Realizing that someone you love and care about is struggling with addiction can be an intense, overwhelming feeling. You feel hurt, betrayed, and confused. You can’t believe that it happened, and you aren’t sure where to go from here. Feeling all over the place is a normal reaction when you’re dealing with an addiction in your family or circle of friends. It’s also natural to want to do whatever you can to help them with their addiction.
Everyone deserves the chance to get clean, and being there for an addict is an important role to play. If you are wondering how to help someone with a drug addiction, keep reading to learn more.
Learn what you can about the addiction
Addiction can be confusing if you don’t understand it. You may even have an outdated way of thinking when it comes to your loved one. Too many people think that being addicted means that the person is lazy and doesn’t have any willpower. They think that they should be able to just quit when they want to. Unfortunately, fighting addiction isn’t that easy. We now know that addiction is in the same classification as physical disease. Addiction also runs in the family and may be passed down from generation to generation.
If you want to help someone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol, be prepared to put some time in. Research addiction and how it plays a part in family relations. Listen to what your family member or friend tells you. You never want to be dismissive about the issue. Their struggles are likely overwhelming them more than you know.
Be there as much as you can
You won’t be able to push anyone into rehab that doesn’t want to be there. However, you can be there as much as possible when they need a shoulder to lean on! As hard as it may be to deal with someone while they are in active addiction, you never want to ignore the problem in the hopes that it will go away. Let them know that you are and will be there for them anytime that they need you.
However, you mustn’t enable an addict while trying to be supportive. If you are unsure if you are or not, talk to a professional. They can help you see what behaviors are normal and which ones are enabling. It’s a good idea to start therapy yourself, even if the addict is not in rehab or any other type of therapy. Al-Anon groups offer assistance to men and women who are dealing with an addict, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of these types of groups.
Host an intervention
If you have already tried talking to your loved one about their addiction to no avail, it may be time for drastic measures. An intervention is often the final step for someone who won’t listen to anyone about their addiction, especially when they have hit rock bottom. Gather friends and family members who wish to attend the intervention and designate someone to lead the group. If you are unsure of how to stage an intervention, talk to your doctor or another health professional for guidance. They can point you in the right direction when you need professional assistance.
Remember, never let on that an intervention is about to happen. If the addict knows what they are walking into, there is a good chance they will leave before talking to anyone. Remind everyone that there is no way to force anyone to stop using drugs or alcohol.
Help them prepare for the big day
It may take weeks or even months for an addict to admit they need help. Until then, you can only do so much for them. But one thing you can do is prepare for the big day by researching various rehab facilities, support groups, and sober living homes. Once they decide they are ready to get help for their addiction, you’ll be ready with the information they need. Act fast before they change their mind, and make sure they know how happy you are that they decided on their own. Offer to help them make the transition into rehab. When they know they have someone to help and support them, your loved one may be more likely to go to rehab when they should.
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