Tag Archive: helping a loved one

  1. Getting Help for a Loved One with a Gambling Problem

    Leave a Comment

    Getting Help for a Loved One with a Gambling ProblemCompulsive gamblers often justify their conduct by arguing that it is a solitary activity. They claim that they gamble by themselves and that they are not hurting anyone when they do gamble. Their families and friends, however, know that the truth is exactly the opposite. Compulsive gamblers will be increasingly disassociated from their families, careers, and friends; they will use money for gambling and leave their families short of funds for food and shelter. Their gambling takes a larger psychological toll on their relationships as they turn increasingly inward to satisfy their compulsions. Families and friends who are faced with the challenge of dealing with a compulsive gambler will have no idea where to begin. Fortunately, they have access to a growing pool of resources that can offer assistance with their need and desire to help a loved one who has a gambling problem.

    Getting Help for a Loved One with a Gambling Problem

    Before taking any rash action, a person should make an effort to understand gambling addiction and to confirm that their loved one has fallen prey to it. Compulsive gamblers are unable to control their actions when faced with an opportunity to gamble. Over time, they seek out more and more opportunities to gamble. They spend larger sums of money to support their compulsion, they ignore work and family commitments to participate in gambling activities, they attempt to hide or downplay the amount of time and money they dedicated to gambling, and they might borrow or steal money to support their habits. No black-and-white rule exists to conclusively define a problem gambler, but if you have a loved one who exhibits a few of these symptoms, he may well be on a path toward developing a gambling addiction.

    You can use the same tactics with a problem gambler as you might use with a person who has a substance abuse problem. If you confront a problem gambler about his or her actions, stay as objective and non-judgmental as is possible. Do not blame yourself for the problem, and avoid heated arguments. Focus on how your loved one’s gambling is affecting you and your family. If you concentrate only on your negative impressions of the gambler, you may trigger his defensiveness and the conversation will rebound onto you.

    Treatment for Gambling Addiction

    Take pains to avoid any enabling activities of your own. Do not give or lend money to a gambler. Do not make excuses for him, for example, by agreeing to call his employer to excuse an absence or to explain why he might be missing a family event. Beware of any manipulative conduct on the part of the problem gambler. Addicts, including gambling addicts, develop an almost uncanny ability to cover their tracks and to have other people cover for them. When you have determined that your loved one is a problem gambler, you may need to put some distance between him and yourself to protect you from that manipulation.

    Look for resources that can help you as a friend or family member of a loved one who has a gambling problem. Support groups can give you more tools and techniques that can increase your likelihood of succeeding in getting help for the problem gambler. Lastly, understand that your efforts to help a problem gambler will take time. Do not expect an immediate resolution of a problem that might have taken months or years to develop. Convincing a compulsive gambler to get help may require persistence and patience on your part.

     

    For additional suggestions on how you can help a compulsive gambler whose actions are affecting your life, please call Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052. We can provide confidential counseling to help both you and your family member to address and stop a compulsive gambling problem.

  2. Addiction and Homelessness: How to Help a Loved One at His Lowest

    5 Comments

    addiction and homelessnessBy some estimates, between one fourth and one third of all homeless persons suffer from drug or alcohol problems. Drugs may be the cause of or the result of homelessness, but the connection between homelessness and substance abuse is beyond question. If someone close to you has suffered from drug addiction and has taken to the streets, that person’s long-term prognosis will not be good, but you will have options to help that person and to recover him from a life of harm and decay.

    Helping a Homeless Loved One

    Your initial reaction when you discover that someone you love has become homeless will likely be akin to panicking. You will feel a need to head out into whatever streets have claimed your loved one to bring him or her back to your abode. Panic reactions are normal, but they may not be the best option. Your ability to help a person that you care about will be enhanced if you first calm yourself down and force yourself to move deliberately and with proper planning and strategy. Rescuing your loved one with no consideration of how to address his or her addiction problems is, at best, a temporary solution. Before long, if untreated, your loved one’s addictions will push him or her back to the street.

    When you have calmed yourself and recouped your perspective, do some research into homeless shelters and addiction recovery programs that are designed to help homeless persons. A day or two of research will show you the available options, and you can choose the best option for the person you are trying to help. If you then re-connect with that person, you can take him or her directly to the shelter or center, where treatment for both the homeless problem and the drug addiction can begin.

    Addiction and Homelessness

    Many addicts who have lapsed into homelessness will sense that they have hit “rock bottom”, and that sensation may lead to a feeling of desperation that can drive a homeless person to do whatever is necessary to survive. Because of this, a homeless person might need to address legal problems in addition to his or her drug addiction. Be prepared to retain an attorney who can be your loved one’s advocate if legal problems do threaten to interfere with his or her recovery.

    Even under the best circumstances, recovering from drug addiction can be a years-long process that requires commitment from both the addict and from his support community. When an addict has fallen into homelessness, the challenges will inevitably be greater. A homeless addict will need to restart his finances, find a place to live after he is out of any rehab facilities, and start a program of counseling to address his addiction and any psychological issues that can threaten his stability. You will best be able to help him by supporting and encouraging him in these endeavors and by making sure that he is adhering to whatever plans or structures you helped him to put in place. Ultimately, the homeless drug addict will need to resolve to help himself. Your role is to keep your loved one on a path that helps him do that.   

     

    Please call the Sustain Recovery Services at (949) 407-9052 for more information on how you can help a loved one in your life who has become homeless, and for assistance in creating a recovery program that is specific to his or her situation.

The people at Sustain Recovery are truly passionate about their work. They put all their love, energy and spiritual strength in to it. They continue to support me today as I continue my ongoing journey in my personal recovery. I now have over a year of sobriety, my own apartment, a job, true friends and a support network that is always available to me. Although all that stuff is great, what matters most today is that I love myself and have the ability to love others. Thank you to all who had a hand and heart in Sustain Recovery

Jenn
© 2022 OCTLC Inc.