Health & Wellness Overcoming Addiction

How to Help a Loved One With Addiction?

How to Help a Loved One With Addiction

If someone you love is struggling with addiction, you may have many questions regarding the addiction itself including available treatment options. There are many ways that you can help a loved one that has an addiction, whether it is due to drugs, alcohol, or something of the like. You can find out more information regarding addiction and how programs that can assist your loved one.

It Is important for you to take as much time as possible to learn about the behavior and nature of drug addiction. Addiction is more than being addicted to a substance such as alcohol or cocaine. It can also involve behavior that is due to a chemical imbalance, or other disorder that results in a person acting a certain way. 

Offer Support

You may offer support to your loved one that is struggling with addiction, but you should avoid enabling them. It is important that you recognize such behaviors and actions that both your family and yourself are doing that enable your loved one to continue living in this destructive state. 

You can enable your loved one by doing anything such as letting him or her live in your home and continue on with abusive behaviors. Or it could be something as small as making excuses for your loved one. 

You should avoid denying someone you love dignity and care. However, it does take a lot of understanding to recognize your enabling behavior, and being able to take steps to stop it from continuing.

Further Reading: 3 Reasons Tough Love Fails to Help Addicts Successfully Recover.

Don’t Financially Support the Addiction

This is also considered as a form of enabling, and it can be destructive. If a loved one in your family that is addicted to a substance asks you for money, has you pay their bills, or even lives in your home without paying any rent, this may enable their addiction. Your loved one may present you with various reasons why they are asking you for money. However, it will more than likely all lead to supporting their substance abuse.

How to Help a Loved One With Addiction

Establish Boundaries

When you have made the decision to no longer take part in your family member’s addiction, and that you are no longer going to enable them, you have finally set some boundaries.

It may be one of the most difficult things you can do to get to this point. It isn’t easy to enforce boundaries, but you must first make sure that they are realistic. Make sure that you are serious about them and follow through with whatever boundaries you set. 

Avoid Lectures

Avoid lecturing, or making your loved one feel guilty about their addiction. An addiction is a disease that requires professional medical help, and counseling. Complicated family relationships and other issues sometimes play a role in the person’s destructive behavior. 

By making your loved one feel scared, hurt, or undermined, you are only going to make the situation worse and cause your loved one to dive more into a vicious cycle of self-medication. This is especially true for addicts who are not ready to admit they have a problem. 

Look into Treatment Programs

Your loved one may not know where to begin or the options that they have when it comes to seeking help. It is also possible that they may not even want to hear about them, especially if they are not ready. 

This is where you can be of help by doing some research to see what options are available for treatment. When the time is right, you can then make some suggestions. There is also help available for those who are in a downward spiral who must seek immediate help, whether they are ready or not. This is known as intervention and requires planning.

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