There have always been stigmas surrounding addiction. Society finds it as an individual’s fault and blames the addicts for their conditions. Reports state that out of more than 21 million people in the U.S., only 10 percent receive the treatment. Among all the other reasons, stigmas are one that denies the patients to get proper medical advice. They feel ashamed about their conditions and concern about what others will think.
Addiction is a mental disease, and if you’re the one who has just come to terms with the fact that your loved one is facing an addiction problem, you must be wondering how to help. Here are some guidelines to help address the issue.
Encourage Visiting Addiction Centers
When your loved one is facing addiction, it can create difficulty in your life as well. You might not be equipped with different resources and specialization required for addiction recovery. Rehabs or addiction centers provide the right tools and guidance to people struggling with addiction. These facilities are structured to provide a healing environment and support that help addicts overcome the situation that otherwise would have been quite arduous.
Treatment programs emphasize daily activities and counseling sessions that help eliminate any distractions and keep the patients engage. They provide a supportive and safe environment surrounded by peer groups who share and assist for long-term sobriety. Besides, there is medical support to cater to all physical, psychological, and behavioral issues. These places conduct regular drug testing to ensure that the treatment is working and if the patient is no longer on substance. Encourage your loved ones to visit rehab, as it can make their and your life easy in terms of building new and improved habits and practices.
Establishing trust is a two-way process. As it is difficult for you to believe the addicted person, so is the case with your loved one. Regaining and maintaining mutual trust becomes complicated with addiction. When you’re trying to help, there may be constant resistance. The person may find your behavior controlling and stressful and can incline more towards substance abuse. A few things can initiate a strong trust-building between both. Refrain from nagging, criticizing, and advising. Avoid yelling and name-calling. Keep in mind, trust-building takes substantial time, and it takes many reliable actions to develop it. Just have patience and keep trying.
The primary hurdle people with addiction face is effective communication with their family, friends, or loved ones. There may be a verbal communication barrier, where you are not sure what to speak and how to interact. Sometimes, your body language, gestures, and attitudes can adversely influence them. Functional communication starts with being kind and compassionate and showing them that you care.
Shower them with unconditional love and support and motivate them to accept help. Listen to them more rather than talking. Lending an ear can likely make them confide in you. Also, be consistent with your behavior. Even if you do not support their behavior, don’t interrupt while they are speaking. Remember, addictions happen for a reason. Hear them carefully and figure out the underlying cause. It might help them overcome the issue and lead a better life.
It’s quite devastating to see people you love struggling with alcohol or drug abuse. You might want to support them by every means without realizing that you’re pushing them to continue using drugs. Unfortunately, people who do this are the closest to someone with an addiction, like family and friends. The most crucial thing to do is to stop enabling. Do not support them financially, except if they are seeking medical assistance.
Don’t make excuses to back their wrongdoings or hide their problems in front of others. Never take drugs with them and avoid ignoring the severity of abuse. Besides, do not rescue them whenever they need you to. Paying their bills, buying groceries, and lending a helping hand always may not make them responsible. Instead, help them recognize their problem and get rid of it.
Every relationship has a boundary, but individuals with addiction may have a problem with it. However, without limits, they would never understand where to cease. Although setting limits are very individualistic, your loved one may not accept, tolerate, and respect any limit you set. Some common boundaries may include prohibiting drinking and driving, using drugs at home, inviting friends who involve in similar activities, and restricting any verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. Be strict and let them know you’re not making idle threats. Abstain from any emotional rides, as these limits are there for the well-being and safety of the people you love most.
Abandoning addicted substances can be comparatively easier than recovering. Addiction recovery is a life-long process, and it’s here that your role becomes crucial. Staying sober can take utmost determination and commitment. So, it’s your turn to support and persuade your loved one to live an addiction-free life. But before that, take the first few steps by following the tips mentioned above to overcome any addiction.