“I sought help. What I found was that alcoholism is a disease, a family disease. We were all affected by it. I learned that I did not cause the alcoholism, I can not control it and I can not cure it! What I had to realize is that I couldn’t change him. The only person I could change was myself. I wanted to live a better life. I have learned to live a life of peace and serenity. I have learned to take care of myself both mentally, physically, and spiritually. My family has been affected by the disease of alcoholism and we are now all seeking help to live a better life, one that we can all be proud of. We are now a family in recovery.”
— NCADD Publication, “We realized we couldn’t control it.”
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Are you worried about a family member’s drinking? Or want to know how to tell if someone you love has a problem with alcohol or other drugs?
Alcoholism and other addictions is a family disease. The disease affects all those who have a relationship with someone who is chemically dependent. Those of us closest to that individual suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to the alcoholic’s or user’s behavior. We focus on them, what they do, where they are, how much they drink. We try to control their drinking for them. We are always looking for signs of use or hidden drugs. We take on the blame, guilt, and shame that really belongs to the chemically dependent individual. We can become as dependent to the alcoholic or user, as the disease of addition is to alcohol or the chemically dependent individual is to the drug. We, too, can become ill.
Having a family member—a son, daughter, spouse, parent, brother or sister—who is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction can be frightening, frustrating, depressing and all-consuming as you join them in a virtual roller coaster ride of highs and lows. We want to help them but sometimes we just don’t know where to turn or what to do.
It is often said that they need to “hit bottom” before he/she will go for help, and there is some truth to that statement. Think about it. We rarely ask for help with anything unless it is really causing us problems. We don’t usually go to the doctor or take our car to the mechanic unless there is an obvious problem, often one that has been present for some time. When you think about the nature of addiction, which is characterized by such great denial and delusion, it is clear why a person with an alcohol or other drug problem doesn’t just wake up one day and decide to get help. There is usually some crisis - one that makes the discomfort of using drugs or alcohol greater than the discomfort of quitting - which sends him or her to get help.
- Is drinking or drug use affecting their physical or mental health?
- Is drinking or drug use causing problems with their friendships and relationships?
- Is drinking or drug use affecting their work, education or finances?
- Is drinking or drug use leading the person to be in trouble with the law or their job?
- Is the person becoming angry when you try and discuss their drinking or drug use?
- Is the person having accidents or injuries because of their drinking or drug use ?
- Is the person needing to have alcohol or a drug nearby in order to function normally?
- Is the person feeling sick, irritable, having the shakes, sweating in the morning or in the middle of the night?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please contact our office for a confidential information and referral appointment.
186 Lake Shore Drive W.
Dunkirk, NY 14048
509 N. Main Street
Jamestown, NY 14701