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Mental Health: Addicts’ loved ones can get needed help
by LESLIE WOODFALL
Jan 18, 2014 | 4801 views | 0 0 comments | 231 231 recommendations | email to a friend | print

No one is immune to the destruction and devastation that accompanies addiction. 

Many of us have loved ones who are living with addiction, or we have read books or watched movies about the experience of addiction. Seldom can you listen to the evening news without hearing something related to substance abuse or addiction. 

The person struggling with the addiction is not the only one affected. Loved ones of an addict also face fears, sadness, anger and even co-dependency issues. Family and friends are unsure of what is best for the addict and how they can help. The stigma associated with substance abuse often leads to isolation, making it more difficult for the addict or their loved ones to seek help.  

Loved ones of an addict are often willing to do just about anything in an attempt to help.  It can be painful to watch a person lose sight of his or her morals and values and ultimately become someone whom family and friends do not recognize.

 “Emotional hostage” is a phrase that describes how many loved ones feel when dealing with the challenges of addiction.  Simply doing what they think is best, those who love the addict may enable the addict and postpone recovery.

There are support groups for families and friends of addicts, a place where they gain insight and understanding regarding the process of addiction; they discover what they can do to help the recovery process.  

One former support group participant at Davis Behavioral Health said, “I didn’t have any idea where to turn for help.  With my addict, I felt like I must be the only one strapped in this problem.  I was living in constant fear. I did not sleep at night for fear of getting a call that my addict was in jail or worse. I was addicted to my addict. Through my support group meetings, I was given permission to breathe without fear.  Amazing.  Simply amazing.”  

Strength, hope and courage are within reach if you choose to take the step of reaching out.  

Davis Behavioral Health offers a free support group С a learning experience designed for family members, friends and loved ones of addicts.  Participants get support from others who have suffered through a loved one’s addiction. They develop an understanding of how the addict’s behavior has affected them.  Anyone interested in enrolling in this free group should call Davis Behavioral Health at 801-773-7060.

If you are interested in having a speaker address a substance abuse or mental health topic to your community group, please contact Davis Behavioral Health by sending an email to jills@dbhutah.org.

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