How You Can Help A Family Member Who Is Addicted And Homeless


Helping a family member that is homeless is easy. If you have the room in your home you can assist them with shelter, if not you may be able to arrange shelter for them. However, when a family member is drug addicted, doing this for them may present a dilemma. Opening up your home and exposing your family to a loved one that is addicted to drugs, is an option you may not be willing to consider, but there are other ways in which you can provide help for family members.

You must be able to think clearly and rationally. It is easy to get irrational and over-react when you are faced with a crisis. However, you should try to do nothing until your are calm, in order to avoid making decisions based purely on your emotions. Prayer is a great course or help. It provides solace and helps control your emotions. Taking it easy and avoiding harsh words is also a another way to manage the situation. When you allow yourself to flare up and get angry, you start making accusations and using hurtful words that you cannot take back. This is why it is best to take it easy and only speak when you feel that you are calm enough. By telling yourself that it is just for today, you will be able to keep pushing through. Don’t attempt to tackle any issues about tomorrow or the next week, simply focus and getting through today. This will help you to lift your thoughts.

When a loved one is addicted and homeless, you may want to help, but are limited in what you can do. If you want to be proactive, you may contact an organization that assists those that are homeless and on drugs. If there is no such organization in your area, you can try to contact local crisis centers and churches as most of them have programs for the homeless and drug addicted. As a parent the thought of your child being on the street is horrific, but there are many ways in which you can help your child become free of drugs.

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2 responses to “How You Can Help A Family Member Who Is Addicted And Homeless

  1. My son was homeless off and on during his addiction, ages 18 – 22. It broke our hearts and we kept thinking that the he had hit bottom – until he would bob up and then dip under again. As a parent, this is devastating. He did stay at a shelter for awhile and connected with a few resources, but his addiction was stronger than his desire to change at the time. Mostly, he sofa surfed. We worried nonstop.

    Through our own recovery efforts including Al-anon, counseling, online communities and more, we learned to live with his homelessness. We always stayed in touch, included him in family events, and offered support.

    The rules were simple. Our home – his home – was open as long as he was not using drugs and did not bring drugs or paraphernalia into the house. He could not abide by this, and that is how we knew what a strong grip drugs had on him.

    We were persistent in our encouragement that he deserved a better life and that we would always love him … that addiction and mental health treatment was available and that we would support him in embracing this decision.

    Ultimately, he did. But it seemed to take FOREVER and we are so fortunate that today he is sober, back in college, working, and living at home as he pursues recovery. There were many days and nights that I was sure he would not survive another day on the streets; at the same time, we stand by not enabling him (to the extent that any parent can resist the tendency to do so).

    In talking with him about the decision to stop using (after a number of half efforts at treatment), it was a relapse that quickly landed him back on the streets that prompted him to realize he never wanted to go back to that life again. That day, he went to treatment, and that day, he committed to recovery.

    We are forever grateful. I hoped and hoped. One day, that hope turned into belief. I sincerely hope that other families will receive this same blessing. My heart goes out to each and every one of you.

    Midwestern Mama

    • It really does have to “click” with an addict for them to finally want to change and get help. Addiction is such a devastating disease for family members while they are waiting for this to happen. Glad your story had a happy ending, and thanks for reading our article and sharing your thoughts.

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