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Last Updated on November 25, 2021
When you want to help someone who has an addiction, you are going to need many tools in your box. Every addict will need a different level of support, and along their journey in recovery, those needs will change.
It also depends on what they’re addicted to. Some drugs have a stronger hold than others.
One of the most important aspects of helping your addicted friend or family member will be seeking support from an outside source like substance abuse treatment, and perhaps group meetings too.
Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash
Knowledge is power
The more you know about the substance, and what recovery looks like – the better position you will be in to help. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that they often don’t act like themselves, and it can be difficult to look beyond that.
Talk with mental health counselors, work with their team at a facility and it can be very helpful for you to go to support groups too.
Familiarise yourself with the physical and psychological impact of addiction, and recovery.
Addictions aren’t easy to break, and they aren’t easy to battle daily either. It is important to remember that there will likely be points of relapse, and you aren’t in the business of rescuing them.
Holding them accountable for their actions but keep in mind there is only a slim chance that they will keep to promises for a while.
Addiction is a disease and should be approached as one, be realistic with their future, and be prepared for some difficult times.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you will not have the strength to support them. You still have to live your life as best as possible. A familiar feeling from the friends and family of addicts is stress, resentment, and sadness.
Over time these feelings might begin to impact you more and more. You must keep your mental health in the best shape and take breaks when possible.
Even though you might want to fight all of their battles for them, you have to play a supporting role. Once they start to come through the other side, they will be happy that you were there for them the whole time.
Trust and Respect
Trust and respect are lost and broken pretty quickly, but that isn’t because they want to do it. They are in the middle of one of the most challenging things they will go through. You might be tempted not to trust them again – however, an addict needs to know that trust and respect can be rebuilt.
Addiction can make paranoia and erratic behavior more common, and they might assume that when you try to ‘tell them’ what to do, you are trying to control them. Even if they also know it’s not true.
It can be tricky to navigate, but if your friend or family member is trying to break the habit and get help, giving them respect for doing so will be of enormous importance.
Helping an addict to overcome their addiction is life-changing, even if it isn’t easy.
Do you need some tips on living a healthy life to take care of yourself while you take care of others? Read more: What We Can Do To Maintain A Healthy Mind And Body.