Research in the field of addiction treatment indicates that although it is the patient’s primary responsibility to address their disease of addiction, the family can too play a significant role in helping their loved one seek rehabilitation.
Denial often restricts patients from comprehending the negative consequences emerging from their untreated drug addiction or alcoholism. It affects their personality, cognition, and social and occupational functioning. However, given the very nature of addiction, they may remain oblivious to this impact. Addiction can impede a patient’s ability to see the real picture and hinder his decision–making capacity regarding treatment selection. He may be experiencing loss of control and increased unmanageability in all domains of his life, as a result, of drugs and alcohol. What may seem like lying and manipulation to family, may, in fact, be the symptoms of the patient’s disease of addiction. Without adequate and timely treatment, the problem continues to grow.
Treatment for addiction must be timely as this disease can have fatal consequences. However, the patient often continues to convince his family that he can regain control and treat his addiction without professional help. For this reason, it is crucial that family is knowledgeable regarding the disease concept of addiction since the biggest barrier in seeking treatment is a family’s lack of knowledge. This is another example of denial. Despite the negative impact of a patient’s addiction on family, they continue to wait for the patient to hit rock bottom.
Families must understand that they are not helpless and do not have to wait around for the patient to be ready and willing for addiction treatment. Once a family gains insight regarding the disease of addiction and its appropriate treatment, they can then take appropriate steps to address it. They can produce a change in their loved one by learning about the addiction as a bio-psychosocial–spiritual disease, the consequences of leaving addiction unattended, and the different types of treatment available. Nagging, pleading, threatening, bribing, provoking, enabling, and scolding does not work. At Sadaqat Clinic, the best addiction and psychiatric treatment centre in Karachi, Islamabad & Murree we equip families with skills and tools to take necessary measures in helping their loved one seek and benefit from addiction treatment.