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How to best handle a loved one's addiction and recovery may seem daunting and extremely difficult, and The Doctors are here with some tips and suggested practices on how to help a recently sober loved one without continuing to enable them.
Psychotherapist expert Dr. Mike Dow joins The Doctors to help viewer Lavita, who asks, "How do I handle my newly sober daughter after she's been a drug addict for 25 years?"
Dr. Dow explains that addiction, not only affects the addict, but usually the entire family, noting the addict's family experiences a slew of emotions related to the addiction like nervousness, anxiety, worry, and sadness. Dr. Dow says it's key for family members to leave the role of enabler and enter into a new role based on positive feedback when positive changes take place for the addict.
But how does someone still show the newly sober individual love and support without also enabling them or their past negative behavior?
Dr. Dow says it is vital that the responsibility of policing the addict's behavior needs to land with someone else, like a professional or someone in a sobriety support system, and the addict's loved ones need to return just being a family member. He says creating a "positive feedback loop," where healthy behavior is acknowledged and recognized, between the addict and the family is key.