One of the biggest challenges with addiction is that it affects everyone. The person suffering from the various afflictions of addiction, their family, and their friends all have to deal with the difficulty of the addicted loved one’s behavior, financial problems, legal problems, and the daily struggle of supporting them. It is for this reason that family members and friends often become despondent to the situation, but this is not the best course of action by any means.
Addiction is an affliction and must be treated with care, just like any other disease. There are many ways that you can show your support to a loved one who is struggling with addiction. Here are a few.
Make Sure to Educate Yourself
Get information about the different forms of addiction. You must understand that addiction, like any other disease, is a process. Knowledge is power and it helps you understand more about yourself and what your loved one is going through and needs. There are many resources online for finding this information, support groups, treatment, etc.
Get the Support You Both Need
When you have a loved one with an addiction problem, it can create a great deal of difficulty in life for both you and them. There are groups that can help you learn how to cope, and to give the right support your loved one needs. Support can come from a variety of places. Something as simple as powerful quotes, or something more extreme like Alcoholics-anonymous is an option for those who struggle with alcohol abuse.
This is taking support one step further, individual counseling. This may help you more than you’d expect because it isn’t just for those who are struggling with addiction. The more you can manage your feelings towards a situation, the better you will be able to help your loved one.
Don’t Be An Enabler
It is difficult for some family members when the addiction initially takes hold. Often, they will have supported the person’s addiction without even realizing that that was what they were doing. A harsh, but the important response is to not rescue the addict. Sometimes hitting rock bottom is the most helpful thing you can let them do.
Let them experience the full consequences of their actions and experience the fullness of their disease. Most people are unable to change anything until they are forced to, so don’t financially support them and their addiction. This includes buying groceries, financial assistance through paying for court fines or attorneys, and paying rent. This allows them to avoid the consequences and prolongs the disease.
Have Realistic Expectations
Preaching or lecturing someone with an addiction is often both pointless and damaging. They are often unable or unwilling to hear you. You should offer help and direct them to the treatment they need and be sure to hold them liable to the expectations set before them. Don’t expect someone with an addiction to keep their promises as they are not able to do so while their disease. Reacting with anger or pity only prolongs the process.
When your afflicted loved one is ready to get help, go to a doctor and find out more about getting a referral and an assessment.
Seek Specialty Help
It is not uncommon to need financial assistance. If you need assistance it may be a good idea to talk to organizations and providers that offer coverage. These organizations provide services on a sliding scale fee and can be found through internet searches. Local churches are often also providers of low-cost and even no-cost counseling.
Take Care of Yourself
If you are not in the right state of mind you are unable to give adequate support to anyone around you, let alone someone struggling with addiction. Focusing on your own life is one of the most important things you can do to assist someone dealing with addiction. It creates resentment and strain if you are stressed out due to their issues, as well as your own.
It makes it difficult to want to help someone else when they are responsible for creating so much turmoil in your life. Through taking care of yourself by exercising, getting regular sleep, getting the support you need, and socializing, you might be in a better headspace and able to better help your loved ones when they are ready to accept the help.
The most important thing that you need to remember is that you are not alone. Many people deal with issues like these every day and it is very important to get the resources and support you and your loved ones need.