How to Cope with a Loved One’s Addiction: One Writer’s Story and Insights

Photo of Coping with a Loved One's Addiction ME Guest, Beverly ConyersNearly half of Americans have a family member or friend who has or is struggling with an addiction to drugs. Based on data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUHs), 2009 to 2014, approximately 1 in 8 children in the US had a parent with a substance use disorder. The disease of addiction is a “family disease,” because it affects more than just the individual struggling with addiction. Coping skills are essential when a family member is struggling with addiction. So, how can we develop these skills? What role does shame play in addiction and what can we do about it? If you are feeling hopeless about a family member’s addiction, what questions can you ask yourself to help you move through the hopelessness? And, how can you support a loved one through recovery while also caring for yourself?

 

Beverly Conyers, mother and grandmother, writes about addiction and wellness. She answers these questions and more on Mom Enough this week. Tune in to hear her story about her daughter’s addiction to heroin and her practical tips for anyone who is trying to cope with a loved one’s addiction. The second edition of her first book, the highly acclaimed Addict in the Family: Support for Loss, Hope, and Recovery, was published by Hazelden Publishing in October 2021. Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a supporting partner of Mom Enough and we are grateful for their support in spreading evidence-based information about substance use disorders. 

 

WHAT STEPS CAN YOU TAKE TO COPE WITH A LOVED ONE’S ADDICTION?

What is one thing you can do to take care of yourself as you support a family member or friend with addiction? What is the difference between recovery and sobriety? What might you ask yourself if things feel hopeless?

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ADDICTION?

OPIOID ADDICTION: KEYS TO PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION FROM THE HAZELDEN BETTY FORD FOUNDATION. What can parents do to protect the children and adults in our family and community from the dangers of opioids? Ahmed Eid, Addiction Program Manager at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, brings answers that every parent should hear. He addresses safer options for managing pain, how to dispose of leftover opioids, signs of opioid addiction, and effective treatment options.

 

PARENTAL ADDICTION: IMPACT ON THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP & HOW TO HEAL TOGETHER. Parental addiction has significant effects on children and the parent-child relationship, but there is hope and healing is possible. Helene Photias, national director of operations for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Children’s Program, and Paula Frisk, senior director of zero to five home visiting programs at St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, join Marti & Erin to discuss keys to helping parents and children move toward healing, build more positive and secure relationships, and create the fun and joy that every child and parent deserves.

 

HOPE FOR FAMILIES FACING ADDICTION: EXPERT ADVICE FROM HAZELDEN BETTY FORD FOUNDATION. Kate Roselle, licensed clinical counselor and national outreach manager for Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s adolescent and young adult continuum of care, joins Mom Enough for a compelling discussion on families facing addiction. She shares tips for effecting change if a loved one is struggling, discusses clinical resources for families, and explores the factors that are associated with the greatest hope of successful treatment and recovery. Roselle says, “The opposite of addiction is connection,” and that informs the work of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

 

WOMEN, ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH: INFORMATION AND PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FROM HAZELDEN BETTY FORD FOUNDATION. Dr. Sarah Wicks joins Marti & Erin to discuss unique challenges faced by women dealing with addiction and, more broadly, how to approach a loved one (male or female) you believe has a substance use problem.

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