Addiction is a serious disease that affects the addict and the people around them. It can cause everyone involved to have daily struggles dealing with their behavior, financial problems, and even legal trouble. Addicts need all the support they can get to start their recovery. Here are several ways friends and family can support an addict and ensure they get the help they require.
It is often impossible to understand what an addict is going through and the help they need without understanding their addiction first. This is why the first step in helping them is educating yourself on their addiction and how the disease progresses. Next, find out how it could impact your loved one and everyone around them.
This information will make you more sympathetic towards their situation and more understanding. You can use numerous resources to understand addictions, and most of them are free.
In many cases, you are unable to help your loved one until you have helped yourself. One of the best sources of help is support groups that will provide crucial resources for coping with the situation. Groups like alcoholics anonymous have the resources you need for loved ones dealing with an addict.
Avoid Enabling Them
It might seem crucial, but most people do not change unless they face the consequences of their actions. You have enabled an addict without knowing it, such as providing them with financial support without knowing what they will use the money for.
Enabling them like this helps them avoid and escape the consequences of their actions, leading to the disease progressing even further.
Ease Them into a Treatment Program
Many people make the mistake of forcing a loved one to join a treatment program. Doing so should be a voluntary option for the person struggling with addiction. If they feel forced, coerced, or do not fully accept they need help, they are likely to relapse and everything you will have done up to that point will be wasted.
Instead, hold them accountable for their actions and show them how their actions affect them and their lives around them. Do not listen to any promises they make, and instead let them know that you expect to see them taking action to turn things around.
While doing this, explain to them the benefits of getting treatment and going to rehabilitation. It might take some time, but you should be prepared to find them a facility once they are ready. The addiction treatment program you find should have different detox programs because your loved one will not be able to concentrate on their treatment if they have cravings or are always thinking about using.
Take Care of Yourself
If you are feeling burned out due to taking care of an addict in addition to living your life, you might begin to resent them. If you do, you will not be in a good place to provide the care, support, and love they need. Take care of yourself so you can help them in positive ways.
Helping an addicted loved one is challenging, especially if they have already relapsed a few times. However, do not give up on them. Instead, continue supporting them and urging them to get help. This does not mean enabling them because that will only cause further damage.