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Genesis House Family Group

Understanding Substance Abuse Disorder as a Family Member

It’s challenging to grasp the concept of addiction, especially if you haven’t used drugs or alcohol before. However, as a family member of a recovering addict, you should understand the definition of addiction and its impact on the body. An individual suffers from substance abuse disorder when they frequently use illicit substances that cause impairment, health problems, and disability. The chronic use of these substances also hinders an addict’s performance at school or work and their ability to maintain relationships. According to recent statistics, more than 20 million people have substance abuse disorder in the United States. Research shows that four main criteria arise from substance abuse disorder – physical dependence, impaired control, risky use, and social problems. For example, if you see a family member display signs of withdrawal (irritable behavior or depression), they could be suffering from substance abuse disorder. Similarly, someone with drug and alcohol addiction may become isolated from their friends and family (social problems) and spend most of their time alone abusing substances. Whatever the case, it’s important to support your family members and encourage them to seek treatment in a substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Does Your Family Member Have a Substance Abuse Disorder? Watch For These Signs

It’s not always easy to spot the signs of substance abuse, even if the individual suffering is a close family member. Nevertheless, you should consider the below criteria when it comes to spotting substance abuse:

A decline in performance at school or work
Withdrawal symptoms when someone stops using a substance
Damaging personal and professional relationships due to drug use
Putting oneself in risky situations while using drugs or alcohol
Continuously seeking out the next “high”
Using more of a particular substance than originally intended

If you or a family member is experiencing any of the telltale signs of substance abuse disorder, please get in touch with us today. We will walk you through our comprehensive addiction treatment programs and aftercare programs. We’ll also provide more information about our family group and why it’s so important for family members to play an active and supportive role in alcohol and addiction treatment.

Many departments say they offer counseling, but there are procedures to follow. Some procedures include the officer turning in his gun and badge for safety reasons. Taking away a police officer’s weapon is like telling him he can no longer do the job. Do this, and the officer will not seek help. A police officer’s life is his or her job.

Other departments outsource their PTSD and mental health counseling to a local psychologist or psychiatrist who has no experience as a first responder. This type of therapy they use is “book therapy,” which often does not work with first responders who need to trust their therapist. That is why it is imperative to have an active or former law enforcement officer or first responder trained to counsel and work with those suffering from PTSD.

In order to reduce the number of police and first responder suicides, programs need to be offered that are not threatening, are facilitated by trained first responders who have been through the same experiences, and are conducted in safe settings outside of their work. And that’s exactly what Genesis House offers.

At Genesis House we provide a safe environment where police officers and first responders receive guidance from those who have been through the same thing, and are trained to work with clients suffering from PTSD.

Key Discussion Questions for Family Members

The team at Genesis House helps facilitate discussions about substance abuse in your family. These discussions may include the following: The reason your family member started to use drugs in the first place Assessing the severity of your family member’s addiction: mild, moderate, or severe Looking into the future and brainstorming ways you can help your loved one maintain long-term sobriety Resources individuals can use after they leave drug and alcohol addiction treatment to avoid relapse Discussions about substance can be uncomfortable and downright awkward at times. We do our best to ensure discussions are candid and honest without discomfort. Our team members are trained to help facilitate conversations among family members of recovering addicts.

Assessing Your Family Member’s Level of Impairment

Like all conditions, substance abuse disorder ranges from moderate to severe. Factors that can impact the severity of a drug and alcohol addiction include the length of time someone has been addicted and what substances they use. Although you can decipher your family member’s level of impairment, a clinician needs to make the final assessment. The different levels of impairment include the following: One symptom: There’s a chance the individual could develop substance abuse disorder Two or three symptoms: The individual likely has a mild substance abuse disorder Four or five symptoms: Point to a moderate substance abuse disorder Six or more symptoms: A severe substance abuse disorder that warrants immediate attention Remember, even if your family member is experiencing one or two symptoms, their condition could worsen over time. Therefore, it’s important to encourage your loved ones to receive treatment as soon as they display symptoms.

Learn More About Genesis House

Want to learn more about how our family group helps facilitate substance abuse recovery? Get in touch with us today to learn how we promote discussions among family members and the various treatment options at Genesis House.

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