science behind the methodology.

What I’ve been hearing is that my book, Diary of a Broken Mind, is part 1 in helping families understand how the person in the grips of addiction feels as well as how it affects the family. Why they are using and the ambivalence and shame that go with all of that. Because I included Charles’s lyrics in my first book, that understanding and empathy are part of the journey and the foundation for being able to implement and embrace the methodology called CRAFT. I wrote the book to help others understand our struggle as a family and my son’s struggles including a lot that I never knew until after.

Resources for Families:

  • CRAFT-based resources – CRAFT = Community Reinforcement and Family Training is intended to help family members of people with a substance use disorder/substance misuse and other addictions (e.g. gambling) learn how to steer their loved ones away from the behavior by changing our communication patterns and understanding their loved ones motivation to use or engage in those behaviors.
  • Brenda Zane’s HopeStream Podcast for loved ones who are addicted.
  • For those of you with loved ones who struggle with substances and refuse to take their medication although they need it, I’ve read it and highly recommend the book, I’m not sick. I don’t need help.” The author is a psychiatrist who had a brother with schizophrenia. It maps out the conversations and what needs to change so that your loved one who lives with a mental health condition is more likely to remain stable and on the medication they need.
  • PDF resources for families of the addicted

Free ebook: Signs of Drug Use

Learn what I wish I’d known before I lost my son to drug-related suicide. By Anne Moss Rogers

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AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

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