If a person has to deal with alcohol or drug addiction, he or she is likely to have short-term and persistent problems with mental and physical health. It will also affect their loved ones; partners, parents, kids, acquaintances and other relatives. It is important to know the symptoms of substance use and how best to help the person who is suffering from alcohol or drug misuse. It’s important to know how to help a struggling or recovering addict, here’s how you can do that.
Dealing and associating with people recovering from addiction
Dependency has a heavy burden on all personal relationships of a substance abuser. The deeper the connection, the more tension something like substance abuse can cause. As the dependency increases over time, any part of the toxic life, particularly its ties, becomes slowly controlled. Ultimately, any contact between the loved ones and the abuser is affected in a negative way because of addiction.
The reality is that rehabilitation is a lifelong process that makes a dramatic difference for someone in recovery every day. Rehabilitation also affects the objectives, aspirations, actions, and attitudes of an individual. This can change people and relationships for the better. It can help a person deal with underlying problems that have long been overshadowed by dependency.
One of the biggest problems that a loved one encounters is knowing what to do when it comes to helping the struggling addict. You want them to improve, but do you help and how can that be done? In this article, we will help you understand what you can do to help an addict during their struggles with addiction.
Ways of helping addicts to recover
Learn about dependence and recovery
Substance dependency and alcoholism are very intricate, and recovery in most people’s lives is a major challenge. The best way for a person to support an addict is by learning the possible issues that may come up due to addiction. For example: possible conditions, health problems, facilitation, rehabilitation, and psychological adjustments induced by addiction. Once a person is able to educate themselves on all these areas related to addiction and recovery, they can have a better time understanding what a person is going through and how they could help.
Learning and planning for lengthy situations
Addiction produces many lifelong problems both for abusers and loved ones. Although sobriety will help both parties. There are often financial problems; DUI payments, house payments, car payments, child support, etc. There are also some serious health issues that will certainly come up. Some of the most serious health problems related to addiction are malnutrition, STDs, organ failures, high blood pressure, heart disease, and so many more.
Relational issues are some of the biggest issues that a former addict will face. Some relationships can take weeks, months, or even years to repair. Outside of relational issues, there is also a long-term problem of withdrawal and relapse. Anyone who has gone through recovery will tell you that fighting withdrawal is an everyday battle. Though symptoms are at their most severe in the first few weeks of recovery, the desire to use can stay for years after. This can cause a lot of stress in a person’s life and coax them to find ways of coping, more than likely substance abuse. If a person is able to prepare themselves and their recovering addict for these situations in the long-run, they can better fight against them and ensure long-term sobriety.
Don’t expect perfection
Anyone who loves an addicted person is most eager to keep the recovering addict sober. However, we cannot hold these people to be 100% all the time. Relapse is, unfortunately, sometimes a part of the recovery process. When we hold these individuals up to high standards, it can even cause them to relapse because of the weight and stress of expectations to be perfect. It’s important to know when to step in and help and when to back up and let the person recover on their own.
Make changes to support their recovery
We discussed how it’s important to know when to take a step back from a recovering addict, now let’s discuss how and when you should step in and help. One of the best ways to help a recovering addict is to make changes in your life as well. This helps them feel less alone, more loved, and more supported. Here are some examples of how you can change to better help a recovering addict:
- Eliminate all substances in your life (drugs, alcohol, etc.)
- Avoid social events where drugs or alcohol may be present.
- Find activities or hobbies you and the recovering individual can do together to take up free time.
- Find new companions to bring in your circle that encourage sobriety.
Don’t stretch yourself thin
When addiction increases, loved ones sometimes give more than they rationally should. They sometimes feel the need to take on more work than they need to. This can be overbearing to a recovering addict and to the person helping them. Sometimes, these people end up taking on more socially and mentally which could actually hurt them in the long run.
Friends and abuser relatives sometimes dedicate so much time and energy to saving those they ignore important aspects of their own lives. This can be detrimental. This can cause turmoil in their own lives which will make it harder for that person to properly support the recovering addict.
Know the signs of relapse
Relapse is a huge issue that every recovering addict deals with. Essentially, a person starts to feel the desire to use again because of the mental fixation on substances they have developed. This can cause them to be almost entirely dependent on substances in order to function properly. Of course, this kind of mental fixation is going to cause a person to act selfishly without regard for anything else.
These desires, even after detox and rehabilitation, can linger for years. It’s important to know what the signs of withdrawal are and how to fight back against them. When you are able to identify the “red flags” of withdrawal and relapse, you can better prepare yourself for any looming desires that may come up. It’s important for recovering addicts and the people supporting them to know exactly how to fight off these desires and what they can do in order to cope with them. This is the best way to ensure long-term sobriety.
You cannot help someone else adequately unless you have the right education on how to best support them. Take all that we’ve said into consideration. It’s important to know how to help a struggling addict, when to help them, and when not to. There is a fine line you need to walk when it comes to supporting a recovering addict.
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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.