Counseling for Partners, Family Members, & Friends of Those Struggling with Substance Use Disorders and Addiction
More often than not, substance use disorders start with experimental use of alcohol or other drugs in social situations. For some people, the substance use becomes more frequent. As time passes, a person may feel the need to use more alcohol or other drugs to get their desired high, and soon a person may need the substance to simply feel “good” or “normal.”
When we see this happen to a partner, family member, or friend, we may do everything we can to help. But sometimes, our unconditional love simply isn’t enough. In addition, the emotional impact that a partners, family member, or friends substance use can have on those around them can be not only be devastating and emotionally draining, but very frustrating as well. It can be hard to know what do to or say.
Signs and symptoms you may be allowing someone with a Substance Use Disorder to continue with their maladaptive behavior:
- Ignoring the substance users negative or potentially dangerous behavior – This behavior can involve anything from overlooking problems created by their substance use to denying that a problem with substance use even exists.
- You struggle with expressing emotions – you are often unsure how to express feelings, especially if there are negative repercussions for doing so.
- Putting the substance users needs before your own – It is natural to want to help, but being enabling takes helping too far, where the substance user has their needs taken care of while the family member or friend mostly neglects their own.
- Acting out of fear – Since those abusing substances may cause frightening events, the family member or friend at times will do whatever it takes to avoid such situations instead of addressing the real issue.
- Lying to others to cover the behavior of the substance user that is using substances – A family member or friend may lie to keep things calm.
- Blaming people or situations other than the one who is abusing substances – To protect the substance user from the consequences of drug or alcohol misuse, the family member or friend might accuse other people of causing drug abuse
- Resenting the substance user– The result of the above behaviors is that the friend and family member of the substance user will likely feel angry and hurt.
If you can relate to any of the above symptoms or behaviors, it may be time to consider therapy for yourself.
I will address your concerns around your partners, friend, or family members substance use, We can hopefully work through the emotional impact their behavior may be having on you. In addition we can try work on ways for you to get your own life back even if the one who is misusing substances doesn’t change.
Feel free to contact me today to schedule a session in which we can meet and discuss your needs.