People close to someone, who is struggling with an addiction, often look for ways to bring them back on track. Even though their support has higher chances of pulling an addict out of this misery, it is not easy. The decision to try and get someone you know out of an addiction swamp demands patience and a will to help. However, it may be a unique situation to deal with, but general guidelines can help win this battle.
Before hopping into the possible ways of treating an addict, you should know that the addict:
- May not accept they have an addiction.
- May refuse your help.
- May feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about it, hence, they doesn’t tell it to you.
- May fear consequences like losing their job, losing their relationship with you, etc.
The very first thing to keep in mind is that you can’t rush into saving an addict from addiction. It’s a long process that will take time. Getting over addiction needs determination and a will to change. If you start persuading an addict, the plan is likely to collapse.
It further complicates when you or the addict have trust issues with the other, due to any bad experience in the past. Building trust should be the first and foremost priority in this long battle. Here are a few steps you can follow:
Helping an addict means you would have to delve deeper into what addiction is. Gather information on the disease and understand the process of its treatment. Gaining knowledge on addiction and how it can impact an individual’s life and that of the people around him can be used in this fight against addiction. Various credible informational and educational resources are available on the internet that you can start with. From blogs to videos, it’s all there.
Take Help From Support Groups
Having an addict who is also someone close to you, is a great deal of difficulty. However, there are various support groups that can help provide the resources on how to help the addict. Basically, there are two types of groups including Al-Anon, focusing primarily on Alcohol addiction, and Nar-Anon, dealing with drug/illegal prescription addiction.
Visit a Counselor
For you to manage the addict, you first have to learn how to manage yourself. Addiction changes a person’s behavior, where they are easily irritated or frustrated the moment they are asked to maintain a distance from drugs/alcohol. Counseling helps you learn how to tackle these situations with utmost patience and dexterity.
Communication Is The Key
Although it is rushing through your veins to tell your loved one about their addiction and that they need help, it may not be the most suitable way to do so. They are likely to run away, deny their addiction, or show even more aggressive traits. To avoid this, communicate honestly and choose your words wisely so that you don’t seem threatening to them.
If someone you know is an addict, be it a family member, you wouldn’t even realize that you have been supporting their addiction. Till the time you continue to buy groceries for them or pay their house rent, it would become easier for them to avoid the aftermath of their wrong habits. Let them face it. The ideal way is to let the addict face consequences of their disease. It is said that people often don’t realize their wrong deeds until they themselves are put in a vulnerable spot where they are forced to change.
Keep Your Expectations Bar Low
You shouldn’t begin with preaching the addict about how wrong they and their choices have been throughout this whole time. It may affect the addict terribly and any potential ray of hope you have been observing in the start would start fading away. Offer help and make them understand it is still possible to get out of this. Talking to them about how bad addiction is and that they can overcome this phase too, can help boost confidence in them. Seek medical or emotional support wherever needed. The key here is to provide them enough time to heal.
Keep Their Privacy
During a treatment process or the time when you are communicating with them, never push them to reveal more if they are not comfortable. If they have told you about an incident, but are hesitant to provide more details, leaving it up to them would make sense. Barging into their privacy by constantly forcing them to tell everything can force them to shut you down completely.
As you are busy treating the addict, don’t forget to take good care of yourself, too. If you are stressed about their issues as well as yours, it would only make it difficult for you to remain calm while helping them. Exercise, get enough sleep, eat healthy, and don’t strain your brain. Know that you are doing the best you could to help the person and that they will come out of this soon. Don’t let the burden of your loved one get the best of you. Go out and socialize, to do things that make you happy.
If someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance abuse, it becomes prominent to understand and read the signs of addiction and a way that can best help them. It also becomes crucial for the family members and their friends to support the addicts throughout this tough road to sobriety. Keep fueling them with inspiration and confidence, and it will all pay off someday.
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