During active addiction, you most likely burnt all your bridges and put your life and career at risk. You may have even been to the hospital a couple of times. However long you were out there using and abusing substances there was probably somebody, some loved one worrying about you at the same time.
Addiction is a chronic disease that not only negatively affects a person’s life and health but also their family and friends. One of the casualties of a battle with addiction is the trail of damaged relationships it leaves in its wake. With the right kind of help and patience, repairing and rebuilding trust with family and other relationships after addiction is possible.
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What Drug or Alcohol Addiction Means to Your Family
When you start thinking, once you spent a couple of months clean of any substances, you may start to think of all the harm you’ve caused. All the lies you have told, stealing from loved ones and you want to make it right. This is a good thing and it’s important to make amends with family and friends and have them feel you are trustworthy again. This may not be as easy as you’d hoped. Your loved ones may have been betrayed or hurt by things that happened during your addiction and need time to heal. Family members probably endured so many emotional ups and downs witnessing you abusing substances and going through withdrawals that much of the trust and connection has been lost.
One of the first steps towards rebuilding trust is action. There are no words that you can tell someone that can make them believe you are going to be different. You have to show them. Getting involved and taking responsibility for your actions by attending detox and a drug treatment program, then trust can begin to grow. This allows relatives to believe the individual is making strides to change for the better. Additional ways to restore trust can be the decision to attend 12-Step meetings, which require members to interact with other members and getting suggestions on how they bettered their lives and gained their family’s trust back.
Communication is Key for Lasting Recovery
Start making an effort to communicate and be honest no matter what. Promising to have a lunch date with a relative and behaving a certain way, then following through can be a small example to build trust. Developing a routine that includes a relative, such as a church meeting can be another way to build trust. It may take some time for the relative to develop trust, but having faith in the process can work wonders.
One thing that can’t be stressed enough is this isn’t going to happen overnight. Rebuilding trust with family takes time and that’s ok. Just continue to be honest and doing the right thing and they will come around. Also, we have to understand that maybe it won’t ever be healed and you can’t do anything about it. That will have to be something your family member will have to work out. Keep sharing your feelings, fears, and hopes with them, you will alleviate much of the anxiety they experience as you continue with treatment and recovery.
Family Should Always Come FIRST
Unfortunately, addiction is all too common today. Families dealing with a loved one struggling with this chronic disease may feel as though they are on their own, that they are the only ones dealing with this but almost everyone deals with this one way or another.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 23 million Americans have a substance abuse disorder aged 12 and older. Of this number, about 1.9 million people developed an addiction to prescription pain medicines and 586,000 had an addiction to heroin. Approximately 23 percent of those people who use heroin develop an addiction to opioids (the class of pain medications that includes morphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone).
Evidence-Based Substance Abuse Treatment
At Garden State Treatment Center we can help you get started on that road to recovery. The most important thing you can expect from your Garden State Treatment Center experience is that you will emerge from it transformed, stable, and ready to begin a lifetime of recovery. We’ve helped countless families destroyed by addiction that have been able to rebuild their relationships and prosper through a life of happiness in recovery.