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Jason's life is beginning to unravel. His grades have slipped, he's moody, he doesn't talk to his friends, and he has stopped showing up for practice. Jason's friends know he has been experimenting with drugs and now they're worried he has become addicted. The difference between substance abuse and addiction is very slight. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine.
Knowing someone who has an addiction is not uncommon, but knowing the best way to help a loved one with an addiction can be confusing and even scary. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. There are several ways to do this, some easy to practice and others that require a little more effort and understanding on your part. Addiction is a disease.
How to help someone dealing with addiction
Addiction deserves the same compassion and understanding. Addiction is often a coping mechanism for stress, providing temporary relief.
The fleetingness of the relief may contribute to repeatedly seeking out potentially destructive habits that develop over time into an Alcohol or Opioid Addiction. Most importantly, the person with the addiction is not at fault for the disease. Avoid implying or outright stating that your loved one is to blame for their addiction. Shaming or criticizing a family member who is struggling with an Alcohol Addiction or an Opioid Addiction is often counterproductive to their Recovery.
While tough love may have a small part in helping an alcoholic spouse, this is not the place for it. Part of practicing compassion for your loved one involves understanding that shaming your loved one may do them more harm than good. Instead, talk with positivity and encouragement, offering the idea of a future of successful long-term Recovery.
Provide verbal and physical encouragement rather than lectures or nagging. Rehabilitation can be difficult — for you or your loved one. There are many reasons a person may be reluctant to seek treatment, including:.
There is also the risk of relapse, which can become a cloud of dread over you and your loved one. Instead, focus on building positivity and encouragement. How do you help an alcoholic? One of the best ways is to be realistic in your expectations. Long-term Recovery is not a quick fix. Some treatments may work for some time and then need to be changed.
How to help someone with an addiction
Knowledge is power, and educating yourself on addiction and treatment is a benefit when learning how to help someone with an addiction. Learn about the symptoms of an Alcohol Addiction as well as the treatments available. Educate yourself on the specific type of Recovery that your son is in, so you can better understand what he is going through and what sort of help he is receiving. There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and enabling them.
Studies show that people with addictions are more likely to proactively seek treatment when they are forced to face the consequences of their actions.
Helping someone with a drug addiction
So, if you want to know how to help someone with an addiction, allow them to make mistakes without the promise of your rescue. Addiction affects everyone, from the person in treatment to their loved ones. Acknowledging that you may be in over your head and in need of professional help is normal and healthy.
When a person with an addiction is unwilling to seek treatment, they will resort to whatever they need to do to continue feeding their addiction. This may include lying or trying to guilt the people who care for them. You cannot let the addiction of your loved one derail your own life.
Helping someone with a drug addiction
Continue with healthy activities, like hobbies and social outings, and take care to look after yourself. Determine what it is that you need to keep yourself well and indulge in it. In taking care of yourself and attending therapy, you may be tempted to vent about your loved one with an addiction. This is especially relevant when discussing someone with addiction with friends or family. Make sure the person is okay being talked about and having their struggles discussed.
Part of learning how to help an alcoholic loved one is knowing what treatments are available.
Another part you may not have considered is what you can expect once they begin treatment. You may end up experiencing the gamut of emotions, all of which are normal, such as:.
Reach out to support groups of people who are in the same situation as you. If you find yourself blaming your loved one for their addiction and its impact on your life, speak to a therapist to work through those feelings healthily.
Dealing with addiction
Family involvement in rehabilitation has proven to be incredibly beneficial for both the patient as well as the family. It allows counselors and doctors to get a better understanding of the patient as well as their behavioral patterns and habits.
Other ways in which you can help your loved one include:.
Our philosophy is based on the 7 Dimensions of Wellnesswhich are:. Our experienced clinical staff and physicians use this method to provide personalized treatment plans that are based on the latest research. for a free phone consultation at Author: 7 Summit Pathways March 31, Do: Expect Difficulties Rehabilitation can be difficult — for you or your loved one.
How to help a friend with drug addiction
There are many reasons a person may be reluctant to seek treatment, including: Shame : They may feel like they will be looked down on or endanger their jobs and relationships by admitting to having an addiction. Stigma : Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma around diseases of the brain, like addiction and various mental illnesses, and your loved one may be unable or unwilling to expose themselves to it. Denial : Someone with an addiction may not be willing or able to admit that they have an addiction at all, let alone consider treatment.
Do: Educate Yourself Knowledge is power, and educating yourself on addiction and treatment is a benefit when learning how to help someone with an addiction. How does addiction occur? Why do some people become addicted? How is addiction treated? What are the different treatment options? What is a holistic therapyand how does it work? Do: Seek Counseling or Therapy Addiction affects everyone, from the person in treatment to their loved ones.
You may end up experiencing the gamut of emotions, all of which are normal, such as: Relief: You may be glad your loved one is finally getting treatment and comforted to know that your loved one is physically in a safe space. Anger: You may feel resentment that your loved one seemingly burdened you with their disease.
Sadness: Feeling bad for your loved one and their struggles is a of empathy and compassion. Other ways in which you can help your loved one include: Getting involved: Attend family therapy and express your feelings. This will allow them to get a better idea of how their addiction affects everyone around them. Communicating with them: Once the blackout period is lifted, you will likely be allowed some contact with your loved ones. Communication can be very difficult, and a seemingly safe conversation can spiral into a heated argument.
Find a mode of communication that works for both of you, be it phone calls, s or in-person visits.
How to help an addicted friend or relative
Use it as an opportunity to verbalize your support. Show your loved one that you trust them, but be aware of old behaviors that may be problematic or harmful. Our philosophy is based on the 7 Dimensions of Wellnesswhich are: Physical Emotional Social Spiritual Environmental Occupational Intellectual Our experienced clinical staff and physicians use this method to provide personalized treatment plans that are based on the latest research.