When coping with an addicted family member, it’s easy to take the blame and feel like you’re the fall guy. However, it’s important to understand it’s not your fault. Regardless of the situation, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Learn as Much as You Can
Start by learning everything you can about addiction. Learn how it begins and what can trigger it. Learn the signs and symptoms of a relapse and how you can help.
If you’re the one with the addiction, talk freely with your loved ones about what you’re going through and be willing to get help when you need it. Listen to what your family has to say about your addiction and how it affects them.
Understand that relapse is very common when it comes to addiction, but you can find ways to safeguard against it. Don’t expect a relapse but do have a plan of action in the event there is a relapse.
As an addict in recovery, the most important thing to remember about recovery is this one mantra: What you do after you leave drug rehab is just as important as what you accomplish during rehab.
Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that, in 2009, 23.5 million people in the United States older than 12 years old needed treatment for a drug or alcohol abuse problem¬ — or 9.3% of this population. Sadly, just 2.6 million of these people, or 11.2% of those who needed treatment, actually went on to receive it at a specialized rehab facility.
Meanwhile, SAMHSA’s Treatment Episode Data Set from 2008 showed that alcohol abuse treatment accounted for 41.4% of treatment admissions. With respect to drug-related admissions, heroin and other opiates comprised the largest percentage of admissions (20%), while marijuana accounted for 17%.
Both anger issues and substance abuse can wreak havoc on your entire life, from work relationships to family life and your social circles. Oftentimes, people won’t seek help until they hit rock bottom or receive an ultimatum from their family or employer. Drug and alcohol addiction can lead to domestic abuse, verbal anger and erratic behavior, causing loved ones to fear for your well-being, as well as their own safety. It can be especially hard to repair relationships after things become violent. People may become afraid of you and avoid you altogether.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the signs of anger problems, and how that might play out when drugs are part of the equation. Additionally, we’ll explore some drug-free ways to ease feelings of anger as they emerge and channel that energy through positive outlets.
Defining Dysfunctional Anger
Anger goes well beyond feeling upset about the usual things, like getting passed up for a promotion, being undermined by a colleague, or feeling frustrated by a spouse that won’t pull their weight around the house.
On the road to recovery, you may be faced with constant sources of temptation and multiple reasons to return to your habit — but you’ve got to be strong. If you aren’t sure how to deal with drug cravings or urges for alcohol, here are three practical ways to win the battle:
1. Keep Yourself Occupied
Boredom is one of the worst things you’ll face when attempting to beat your addiction. Boredom can easily leave you vulnerable to temptation. If you keep yourself busy for the majority of the time, however, you’ll be less inclined to think about using. In turn, you’ll be less likely to succumb to the appeal of drugs or alcohol.
Try the following to keep yourself occupied:
- Take up an exercise class where you’ll be surrounded by health-conscious people.
- Donate your time to those less fortunate. As you turn your focus toward others, you’ll be humbled but graced by your ability to help.