Man struggling with addiction and mental health

How Do You Help a Person Who Has an Addiction?

It’s becoming more common to know someone who has had their life changed due to addiction. Whether it’s through personal struggles of that of a loved one, substance abuse and addiction have turned into an unfortunately regular occurrence. It’s now more important than ever to learn about addiction and how you can help those you care about on their road to recovery.

What To Expect When Helping Someone Recovering From Addiction

Realizing someone you care about is struggling with addiction often comes as a surprise as those who abuse drugs or alcohol tend to hide their addictive behaviors around others. Whether the substance being abused is drugs or alcohol, there are ways you can help that only require a little understanding and patience to do.

Before you start, understand that recovery is a long and challenging road for everyone involved. While the reward is always worth it in the end, individuals in rehab often struggle to maintain focus on that end goal. The stigma around addiction and rehab can cause them to feel shame about their situation even if no one has directly expressed it.

Compassion Is Key When Trying To Help

When it comes to being there for someone in addiction recovery, there’s a certain balance of support and drawing boundaries to adjust throughout. Addiction is a lifelong condition, a disease known as substance use disorder or SUD. There’s no single cure or permanent solution to addiction but modern treatment programs help with relapse prevention to promote long-term sobriety in patients even after they’ve left the facility.

Understanding that addiction is no one’s fault can stop our tendencies to find the source of a problem and cast blame on it. In addiction’s case, there’s no one single factor that turns someone from social drinking or drug use to dangerous substance abuse and addiction.

It’s crucial that you avoid hinting at or saying that addiction is the fault of the individual as this can quickly cause them to retreat from finding help. Getting a loved one to agree to treatment is one of the most challenging steps of the process so lean into compassion and away from shaming them for their situation.

Be Careful Not To Enable Them

There’s no denying that there are people in our lives we would do anything for. That being said, you should always draw healthy boundaries for yourself and avoid the slippery slope of enabling those battling addiction. The more we cover up for and facilitate an addicted person, the more they view what they’re doing as acceptable by those that care about them.

When consequences are removed from an individual’s actions, they’re far less likely to seek treatment if they believe they’re the only one being impacted by their substance abuse. You don’t have to leave them to their own devices, but make sure that your assistance isn’t being used to prolong their drug or alcohol use. One example is frequently having to drive someone around due to their constant state of inebriation.

Set boundaries for yourself when you decide to help someone with an addiction to protect both you and the relationship you have with the addicted person. In the midst of addiction, individuals will often try to guilt or convince those around them to help them ultimately acquire more substances. When you take the stance to not allow for this manipulation, you preserve your connection with the person while they work to overcome the addiction.

Seek Professional Help When Needed

Depending on the severity of the addiction, there’s a strong chance that your loved one will require medical assistance during recovery for both physical and mental conditions that may arise. When someone discontinues drug or alcohol use, their mind and body go through withdrawals that can come with life-threatening side effects if left unaddressed.

To give individuals the greatest chance at a successful recovery, America’s Rehab Campus leverages medication-assisted treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms and provide a safe environment to begin healing in. We accept many insurance providers including United Health Care which allows you to get treatment and focus on your health. 

Are you or a loved one in need of addiction treatment? Reach out to the ARC team today to take the first steps towards a life free of addiction.