How to Help Your Loved One Fight Addiction?
It can be quite heartbreaking and overwhelming to find out that your loved one is struggling with drugs and alcohol. Relationships between a substance-dependent individual and their partners or family members are considered painful and destructive. This is true to a great extent because the stress and struggle can leave you feeling hurt, confused, and angry.
While it may seem like that all hope is lost and nothing can be done to rectify the damage, a few steps in the right direction can give you both a better future. There is a common belief that choosing to stay with someone who struggles with addiction means that you are codependent and enabling destructive behavior instead of walking away.
Loved ones have been told quite often that the best way to help such individuals is not to help. It is advised that detached or tough love should be practiced so that their negative behavior is not permitted. However, contrary to all these beliefs, research has shown that partners of substance-dependent individuals can play an important role in changing their habits.
As you try to change the behavior of your loved one, there are numerous things that you need to work on yourself if you really want to see futile results. This will not only improve the dynamics of your relationship but will also give the person the motivation to strive to recover from their problem.
Here are the important guidelines that you need to know before you start on this hard journey:
Never Look Down on Them
Being upset with such individuals is normal but giving them a tough time will not improve anything. Try to understand that addiction is a disease and it was circumstances that lead them to it in the first place. Do not blame them for their addiction and never look down upon them.
A lot of stigmas already surround addiction and your loved one definitely doesn't need your judgment but your support. People who are suffering from addiction already live in the notion that their friends and family don't love them. Do not push them further into the darkness and let them know that you are going to support them in their journey towards recovery.
The thing that your loved one needs the most from you is compassion. By showing them kindness and understanding their suffering, you are telling them that you are with them in this. You give them the right to express their sadness, fear, anger, and other emotions so that they can recognize the problem before opting for the right treatment for addiction.
Everyone wants to be seen or heard, and you show them through your kindness that you recognize the fact that they are suffering. The sense of security helps the individual in toning down the negative emotions that lead him to addiction in the first place. By showing them compassion, you are gifting such people a new chance towards life.
Educate Yourself About the Addiction
You need to get information about addiction and various drug rehab centers. It will not just be superficial know-how about the problem but get to know it on an educational level. The more you know about it, the better you'll be at handling it. If you don't deeply understand the struggles of the person, it would not be a good idea to help them.
Until you have knowledge about the addiction and its symptoms, it won't be easy to detect the unusual behavior pattern of the individual. As you dig through the problem, you will also gain familiarity with the kind of problems family and friends go through and different ways to overcome them.
The most important thing to know is that you can't know everything. All the information can be too much to handle and you can't help but feel overwhelmed. Addiction is complex but taking time out to understand everything will be incredibly beneficial for you and your loved one. It will make you more aware and also help in building compassion for the addicted person.
Most importantly, without enough information, you won't be able to defend your stance in front of a third party. If you are going all the way to support someone who is in so much trouble, you must be able to defend your actions with the right kind of information. Addiction is no less than a disease and by getting relevant information, you will know how to cure it.
Practice Self-Care and Set Boundaries
When someone you love is suffering so much, the last thing on your mind is to look after yourself. Prioritize your well-being as well because you can't help someone else if you don't feel good yourself. Addiction is a family disease, and before you even realize it, your loved one's condition will start taking a toll on you as well.
Be sure to take some time out for yourself. Even if your loved one isn't ready, you need to reach out for help. Indulge yourself in beneficial activities like exercising, reading, and eating healthy. It might seem selfish that you are working on yourself as your loved one struggles, but you can't help them unless you help yourself first.
One of the top things to do for your well-being amidst the addiction chaos is to set boundaries. Despite the serious issue at hand, you need to draw a few lines that cannot be crossed. While giving a tough treatment isn't recommended, you can't just allow the person to do whatever they wish because that would be enabling them.
Set curfews and do not allow them to drink or use when you are around. Be firm on the fact that you are not going to provide any help if they get into legal or financial trouble. Once you set a boundary, you must follow it through at all costs. And, if there are no consequences of breaking the rule, there's no way that your loved one is going to follow them.
Research the Right Treatments
Your loved one might not be ready to accept this kind of help, but sooner or later, you need to lure them towards a normal life. As you adopt different ways to provide emotional support, do not forget that proper treatment for the problem is essential. Solely knowing the issue and providing emotional support won't make it go away.
No one wakes up one day and decides that they are going to quit. It takes a lot of emotional counseling and some setbacks in life for a person to make an effort to get rid of their addiction. These consequences include losing your family, being unemployed, or facing a medical crisis because of overdose.
Start by looking for different addiction treatment centers and their offerings. You can check online or just give them a call to ask for the various services and treatments being offered by them. Explore your options wisely and determine the best choice that will be most suitable for your loved one.
If you are more informed about the rehab center and outpatient rehab services, you will choose a better place for your loved one so that they can successfully come out of this problem. If one place didn't work, you can try out other centers but do not give up hope because the only way out of this problem is the rehab centers.
Apart from making an effort to help your loved one, you should also work on yourself to ensure your sanity. Join support groups where others like you are battling depression or loneliness because someone dear to them has set out on this path. Talking to someone who is in the same boat will help you in devising solutions to come out of this problem.
Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is the best way to make life better for your loved one and to bring back the old bliss in life. The therapies provided by these centers, when combined with your love and support, can do wonders. The only matter of concern is that you should be strong enough to provide this kind of support.
No matter how painful it is to see your loved one in this condition, you can't do anything for them if they don't want to improve their state. Try to motivate them as much as you can so that they can be shielded from the negative impact of their actions.