Watching someone you care about struggle with drugs can be painful and frustrating. Supporting an addict takes patience and knowledge, so here are 5 tips for helping someone with a drug addiction.
1. Learn About Addiction
It’s hard to empathize with someone when you can’t understand what they’re going through. Addiction is a disease in the brain, which is why your loved one can’t simply “just stop” (as frustrating as that may seem).
Education also helps you avoid the blame game. Instead of believing that your friend or family member’s addiction is due to weakness, laziness, stubbornness, or poor character, you’ll understand that it stems from brain chemistry changes and alterations in electrical impulses. This can help you let go of your anger and be much more supportive.
2. Consider an Intervention
Talking to someone about their addiction isn’t easy. And most people don’t want to admit when they have a problem. The most effective way to confront your loved one is through an intervention. This is when you invite their family members and closest friends. You can also use a professional interventionist who can help manage the intervention
During the intervention, you’re aiming to open the eyes of your loved one and show them how their actions and behavior are impacting everyone’s lives. This is a positive space, and the goal is to get the addict to immediately enter a rehab facility.
3. Show Love and Support
Drug addiction impacts everyone who cares about the addict. When you’re dealing with your loved one, it’s imperative that they feel supported and loved at all times. This will help them commit to their recovery and take it seriously.
You can also do this by choosing a facility that has an understanding and empathetic staff. The goal is to ensure that everyone interacting with them is supportive of their journey to sobriety.
4. Consider Aftercare
Rehab gets a patient jump-started with recovery, but once they’re released from the treatment center, the real work begins. It’s crucial that there is a good program ready to go that will combine meetings, family support, and counseling.
There are a number of groups like Narcotics Anonymous, which can help your loved one after they finish rehab.
5. Look After Yourself
There’s a reason why flight attendants tell us to put our own oxygen masks on first. When you’re supporting an addict, it’s easy to suddenly realize that your entire life revolves around their addiction. But this isn’t healthy for them or yourself.
Unless you’re looking after yourself, you won’t be able to provide them with the support they need. Consider getting counseling or looking into meetings for families and friends of addicts, and make sure you’re taking time out to rest and relax.
Helping Someone with a Drug Addiction?
If you’re helping someone with a drug addiction, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Hopefully, the above tips can help you along the way.
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