7 Tips for Helping a Loved One With Their Addiction
There’s nothing quite like the pain of watching a loved one struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help them. You might not be able to reach inside of their heart and cure their illness, but you can say the right things and provide them with the right resources, and you might just find a way out of this twisted maze together.
If you’re ready to help your loved one with their addiction, here are just seven tips to get started.
- Decide How You Want to Help
Do you have the time and emotional energy to play an active role in their recovery, or are you hoping to find an alcohol rehab for professionals that can handle the worst of it? Are you willing to drive them to support group meetings? Are you willing to accept 3AM phone calls when they’re having a craving? Decide right away if and how that you want to be involved.
- Don’t Judge
This can be easier said than done if your loved one has hurt you because of their addiction, but try to remember that it’s their illness making them behave badly. You wouldn’t judge them if their behavior was caused by a tumor pressing on their brain, so try not to assign blame just because they’re sick in a different way. Your ultimate goal should be helping them for the future and not raking them over the coals for the past.
- Consider an Intervention
Interventions can be powerful tools to help addicts realize the full extent of their problems. When all of their friends and family are gathered in one place to express concern, it’s a lot harder for them to deny the truth of their addiction. On the flip side, however, not everyone responds positively to an intervention, so you’ll need to decide if it’s truly the right course of action for your particular loved one.
- Look into Rehab Options
If you don’t think that you and your loved one can handle a detox on your own, encourage them to go to rehab. You can look at different programs and facilities together. Here are a few questions that you might ask:
– How many patients are currently enrolled in the program? What’s the doctor-to-patient ratio? Are the doctors qualified? What degrees and certifications are shared among the staff?
– What kinds of therapies do they offer? If your loved one is an introvert, they probably won’t be comfortable in a facility that’s all about group therapy.
– How much does it cost? Don’t assume that something is outside of your price range just because the price is a little higher than you can afford without help. Talk to their financial department about your options.
- Do Your Research
This is one of the best ways to get through to your loved one. Instead of expressing vague concerns about their health, you can tell them in detail about the damage that their addiction is doing to their brain and body. You can also assure them that they’re not alone. When you’re armed with alcohol addiction facts and statistics, you can let them know that many other people are struggling with the same issues. If they managed to get through it, so can your loved one..
- Be Gentle
This goes back to the idea of not pointing a finger at your loved one. It might be hard to maintain your calm, especially if they get angry and defensive about their drinking problem, but you’ll want to try as hard as you can. Screaming at an addict has never accomplished anything. It only compels them to sink further into their habits so that they can escape the reality where everyone is mad at them.
- Recognize Your Own Limits
At the end of the day, the most important thing to realize about helping an addict is that there’s only so much that you can do. You can provide love and support; you can pack their bags for rehab. When push comes to shove, however, only the addicts themselves can decide when they’ve had enough of being addicted. Try to keep this in mind as you navigate the murky waters of recovery.
If your loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, these are just a few tips for talking to them about their habits. It might be a long and difficult process, but it’ll be worth it in the end, so don’t give up!