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How to Help an Addict or Alcoholic Aunt

A study in 2009 revealed that nearly one-third of Americans have a relative who is addicted to drugs. Watching a close relative, such as an aunt, suffer from addiction is difficult. Addiction or drug abuse is a disease, and those afflicted can be treated. For more information on how to help an addicted aunt in your life, call .

What Is Addiction?

“Addiction or drug abuse is a disease, and those afflicted can be treated.”
Addiction is the habitual use of a substance such as alcohol or a drug that leads to dependence. The dependence can be physical, psychological or both. Addicts feel they cannot function without the substance to which they have become dependent, even though the addiction is hazardous to their life and their health. If you want to help an aunt who is addicted to drugs, call for more information.

What Causes Addiction?

Addiction has no sole cause. The reasons that led to addiction can be different for every person afflicted with the disease. Some issues that lead people to abuse drugs or alcohol are:

  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Family history of addiction
  • Genetics
  • Mental health issues
  • Lack of love or support

Some people are genetically predisposed to the disease. They have what is called an “addictive personality.” Others have problems dealing with their emotions and feel abandoned and alone. The use of drugs and alcohol then makes the person feel better. Eventually, his or her body builds up a tolerance to the substance. It then takes more of it to alleviate the bad feelings in their life. The more the addict uses the substance, the harder it is for him or her to stop. Hence, addiction takes hold.

How to Help an Addicted Aunt

If your aunt is struggling with addiction issues, there are various things you can do to help her:

  • Understand that your aunt has a disease.
  • Show her unconditional love and support.
  • Seek counseling for yourself.
  • Consider a professional intervention.
  • Avoid threats and ultimatums.

Do not take your aunt’s actions personally. Your aunt’s addiction has nothing to do with you. It is possible to heal your relationship after she has recovered from her disease.


According to the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program, in 2010, 3 to 22 percent of arrestees tested positive for opiates.


projectknow-shutter428294629-doctor-holding-patient-shoulderDealing with a drug-addicted or alcoholic aunt requires patience and loving care on your part. Addiction is a disease, but it can be treated. Treatment facilities offer inpatient and outpatient programs. An inpatient treatment program usually begins with a detoxification process. This can involve different types of medication that help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. An outpatient program is for those who have already completed detox. They offer group sessions and counseling, and they provide education and support for the addict and his or her family members. Psychotherapy can also be effective. A trained therapist will help the patient discover the reasons behind his or her addiction and teach new habits and behaviors designed to control the addiction.

Did You Know?

Substance abuse costs more than $600 billion annually. These include productivity-, health-, and crime-related costs.


You or your family members could stage an intervention to help your addicted aunt. An intervention is a non-threatening way to approach the addict and ask that person to seek help. Usually family members and loved ones get together and attend the intervention together. Each person prepares a speech or reads a letter designed to show the addict the effects of the addictive behavior. A trained intervention specialist can aid in the process.
“An intervention is a non-threatening way to approach the addict and ask that person to seek help.”
An intervention can succeed in motivating the addict to seek help. The process helps the abusing individual overcome denial and resistance to change. The loved one is given addiction treatment options and urged to get help that day. By combining forces, loved ones can be more persuasive than by approaching the addict alone.

Interventions can be helpful to a variety of people suffering from substance abuse issues. These include:

The intervention process is designed to be loving and supportive but firm. The addict will learn about the effects his or her illness has had on the family. Each family member in attendance will provide the addict with a specific example of the addict’s behaviors. In addition, each person involved in the intervention decides what actions they will take if their loved one does not accept help. Providing the addict with consequences for not seeking treatment is not cruel; it is done in a loving way and lets the addict know that help is his or her best option.

Call today for more information on how to help an addicted aunt in your life.

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