Drug addiction is a serious problem that affects many homes. If you or someone you love has struggled with addiction, you know firsthand how devastating it can be. According to statistics, at least 20 million adults in the US struggle with addiction problems, with about half suffering from mental issues.
Drug addiction leads to serious health problems, financial hardship, and even death if left untreated. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you don’t have to face it alone.
There are many ways to support them, including finding an addiction treatment program they can enroll in. Here is how to help a loved one struggling with addiction.
1. Be Compassionate
Hurling insults or treating them negatively only aggravates the matter. The first way to help your loved one is by showing compassion. This requires you to talk to and treat them positively and helpfully. You need to understand that addiction is a disease and can affect even the best of us.
Like you would show compassion to a diabetes patient, addicts also need compassion. Show them that addiction is not their choice or a character flaw but a disease that can be treated. Often, addiction is a coping mechanism for deeper pains that the person may be going through. By showing compassion, you build trust, which is a vital component for successful lifelong recovery.
2. Don’t Criticize or Shame
Regardless of how pressed you feel to place blame on the addict, you need to steer clear of such utterances if you want to help your loved one. Sometimes, addiction causes are not straightforward, so there is never a single thing or person to blame. So, avoid implying that they are to blame for the addiction or shaming them, as these acts are counterproductive to recovery.
In drug recovery, tough love doesn’t apply. So, understand that criticizing and shaming them will do more harm than good, and avoid doing so at all costs. Instead, talk to them with encouragement and positivity, showing them that long-term recovery is possible, especially in an addiction treatment program. Also, avoid nagging and lectures.
3. Get Educated
Get knowledge on addiction and treatment to learn how to help your loved one best. First, you can research their substance of choice, symptoms, and treatments available. Then narrow down to the specific recovery type they need to understand better what they are going through and the help they will receive. The more you know, the better equipped you are to help your loved one.
4. Seek Counseling
When you’ve exhausted your emotional resources and still no results, you can seek therapy or counseling from an addiction treatment program. Addiction affects not only your loved one but you as well. So, seek assistance from experts that can help your loved one and also help you manage potential stress. You should acknowledge your need for professional help and find an addiction treatment program to help you too.
Finding ways to help a loved one struggling with addiction can be confusing and scary. However, these four ways are a great way to help them begin recovery and live a sober life. Ideally, your efforts should help your loved one enroll in an addiction treatment program to begin their path to recovery.
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