Understanding addiction has been a goal for health professionals for decades, and discoveries made in the last 20 years have helped to raise awareness of the disease and available treatment. The more you know about a challenge a loved one is facing, the better equipped you’ll be to help them as they work towards a drug-free reality.
To get you started, the ARC team has put together six tips to help you and your loved one get through treatment in a healthy and supportive manner.
1. Maintain Realistic Expectations
For many of us, the first reaction to learning there’s a problem is to find the cause and correct it. The problem is that addiction has no direct source, and the individual is not to blame for the disease they are battling. When lecturing starts, the individual will quickly tune out and your words fall on deaf ears.
Don’t let this deter you though as talking with your loved ones can help them see that even though they’re struggling, there are people they can trust that won’t judge them for what’s happened. Even so, there are roadblocks and setbacks nearly every addicted person experiences during recovery.
2. Help Them Find Initial Support
Cases of drug addiction that have yet to reach dangerous levels can sometimes be stopped in their tracks with early intervention. There are free support groups available that aim to help those facing addiction from falling even further down the rabbit hole.
Ideally, you’d create a support system for them at home that they can lean on when times get difficult and the stresses of life become too much to handle alone. A healthy home environment can make a world of difference as it provides them with a space free of judgment and blame they can heal in.
3. Explore Family Therapy
Addiction’s impact doesn’t stop at the addicted individual. Even if they attempt to conceal it, their actions that stem from addiction are quickly felt by those around them. One of the most beneficial parts of addiction treatment is therapy for those closest to the individual.
4. Find an Addiction Recovery Specialist
Treating a disease takes the skills of a medical professional, and drug addiction is a lifelong disease known as substance use disorder. If drug use is stopped before turning into an addiction, there’s a good chance that medical intervention won’t be needed. Unfortunately this isn’t the case for a majority of addicted individuals.
To provide them with a safe recovery, addiction treatment centers such as ARC choose to supervise the detox process of guests to address any negative withdrawal symptoms felt during the first phase of treatment.
5. Don’t Enable Addictive Behavior
It can be difficult to not fully support and help a loved one even after their addiction becomes known. Doing small favors for them can quickly turn into handling their daily tasks due to them choosing drug use over their other responsibilities. Even seemingly insignificant acts such as giving them a lift due to them being under the influence can be damaging as it removes consequences from their actions.
6. Remember To Take Care of Yourself
It’s impossible to fully be there for someone if you’re already stretched too thin across the board. Before you decide to take on the added stress of helping someone with a drug addiction, make sure that you’ve taken stock of your own responsibilities and stresses to avoid all of it piling up and becoming too much to handle.
Leading by example is an extremely impactful way to help a loved one addicted to drugs. If they’ve chosen to come to you for help, it means they look up to and trust you with their journey. Show them that valuing and taking care of one’s self leads to a better life.
Don’t Hesitate Enlist Professional Help
Being able to be there for someone during what is likely the hardest time in their life is an amazing opportunity. Part of this help is talking to the addicted person and helping them determine what form of addiction treatment they need.
If you’re unsure what the options are for addiction treatment, we encourage you to reach out to our compassionate team of recovery specialists. We’ll answer any questions you have about treatment from start to finish, all in a confidential consultation free of charge.