Rebuilding Relationships with Family Members After Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Drug and alcohol abuse are both serious behavioral health problems, and they have the ability to change the entire worldview of someone who is suffering from them. Fortunately, treatment programs for both types of abuse and addictions are available. Once the problem has been recognized, the afflicted individual will also have to start working on rebuilding relationships with family members.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Starting Over

Trying to do too much at once can cause stress to a recovering drug or alcohol addict. Therefore, it is important to start with smaller steps. For example, instead of trying to make amends with everyone at once, you can start with the people who are closet to you. Having a conversation with a parent, close sibling or a cousin can really help to start building the bridge toward total recovery.

Being Sensitive with Children

Explaining the necessity for forgiveness after drug and alcohol abuse to children can be much more complicated than it is for adults. They do not understand why the problems occurred in the first place, and the entire process can be really frightening for them. It’s wise to be as honest with children as possible without scaring them. Depending on how close the child is to the afflicted individual and the age of the child, it can often be best to leave out some or many of the details. All the child needs to know is that the person working on getting healthier.

Making a Real Effort
Saying that you are sorry for any pains you have caused to loved ones due to your drug and alcohol abuse is not always enough. If you have spent a vast amount of time apologizing for issues and then simply committing them against, family members might be a bit wary of the situation. Once you have dealt with your drug and alcohol abuse problems, you can really work on showing family members how you are sincere this time. Make an effort to attend events for them, to purchase them birthday gifts and to go out for just a cup of coffee or a quick bite to eat.

Talk About Other Topics
Constantly speaking about the problems that you faced can become quite jarring for family members. Of course, they are there for you and can listen to you, especially in the beginning. However, constantly rehashing the same topics and carrying on about how sorry you are does not fit the lifestyle of all individuals. Try to bring up other topics from time to time, and you can discuss happy events that are happening in the life of your family members. Remember, you can always call your counselor or your support group if you are in need of advice or a good listener. Try to maintain a balance in your daily life for your own personal well-being.

Going through drug and alcohol abuse is a serious situation. Fortunately, you have family members around who love you, and they want to help you get through it. Be open to their offers of help. Additionally, keep a line of communication with them and involve them in your life.