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Grief With Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Grief is a complicated thing.  It’s a mix of remembering and letting go, not easy to do when it’s someone you care about a lot.  Even more difficult is when someone dies under traumatic circumstances.  The shock and horror can make grief something much bigger and overwhelming.  Let’s take a look at how grief can become connected to drug and alcohol addiction.

Addiction To Cope With Loss

Sometimes the loss of a person can burn a hole through you.  It’s like your very spirit has been stolen from you, making it difficult go on every day.  Some of the most heartbreaking losses can be spouses, parents, and children.  When you just can’t see how you will survive that day, grabbing a bottle or some pills can make it seem more survivable.  It can give you something to do other than obsess about the person who died and your emotions.  You can finally have some freedom from your grief, but you may be setting yourself up for another long-term problem.

Addiction To Cope With Changes In The Family

When a person dies, it may feel like there is a huge cavernous hole in the family.  Nothing can fill it except the person who has been lost.  So it becomes a sort of elephant in the living room, something obvious and huge but not directly discussed.  Some family members may push others into the roles held by the person who died, trying desperately to resolve some sense of normalcy.

Those who can’t stand the emptiness may pin all their hopes on someone else to make them happy again – a new boyfriend, another child, the remaining parent.  This can put this other person in a spot where they can’t be genuine.  They are expected to become somewhat of a replacement for the dead person, not being valued for themselves.

When the “replacement” family member feels deep despair and emotional turmoil over this, they may choose to cover it up with drugs and alcohol.  Not only are they dealing with the grief and loss of that special person, they are dealing with the disappearance of their unique identity in the family.  While the family may not intentionally mean to hurt this person, these unrealistic expectations and pressures can cause tremendous emotional pain.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab Can Help Undo The Tangled Web

When the family web of emotions gets this tangled up, it’s often time for someone to go to drug and alcohol rehab.  Not only is the grief still there to be dealt with, but they also have to relearn how to face reality and rebuild their drug-damaged life.  Drug treatment can open up the doors to the grief they haven’t worked through, which can be stressful.  But coping with grief in an open honest way at drug rehab can keep the emotions from being in charge anymore.  That person can learn how to remember while letting go, and still keep their personal identity.  If you see these problems brewing in your family, call a drug and alcohol rehab in your community today to learn more.


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