Addiction is one of the biggest challenges your loved ones may face in their lifetime. It also plays a big role in the family members and friends as well. It can be hard to know exactly what to save or do to help a loved one battling addiction but it's important to remember that you play an invaluable role in their sobriety and recovery.
It’s normal to question the right path you should take in looking to help a loved one work through their struggle with addiction and ultimately get the help they need. Remember that addiction doesn’t discriminate and even in the most supportive of families and communities people work to fight against their addiction. When addiction is present, it’s important for loved ones to be proactive in helping loved ones get into treatment programs that can help them turn things around.
How to Help a Loved One With Addiction
Do your research and work to understand what causes addiction and what the typical path to recovery looks like for addicts living in recovery.
Speak with treatment specialists to educate yourself on the treatment process and what everything from detox to relapse prevention looks likes.
Understand that the more you know about addiction the more you can remove the stigma and move forward with helping your loved one take the steps necessary to get sober.
The more loved ones educate themselves on addiction the more they can truly support and be there for the addicts in their life as they understand the power of addiction. Instead of feeling like a loved one is simply weak or stubborn they are able to better understand the underlying causes of addiction and the changes in brain chemistry. This allows loved ones to let go of any anger and resentment they may feel and come from a place support and healing.
Offer up your support to your loved one struggling with addiction and let them know how much you love them and are truly concerned about them.
Refrain from casting judgment on your loved one. Be careful not to accuse them but rather let them know how their actions have made you feel.
Above everything else, be there for your loved one as much as possible and vocalize your support repeatedly.
Working through addiction alone is incredibly draining and isolating. By opening yourself up as a resource to your loved ones you are empowering them to rebuild a sense of community they have likely lost. While they may not always be as receptive as you may hope it’s important to continue to voice your support and love for those struggling with addiction.
Remember that everyone processes being confronted about their addiction problems differently so be prepared for your loved one to shut down or close themselves off.
If needed, coordinate with a counselor who can help you work through an intervention and open up a space for loved ones to share their concerns with the goal of getting your loved one to willingly seek treatment.
Choose a treatment center ahead of time that you feel is the right fit for your loved one. The sooner you can get your loved one to a treatment center and begin the detoxification process, the sooner they will be on the path to recovery.
Getting a loved to agree to seek treatment can be a difficult and painful process but it’s important to remember that not every struggling with addiction believes they have a problem. As their community it’s up to you to vocalize your concerns and work together to get to a place acceptance when it comes to seeking treatment and getting professional help.