With the holidays in full swing, many doctors say so is the stress for those suffering from addiction.
According to the CDC, alcohol and opioid addiction are on the rise in The Natural State.
We spoke with a local woman who wants to bring awareness to addiction and show the toll it can take on families.
Janie Baber knows all too well the feeling of having a loved one with an alcohol addiction. Baber said, “I came in because I loved an alcoholic and it was negatively affecting my life.”
Baber knows all too well the feeling of having a loved one with an alcohol addiction. “I was obsessing about it all the time. Worrying, anxious, trying to cover up. It just really, had really distracted me and made my life miserable.”
She said that misery turned to hope and healing when she was introduced to Al-Anon nearly 20 years ago. “There are a lot of things in our lives that we don’t have control over. And we can drive ourselves crazy trying to exert control over things that we really don’t have any power over,” said Baber.
Al-Anon helped her better understand what her loved one was going through with their addiction. Baber said, “That has helped me to realize that it wasn’t really necessarily really a choice that he was making, but it was something that he really had little control over.”
Its not just alcohol, opioids can also take the same toll on families. That’s why Stockton Medical Group in Fayetteville works to help opioid addicts and their families.
Tonya Eastham is the General Manager at Stockton Medical Group. She said, “A lot of people find that their recovery goes a lot more smoothly if they have a good support system. So a lot of that support system is family.”
Eastham said it’s important to identify the cause of addiction with your loved one. “Dealing with someone who is struggling with addiction, there’s usually a lot of factors that go into play when a person’s dealing with that and some of it is family history, maybe family trauma.”
No matter the cause, Baber said it’s important to acknowledge the problem does exist. She hopes to inspire other families to come together and seek help.”There are a lot of families that are suffering and they don’t realize that there is help out there. Free help.” said Baber.
According to The National Alcoholism center, over 150-thousand Arkansans suffer from alcoholism.
To learn more about Al-Anon and how they can help your family head to their website –> http://www.arkansasalanon.org/.