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How do you support a family member in coping with withdrawal symptoms?

Discussion in 'Withdrawal Symptoms' started by wander_n_wonder, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. wander_n_wonder

    wander_n_wonder Active Contributor

    It's true that in most cases, the family members are also affected in this road to recovery. They are the ones who spend a lot of time with the person. Most of the time, a person experiencing withdrawal symptoms can be very grumpy and overall antisocial.

    If you have a member of your family going through this, what do you do to continuously support him or her? How do you personally cope with the grumpiness and overall feeling of negativity at home?
  2. Stella

    Stella Member

    There is a certain way to go about it. In this situation, the "family member" roll will not get you anywhere, so you definitely have to take a different approach. The problem is that you can't tell them "Hey! Stop doing drugs or I'll (insert punishment here.)" As easy as it sounds, it just gets you nowhere. So think about this:
    1. You have to get them to have general conversations with you. During the conversations, let them talk as much as they need/desire. Do not freak out about anything that they say, even if its bad. Just ask them questions like "Really? How did that make you feel?" and really engage in the conversation.
    2. Get deeper into the conversation. Do not yell, and do not act like you will share the information to another family member. Just talk to them how you talk to your regular friends. Start asking personal questions like "How are you feeling?" "What makes you happy?" and eventually, ask "What makes you sad?"
    3. When they're explaining these things, DO NOT INTERRUPT THEM. Let them rant. If they're doing drugs, they're doing it for a negative reason. Talking is the only way that you'll find out.
    4. Once you figured out what makes them sad, you can start piecing together why they may be doing drugs.
    5. Get them help. Do not try to be their counselor. Get them someone to talk to that you or your child does not personally know. (No family, or family friends.)
    6. Be patient. Happiness erases all thoughts of drugs. And we all know how hard it is to reach happiness.
    Good luck!
    Lostboy8731 and trevermorgana like this.
  3. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Problem in the initial stage is that an addict may not want to talk, so having a conversation is nearly impossible, hence this will be my advice.

    Understand it's not easy for an addict go through, and therefore may prefer not to talk. Grumpiness comes from discomforts caused by alcohol or withdrawal and try to talk with someone suffering from such discomforts may result in a negative response with a subsequent sense of regret an addict feels for being grumpy at the family member wanting to help.

    In denial, addicts don't realize family and friends want to do it, but in recovery they do and thank for this, only that they aren't always in the mood to get people close, so it's better leave them alone in such moments and simply show off support and comprehension as needed.
    Lostboy8731 and trevermorgana like this.
  4. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    I would think the best way a person can. I am sure that this is hard on everyone. I mean a person can't be themselves and go through this. I would think also to be as patient as possible. Its just not an easy situation.
    Lostboy8731 likes this.
  5. peter021

    peter021 Member

    Don't feel pity or resentment on them. These feelings make an agonizing thrill ride for the cherished one
    For any given measure of outrage that is felt by a relative in any given circumstance, that sum, or more, of compassion will be felt for the alcoholic or fanatic once the annoyance dies down. This waver totter is a typical affair for relatives. They get irate more than a circumstance, make dangers or start outcomes, and after that backtrack from those choices once the resentment has died down and has been supplanted by compassion. In the event that outrage can be stayed away from then so can feel sorry for. The family can then complete on their choice not to empower.

    Just be normal on approaching them :D
  6. LilAnn

    LilAnn Community Champion

    you just have to be patient and tolerant. You have to understand that this isn't them. They don't really mean most of the things they say. I believe its hard on everyone involved... not just the addict.
    Lostboy8731 likes this.
  7. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    You just have to remember that they will feel as though they're going through the hardest time of their life, so they really need you there to support them if there is any way that you feel you can. By being there to listen when they want to talk to you, or checking up on them when you haven't heard from them for a little while, you should find that you are able to help them through their journey.
    amin021023 likes this.
  8. MNyte

    MNyte Member

    Try to be positive about it - do not let any disruptive mood affect your mood. Encourage them to continue on, and get better too.
  9. LilAnn

    LilAnn Community Champion

    I think the most important thing is to remind them that you love them and they aren't alone. Tell them that no matter how hard they try to push you away, it won't work.
    Lostboy8731 likes this.
  10. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Senior Contributor

    I think its important just to be there for them both mentally and physically. Be supportive. Be a shouldet for them to lean on. Make them feel comfortable and at ease. Definitely dont be negative or judgemental. Thats the worst thing you could do.
  11. LilAnn

    LilAnn Community Champion

    They have to know what they're risking if they continue down this path. But everyone deserves an opportunity and help to do the right thing. You should try to remember the good in them and that this is just a drug, and not them.
  12. LindaSuzanne

    LindaSuzanne Active Contributor

    I looked after my son during heroin withdrawal a few years back. It really was horrible, Diarrhoea, vomiting, pain in the legs, you name it he had it. I have heard it said that the first 5 days are the worst but his withdrawal was much longer, more like 2 weeks before he really started to feel better.

    You would think that coming through that he would never want to go back there again but a few months later he was back on heroin. I was so naive in those days. I really thought that would be the end of it.

  13. Try to understand, take some considerations and it will help a lot if we think that we experience the same situation as they are. Be patient, do not get tired in helping them. Love them anyway, an effective antidote of addiction.
  14. juno

    juno Community Champion

    A strong support network of mental health professionals, addiction specialists, family members, and peers can help withdrawal symptoms. You can help by reinforcing self –esteem. People addicted to drugs or alcohol often have low self-confidence. Let them know that you believe in them, and that you’re proud of their achievements. After all, getting into rehab is one of the hardest things to do.
  15. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    As mentioned earlier in the thread it's important to be there for them and understand that their going through a really hard time like cheeky-chick said. but we shouldn't make them feel like we pity them because they won't like it at all.
  16. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    I always show love and support so that they can realise the benefits related to quitting drugs, as I always advice them. Addiction is a disease as any other disease that can be overcome. Many people don't show love to addicts which is really bad. Many look at them as people who have completely failed in life, which is not true.
  17. Juanpeace

    Juanpeace Active Contributor

    When you show support to a family member who is on the road to recovery, you need to realize a few things. First is your acceptance that there is a problem that needs to be solved and you are there to help and support not admonish or make him/her guilty. You must show him that you support his well-being and you must be sensitive to his needs during withdrawal stages. It would be nice if you can consult experts on rehab care to better inform you on what to do.
  18. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Better thing to do is to simply inform yourself about withdrawal symptoms and what to do in case of emergency, I think this is specially important if we are talking about about people with certain addictions that need special monitoring, ie: heroine. I think in those cases the closest family members need to be informed, specially on the look for weird behaviors and so on.
  19. emeraldnights

    emeraldnights Member

    What a wonderful question! I think when someone is going through withdrawal, which is so incredibly hard mentally and physically, having someone there to remind them that they are loved even through this would be a wonderful thing. I felt so much guilt for being such a "weak" person, an embarrassment to my family, it would have been wonderful just to have someone there with a cool washcloth to wipe my forehead. For someone to change my sheets and put out clean pajamas and tell me I was doing great and they were proud of me would have helped so much. Tell them you love them and you'll stand by them and help them through this. They will, undoubtedly, be the luckiest person around.
  20. rz3300@

    rz3300@ Senior Contributor

    Well having been through the symptoms myself it is a little bit easier to understand the difficulties that they may be having. It is important to show your support though, because certainly they need the help. It might be tough for you too, because their mood is probably not the best, but just have the best intentions at heart.