How can you help a loved one suffering from Addiction?

Your loved one will need treatment and support to overcome an addiction problem, and you can play a crucial role in seeking treatment for them and in their recovery, provided they want to get better. For treatment to be effective, it is important for the individual suffering from addiction to realize they have a serious problem and at least be open to treatment if not motivated to get treated. Forcing a loved one into treatment which does not admit he/she has a problem and/or does not want to get better might not be effective in the long run as chances of relapse are always high.

So, an important role in helping a loved one recover would be getting them to realize they have a problem. Treatment and recovery from addiction is a complex process and takes time. It involves addressing issues that lead to addiction and developing new coping mechanisms to deal with thoughts, emotions, and circumstances which trigger the use of addictive substances. An addicted person will not get better overnight, and helping a loved one recover requires time, effort, and patience.

Becoming knowledgeable about the disease and treatment options

The first step in helping your loved one recover could be becoming knowledgeable about the disease and becoming aware of the different treatment programs and centers accessible to you. While all the help you need for your loved one’s recovery is available, it’s important to make yourself knowledgeable about the disease, and it is severity before seeking treatment. Treatment varies depending on severity. In severe cases, your loved one might require hospitalization and detoxification followed by admission to a rehab center. In less severe cases, individual therapy, joining support groups, or even counseling might help.

Helping and taking care of yourself

The last and most important thing to remember is to help yourself and get all the support you need. Dealing with a loved one who suffers from addiction can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. It is important to take care of yourself while helping your loved one. Being able to talk openly about your problems and finding support can help. You could turn to trusted friends, a therapist, or people in your faith community or even join a peer support group for families coping with addiction. Being able to share your burdens and listening to others with similar problems can provide a lot of comfort and strength to get you through your difficult situation.

Taking care of yourself might also require you to acknowledge any problems you could have developed while dealing with your loved one’s addiction and seeking treatment for it. Sometimes, in an effort to help someone recover from addiction, the helper might become addicted as well, not to drugs or alcohol necessarily but to the loved one’s addictive behavior and being needed by the addict. This is referred to as co-dependency. Co-dependent people often neglect themselves because they are obsessed with the addicted person’s problem and trying to cure and control it. It’s important to examine if your whole life revolves around your addicted loved one and how you are caring for and supporting them. If your whole life revolves around them and you are neglecting yourself in the process, it’s time to cut back and take care of yourself first.