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Are you or a loved one struggling with Addiction?

Helping a loved one with an addiction

It’s not rare to know an important person with an addiction, but knowing how to greatest help a loved one with an addiction can be puzzling and even intimidating. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their life, as well as the lives of those close to them. You will inevitably worry about your loved one and it may be difficult for you to know what to do and what not to do, but it’s important to remember that getting well is a decision.

Helping a loved one with an addiction

Once you notice the signs of addiction in a loved one – for example, alcohol or opioid addiction – you will need to know how to talk to them and treat them with positively and beneficially and effective addiction treatment. There are several ways to do this, some of which are easy to use, while others require a little more effort and understanding on your part. Here are some dos and don’ts to help your loved one cope with addiction:

Do: Show Compassion

Addiction is a disease. We usually don’t blame someone for a physical illness, such as diabetes or cancer – instead, we are more likely to show compassion and be willing to help them get through the illness. Addiction deserves the same sympathy and understanding.

Don’t be ashamed and don’t criticize

Human nature sometimes forces us to shift the blame because it is easier to understand a problem if we know its source. But the reason for the addiction is not so white, so there is only one blame. The most important thing is that the addicted person is not to blame for the illness. Do not imply or explicitly state that your loved one is at fault for their addiction.

What to Do: Expect Difficulties

Rehab can be difficult – for you or your loved one. A person may be reluctant to seek treatment for many reasons, including:

Shame: They may feel that they will be looked down upon, or jeopardized their work and relationships by admitting that they have an addiction.

Stigma: Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding brain diseases such as addiction and various mental illnesses, and your loved one may not be able or willing to be exposed to them.

Don’t expect immediate changes

How to help an alcoholic? One of the best ways is to be realistic about your expectations. Long term recovery is not a quick fix. It is an ongoing process for your loved one that takes time, effort, and ongoing support from both professionals and family. Some treatments may work for a while and then need to be changed. If one treatment doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that all methods will fail. It simply means that you will need to find one that suits your loved one.

Do: self-education

Knowledge is power, and learning about addiction and treatment is an advantage when you learn how to help someone with an addiction. If you are wondering how to help an alcoholic son, research alcoholism. Learn about the symptoms of alcohol dependence and the treatments available. Find out about the specific type of recovery your son is in so you can better understand what he is going through and what kind of help he is getting.

It is also helpful to learn about addiction in general by finding answers to questions such as:

  • What is addiction?
  • How does addiction arise?
  • Why do some people become addicted?
  • How is addiction treated? What are the treatment options?
  • What is holistic therapy and how does it work?

It is also helpful to learn about addiction in general by finding answers to questions such as:

Don’t do it: activate your loved one

There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and promoting them. Sometimes, when we think we are protecting a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, we are actually allowing them to continue potentially destructive behavior.

For example, if you are trying to figure out how to help an alcoholic, it is helpful to keep them from drunk driving, as this could endanger themselves and others. However, constantly offering to take them home when they are too drunk stimulates their actions because it sets a formula in which you are always ready to save them.

Needed: Seek advice or therapy

Addiction affects everyone, from the person undergoing treatment to those close to them. It’s important to make sure you are well enough to deal with the stress of helping someone struggling with addiction and due to it sustainable recovery is possible. It’s okay and great to admit that you may not be yourself and that you need professional help. You also need to help your loved one to the best of your ability.

Don’t be manipulated

When the addict is unwilling to seek treatment, they will resort to whatever they need to do to continue to fuel their addiction. This can include lying or trying to blame the people who care about them. It’s important to set boundaries and learn to say no. It can be very difficult not to react negatively or stick to the rules you have set, but this is necessary for all participants.

Needed: take care of yourself

Self-help is not selfish, especially when you are helping someone cope with an addiction. You cannot let your loved one’s addiction ruin your life. Keep doing healthy activities like hobbies and socializing in this case sustainable recovery is possible. Therapy or counseling is part of this process, but it is necessary to engage in activities that are not related to the loved one. Determine what you need to keep yourself in good shape and enjoy it.

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