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.
- What is CRAFT? An overview
- Beyond Addiction: Book for families on how to love and live with a family member who is addicted
- Book and workbook series for loved ones of those who are addicted or misusing substances
- Sober Families Podcast– This 5 part audio series will help you create an environment of recovery for your loved one. It teaches you how to change yourself because that’s the person over whom you have control
- CRAFT-based community groups, therapists, and more. And what is CRAFT?
- Community Reinforcement And Family Training (CRAFT)– A online video course that teaches parents the skills they need to meet the risks of substance abuse.
- 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.
Other Helpful Articles on addiction and substance misuse:
- Should you kick your addicted child out of the house?
- Nar-anon saved my sanity
- It’s not just their recovery. It’s yours, too
- Nar-anon saved my sanity
- There is nothing you can do until they ‘hit bottom’ #MythBustingMondays (by Teresa McBean)
- If my loved one stops doing X and starts doing Y, all will be well (by Teresa McBean)
- The definition of addiction recovery
- As much as I want you to get well, I love you even if you don’t
- How can I fix it?
- Addiction: What is rock bottom?
Learn what I wish I’d known before I lost my son to drug-related suicide. By Anne Moss Rogers