When we talk about substance use disorder, we usually focus on the individual with the problem, but addiction has a far wider impact. It affects everyone in its orbit, taking a toll on relationships, finances, health, and legal affairs. Friends and family members take on roles to enable the addict or keep secrets, and relationships become intense. That’s why it’s important to know how to set healthy boundaries.
When individuals turn to drugs or alcohol, those around them often see changes but look the other way. As for lying, rage, and other negative behaviors become a way of life, they become harder to deny. Meanwhile, addicts don’t realize how they’re hurting loved ones, and friends and family don’t realize they’re developing unhealthy coping mechanisms. The entire family system changes, and no one goes untouched. Addiction is a family illness. Just as alcohol or drug use disorder affects everyone in the family, so does rehab. Recovery is a time to let go of resentments and rebuild trust.
Boundaries are barriers that set limits to physical or emotional behaviors. Individuals with unhealthy boundaries may sacrifice their own well-being to take care of others, but that “help” may enable the addict to continue drinking or taking drugs. Good boundaries define a person’s identity, setting standards for mental and physical health.
During the 2020 pandemic, staying away from crowds and wearing a mask are physical boundaries. Not feeling guilty about skipping a big family gathering is an emotional boundary. Healthy boundaries are an important part of self-care. At first, setting limits may seem selfish, but it prevents resentment and burnout in the long term.
It’s easy to see the need for boundaries if someone is violent or emotionally abusive, but some areas are more subtle. Justifying inappropriate behavior, taking the blame for someone else’s actions, or second-guessing decisions can be examples of unhealthy boundaries. Every situation is unique, but actions that cause anxiety, resentment, or feelings of manipulation are often signs of bad boundaries.
When a loved one is using drugs or alcohol, the people close to them owe it to themselves and the addict to set compassionate boundaries. These guidelines might help:
Setting healthy boundaries is an important topic in all detox and rehab programs. Some holistic detox and rehab centers take it a step further and incorporate family constellation therapy into their programs to help families understand addiction and recover together. Holistic programs provide 24/7 medical supervision, but they also focus on spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being.
Our caring team of professionals offers 24/7 clinical, medical and holistic care. We start with holistic detox and follow with an inpatient rehab program that promotes sobriety and restores a life of balance and self-esteem.
Contact Enlightened Solutions today at 833-233-7336 to find out how we can help.
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