Drug Abuse and Dependence - Family and Community
dependence can harm your family and friends. You and
your family may feel you have turned against each other. You may be angry at
your family and friends, and they may be angry at you.
can, talk with your family about your drug problem and
recovery. Your family and friends need to know that
they did not cause your drug problem but that they can help you during
- Try to be open and honest with loved ones
about your drug use. This will help them understand what you're going through
and how they can help. Many treatment programs offer
counseling for families to help you solve problems at
- Talk about what may cause a relapse, and share your
For family and friends: Encourage treatment
hard to get someone who uses drugs into treatment if he or she doesn't want it.
You may be able to
help the person get treatment by:
- No longer making excuses, such as
covering up for missed work or missed activities with children. Don't lie or
stretch the truth to help the person.
- Finding a good time to talk
to the person. Say clearly how the person's drug use is harming you and that
you will take action if he or she doesn't seek help. For example, you could say
that drug use is causing money problems and that you will cancel credit cards
if it continues.
- Being ready and able to help when a decision is
made to get treatment.
For family and friends: Help with treatment and recovery
If someone you care about has had a drug problem, you know how hard it
can be. You know how living or dealing with someone who has a drug problem can
change and even destroy your life.
After the choice for treatment
has been made, you play an important part. You can help your loved one stop
using drugs and help repair the damage done to your family or
- Make sure the home contains no drugs or items
that help people use drugs (drug paraphernalia).
- Be involved and
patient. Attend recovery meetings with your loved one and be supportive. Know
that it may take a long time for you to trust and forgive the person and for
the person to forgive himself or herself.
- Be aware that your loved
one may seem a different person once he or she is drug-free. You may find it
hard to get used to this person. You may need to build a new
- Understand that you have the right to know how
recovery is going, but you should ask about it in a respectful way.
- Help your loved one plan for a relapse. Most people
relapse after treatment. This doesn't mean the treatment failed. Try to help
your loved one see relapse as a chance to do better and keep working on skills
to avoid drug use.
- Focus on the positive actions your loved one is
For family and friends: Take care of yourself