help a loved one with addiction
How You Can Help Your Loved One With Addiction
Anyone who has tried to help a loved one overcome a substance abuse problem knows how overwhelming it can be. Addiction is a complex issue and can be incredibly difficult to conquer.
It’s tempting to give up but there are things you can do to help him stop using or at least support him along the way.
Where to start
You’ll want to determine two things: 1) the severity of the issue, and 2) wherever the person is in the process of wanting to quit. Over-estimating the gravity can be as futile as under-estimating it and trying to convince someone to get help when they don’t really think they have a problem – or actually enjoy their addiction – won’t get you far.
Seeking out the help of a qualified professional should be the first thing you do. This person can help guide you and your loved one through the process which ultimately will make it simpler and hopefully end with a more desirable result.
It’s ok if you don’t know everything right now. The more you understand her disease and how it impacts her, the more beneficial it will be for both of you.
Building a bridge of trust with an addict is oftentimes a matter of what not to do. Some things to avoid, include—
· Preaching, lecturing, threatening or moralizing at your loved one
· Emotional appeals that may increase the feelings of guilt or shame
· Arguing with them when they’re using drugs. During this time, your loved one isn’t likely to be open to what you say.
Do talk to the person about your concerns and don’t wait until the situation is really dire to speak up. Although it will be hard to do at times, approach them without judgment and let them know the people who really love them with will be there for them.
Encourage them to get help
Although addiction is ultimately a fight an individual must learn to manage for himself, he has very little chance of success going it alone. Besides encouraging him to seek help, you may also need to help him find treatment resources, such as a therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and in- or out-patient treatment programs.
Another option is to hold an intervention for your loved one. Interventions are not easy and fraught with potential downsides, but they have proven to be effective, particularly in extreme cases. It’s recommended you engage an intervention specialist to lead and navigate the process with you.
As the recovery process continues, it’s essential that you—and other loved ones—stay involved. It’s very easy for addicts to decide recovery is too hard and they’d just as soon go back to using. Vigilance to keep them going to meetings, making appointments and staying up on prescribed medications is important, on-going support.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself
It should go without saying that you need to watch out for your own physical and mental health while helping a loved one recover, but many don’t. You can’t be there for that person and make good decisions if you’re frustrated, tired or your energy reserves are completely depleted.
Don’t judge yourself harshly if you need to seek therapy for yourself as you support the struggles of your loved one. Do what you need to do to maintain your equilibrium and stay strong. Contact us today and we’ll connect you with the information or help you need.