A large part of recovering from addiction is determining what caused your substance abuse in the first place. Many people don't have to wonder where they learned this destructive behavior; all they have to do is look at their parents or their childhood home. If a person grew up watching substance abuse, they are more likely to turn to substances themselves. It's important to take steps not to fall into this pattern in the first place. Here are some choices that contribute to overcoming a family history of substance abuse.

Get Therapy for Yourself

Having addicts in the family can mean experiencing a lot of chaos. In some cases, it may have even put you in dangerous situations or left you neglected. It's important to address these things with a professional. Look for a therapist who specializes in addiction behavior. You may even find a group therapy session for people with relatives who suffer from addiction. Both are great options to get help for what you went through while also learning how to best relate with your troubled family member.

Use Substances Responsibly

If you have parents who suffer from addiction, you may be predisposed to become an addict yourself. You need to be especially careful when you choose to indulge that you do so responsibly. You should not allow yourself to drink too much or try certain substances since you don't want to end up repeating their habits. While this doesn’t always mean you can’t enjoy a drink here and there, many people do simply abstain from drinking or using certain addictive substances all together.

If you do notice yourself falling into a pattern of substance abuse, you should seek help as soon as possible. Those who are naturally more susceptible to addition, whether genetically or simply because of behavior they observed while growing up, are less likely to be able to free themselves from the hold of substance abuse. Licensed counselors, though, can help you find the source of the addictive behavior and the motivation to break away from it.

Avoid Toxic Behavior From Relatives

You need to establish clear boundaries with your relatives who have a habit of substance abuse. It's okay to not tolerate their destructive behavior. For example, it's okay to refuse to get in the car with them if they have been drinking. You may also choose to leave early in the night if you know things tend to get wild as the night goes on.

Have Goals for Yourself

If you want to avoid addiction, you need to have a higher purpose in life. You can focus on your job or your family, but have goals. These goals will keep you on the right track. With clear goals and a focused attitude, you'll be too busy achieving your goals to fall into a life of addiction yourself.

We can't choose our families. Some of us have parents, grandparents, or extended family who have suffered from substance abuse. This does not mean you need to fall into the same pattern. These choices will help ensure that you will break the cycle.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.