FAQs For Loved Ones

Here are some guidelines to help you get through this difficult time.

Dealing with an addicted family member can be extremely challenging. Sometimes you feel the need to walk on egg shells as not to set them off. On one hand, you want them to get help. On the other hand, you don’t want to make matters worse. You are not sure what to do or say. Here are some guidelines to help you get through this difficult time.

What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse is the over use of a substance like alcohol or drugs often characterized by loss of control given to cravings for the substance.

Does addiction run in families?

It can. There is a pre-disposition that has been linked to genetics. People who have a history of addiction in their family are more likely to become addicted to a substance sooner than someone without a family history. Addiction is also dependent on the drug, the environment and the person.

What are some typical signs of substance abuse?

Substance abuse can affect all areas of a person’s life. Signs include change in relationships, failure to meet responsibilities, lack of interest in activities that once were important, change in behavior, and more. For a more complete list, see the NCADD Signs & Symptoms page.

How does someone become addicted to a substance?

Using drugs and alcohol releases dopamine into the brain making the person feel happy. Over time, the body relies on the substance to feel that “high”. Without it, the person is unable to enjoy normal activities that once were enjoyable. For more information, visit the NCADD Science of Addiction page.

Is there a cure for addiction?

Addiction is a disease. But unlike many other diseases, it cannot be cured with medicine. However, it is treatable. Treatment helps recovering addicts deal with triggers and behaviors that lead to using the substance. With the proper combination of treatment, cravings for the substance can be relieved or stopped. There are many stories of successful treatment on the NCADD Recovery Stories page.

What are some treatment options for substance abuse and addiction?

Treatment can include individual counseling, group counseling and family counseling with goals of understanding behaviors and triggers, learning to deal with them and more. Each treatment plan is individually tailored to a meet each client’s unique needs and can also include support housingvocational and educational services, case management and more.

What is an intervention and do we need one?

Each situation is unique, but typically an intervention is used when a group of people who care for the individual abusing a substance want to take a stand and ask him/her to get help. Interventions can include family, friends, co-workers…anyone who is affected by the person’s substance abuse that can make a healthy contribution as to how it has affected them. It is very important to have an intervention specialist present to guide the intervention conversation and create a plan for next steps.

How long does the program take?

Because each person is unique, their recovery process and timeline is also unique.

What is the difference between rehab and recovery?

Rehab is an intensive program that offers solutions to deal with addiction temptations as well as with day-to-day issues during recovery. It will also address the behaviors that contributed to the drug/alcohol abuse in the first place.

Recovery is living in long-term sobriety. This recovery may involve ongoing therapy and support groups as well as replacement activities such as meditation, exercise, artistic pursuits and such.

Good rehab programs will offer a long-term plan upon graduating from the program. Having a long-term plan in place lessens the chance of relapse.

Is the family involved in the treatment program?

Family involvement is very important to success in recovery. Often, behaviors that may involve family members can be triggers for the substance abuse. Getting to the root of those behaviors and healing wounds caused by the abuse is essential to long-term recovery. NCADD’s Family Program facilitates vital communication to help families heal.

If I, or my family member/friends, has already gone through rehab does it make sense to try again?

Yes! No one is beyond help! Each program is different and one might resonate better with different individuals than another. Also, recovery is dependent on where a person is in their lives, so where it may not have been successful in the past, there is always hope it will work at the current point in a person’s life. Scientific studies have shown that treatment can lead to recovery if a person is ready for it and uses the tools available during the treatment process.

Why does your program focus on treatment for women? Is there a difference in treatment for men vs. women?

Yes. As the old adage goes, “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus”. Guilt and shame seem to be much bigger issues in a woman’s recovery process, where denial is a bigger barrier for men. Confrontational approaches that may work well with men often fall flat with women. Also, during the course of therapy, issues such as rape, incest, sexual abuse, domestic violence and body image may surface. These issues are much better dealt with in single gender groups.

​Would you like more information? Call us at 602-264-6214

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