When professionals look back at the progression of addiction within a family, they always see a lack of confront to address an addiction problem in a timely manner. The reasons for this reticence in addressing an issue that leads to the destruction of lives and families is based on our culture’s ambivalence about alcohol and drug use.
Alcohol and drug rehab professionals find that the definition of alcohol and drug use changing to abuse becomes more liberal as the use increases. Addiction usually happens over years and the increased use begins to be more acceptable as time passes.
But when there is obvious abuse leading to addiction, the indicators are unavoidable. When this is the case in families in American families, what should be done?
In analyzing alcohol use versus abuse alcohol , there is an adage that holds true for every family; that “any use by a minor is abuse”. If you have someone in your family that is drinking alcohol before it is legally allowed, then you should address this issue no matte the amount of consumption. When it comes to illicit drugs, of course, any use at any age is abuse.
Any family member that gets arrested or ticketed for “Driving Under the Influence” is showing you another benchmark that helps families know that drinking is a problem that needs attention.
When interviewed after addiction is obviously a problem, most parents will say that they knew that the drinking or drug problems were getting out of hand, but it seemed nearly impossible for them to confront this issue with the individual that needed help alcohol treatment . Again, much of this ambivalence comes from unclear rules in families about what is and is not acceptable when it comes to alcohol or drug use.
In making rules about acceptability, families need to evaluate their own attitudes towards their use of alcohol and if they are taking tranquilizers or sleep medications, than they need to accept that there is little difference in these behaviors and having two martinis after dinner.
Parents should first evaluate their own possessions on alcohol use and determine if they would be comfortable if their children used alcohol or drugs at the same level. If they are okay with that decision, then they need to make rules related to what age and what settings are appropriate for their children’s use of these substances.
If they are not okay with having their children use at the same level that they consume these substances, then they need to address that issue themselves and openly discuss what they are doing and experiencing with their children. The more real and open a family discusses these issues, the easier it will be to prevent or confront a problem situation related to alcohol and drug use.
In looking at families that are successful with addressing alcohol and drug issues before they becomes problems, one always finds that open and ample communication is the solvent that keeps family from having dire problems alcohol prevention in this area later in their lives. If it is difficult to talk to your children about alcohol and drug use, then you must examine why it is difficult and solve this problem. Families act out family secrets. Not confronting this issue is almost a sure guarantee that alcohol and/or drug use will become a problem at some point in time.