Addiction can tear families apart and cause irreparable damage to relationships. It’s heartbreaking to see a friend or loved one who is caught in the grips of an addiction, be it alcohol or drug-related. Their behavior will change as they try to find the means to fuel and feed their cravings, from stealing to becoming aggressive and secretive, or even acting defensively if you try to help them. Therefore, it’s important that you work on ways to help and support your loved one during this difficult time, and you are ready to provide the support and love that they need to get well on the road to recovery.
Remember, that helping anyone who suffers from an addiction will require a lot of time, patience and work from you. If they are trying to make a change, it won’t happen in the space of days; this requires dedication and patience as they will need to overhaul their current lifestyle and even their daily routine seriously. Breaking the vicious cycle of addiction is an extremely unnerving and scary concept for an addict, as they need to admit that they actually have a problem. It’s up to you to provide them with a space that makes them feel safe and ready enough to talk and make a change, or else they will never be able to start on the long road to recovery.
Learn about addiction
If you want to help your loved one, then you will need to educate yourself first. The chances are that you currently have a whole host of emotions, such as anger and upset, that influence your behavior towards them. You may feel ashamed and embarrassed if they behave differently in public situations. Or perhaps you feel that you can’t recover from any incidents when they have caused you pain or suffering just because they are keen to obtain their next quick fix. However, it’s time for you to put your own feelings to one side, and get prepared to learn more about addiction. If you know that there are any triggers or situations which incite your loved one’s behaviors, such as a stressful day that sees them want to have an alcoholic drink, then it’s up to you to provide alternatives and remain aware of these external influences.
Treat it like an illness
Addiction is ultimately an illness. Any addiction impacts health and wellbeing and could result in a life-changing injury or even death if not treated in time. Therefore, rather than viewing addiction as a failure, it’s time for you to change your mindset and start viewing addiction in a different light. Many individuals think that an alcoholic could just stop drinking overnight when the reality is far from this simple. The only way that an addict can recover from their illness is by abstaining completely, and it’s up to you to ensure that they are ready and willing to make this change.
Once your loved one has admitted that they have a problem and are ready for help, or to go into a clinic, then it’s up to you to get ready to provide them with all the support that they need. Remember, admitting you have an issue is only the start of a very difficult journey to full health. Try to remain open and understanding. It’s crucial that you aren’t judgemental or act to provoke or confront your loved one during this delicate early stage of treatment. They may currently be in denial about their issues or feel anger towards you and your family. They may even be blaming others for their problems. However, you need to be understanding and open towards your loved one. Chances are they will need professional help also, and you can help by admitting them to a residential rehab center. You can find more information on this website.
You are not alone
According to statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 21.5 million American adults fought a substance use disorder in 2014 alone. It’s important to remember that you are not alone; either if you are on the road to recovery or are supporting a family member during this difficult time. It’s vital that you work together and remain strong to help support and grow your bond, improve your relationship for the future and ultimately to ensure that your loved one remains on track and determined to get clean. There is a large amount of stigma and misunderstanding surrounding the causes of addiction, and the reasons why people develop addictions, so it’s crucial that you stay strong and improve your support network to prevent comments or criticism hindering recovery time. Make sure that they don’t feel isolated or abandoned; it is with your time and love that they will be back to full health.
If you want to be successful, and ensure that you or a family member can recover from addiction, then you need to remain positive and hopeful. Keep your end goal of getting clean in sight. By viewing addiction as an illness, you can start to work towards getting back to full health and feeling more like yourself again. However, the chances are that addicts will have to make changes to their habits and attitude that last their entire life so that they no longer feel tempted in a moment of weakness.
If addiction has had an impact on your life, and that of your family, then it’s important to keep an open mind and get ready to provide support and help. Begin by learning about addiction and treat it as an illness. Try to be as understanding as possible, and seek professional help if you can no longer help your loved one on your own. Remember that you are not alone during this difficult time. Finally, you must remain hopeful and positive although this is incredibly difficult. Remember the good times that you had with your loved one before they fell ill, and use this to help support their return to full health.