Having a loved one battle addiction can be a devastating and heartbreaking journey, even more so because the addict isn’t the only one affected by the disease.
Family and friends often find themselves swept up in the financial, legal, and emotional slipstream associated with the addict’s behavior. In some instances, the issues can be so crushing and depressing that you are tempted to ignore the situation and hope it somehow goes away.
Unfortunately, if the person doesn’t deal with their addiction, it only gets worse for everybody concerned. As difficult as it might be, helping your loved one struggling with an addiction is not only important to the addict but also good for your emotional and mental health.
Here are five ways to start getting them on the mend:
1. Learn All You Can About Addiction
The first step to helping your loved one is thoroughly educating yourself about addictions. Deep dive into the process of addiction, how it affects a person, and its impact on their loved ones. By understanding what your loved one is going through, you are better prepared to support them through the recovery journey.
Health websites and official drug abuse resources should be the first places you look. You can also join online forums and support groups for those dealing with the repercussions of a loved one’s addiction.
2. Seek Counseling
Getting counseling can help prep you for helping your friend or relative on their recovery journey. Most individuals assume that only the addict needs counseling. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Speaking to an experienced counselor helps you manage the situation better. They can mentally prepare you for the various scenarios you might face. Make sure to speak to a counselor who’s experienced at dealing with addictions.
3. Get Expert Help
No matter how serious or mild your loved one’s addiction is, it’s always wise to persuade them to sign up for a rehab program. Organizations such as the Master Center for Addiction Medicine rehab program are purpose built to get people on the road to recovery and living life without substance abuse.
It’s definitely worth checking out payment and insurance plans for rehab as there is financial help out there. Remember that rehabilitation and professional care is the best way to facilitate healing and prevent future relapses. This doesn’t have to mean an inpatient stay, but more severe cases might warrant it.
4. Don’t Facilitate the Addiction
Unfortunately, people don’t often discuss how much family members can enable an individual’s addiction one way or the other.
Once you know about their addiction, endeavor not to facilitate the habit. Don’t give them money when they ask for it, or coddle them when they’ve done something illicit and want your sympathy.
Shielding them from the consequences of the addiction can only make it harder to break the habit. Let them know you’re here for them if they want to seek help, but you don’t condone their actions.
5. Finally, Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to start feeling downcast, stressed, and anxious. However, the best way to support someone is to ensure you also focus on living your life as usual to a great extent. If you allow the strain of taking care of them to get to you and start affecting your daily duties, it could lead to resentment. That only makes it harder to support them as they find their way back to normalcy.
Make sure to exercise regularly, eat healthily, get lots of sleep, and socialize. Also, make it a point of duty to get support if needed. Doing all this makes it easier to give the addict the support and attention they need to get better.