Whether it’s a close friend, a spouse or a family member, helping someone struggling with drug addiction is never easy. There is no magic formula that can force them to stop using and get the help they need. Yet, the compassion and support of loved ones may be what helps them break the cycle and find freedom. Here are some suggestions on how you can help someone with a drug addiction.
Educate Yourself About Addiction
There are many social stigmas and misinformation surrounding drug addiction. Arm yourself with knowledge about this insidious disease. Know the signs of drug misuse. Addiction is complex, and you won’t know everything. If you take the time to understand how it’s impacting your loved one, though, you can better help them.
Know How to Speak to Someone About Their Addiction
After years of frustration, many people are more than ready to confront their loved one about their addiction. Others are terrified about having a conversation, fearing they’ll simply drive their loved one further away. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, don’t wait for them to hit rock bottom. Knowing effective ways to communicate with someone struggling with drug addiction will empower you to speak up now.
Offer Support and Empathy
Those caught in addiction often lose sight of how much their friends and family care for them. Keep love and empathy at the forefront of your mind when sharing your concerns. Let them know that you’re going to be there, supporting them on their journey to recovery.
Encourage Them to Get Help
Addiction is a disease that requires professional treatment. The earlier drug misuse is treated, the better your loved one’s chance at recovery. Be persistent about how important treatment is for their life and well-being. You may also want to consider holding an intervention if addiction has a deep-rooted hold on your loved one.
Confronting addiction is never easy. There are many difficulties you may encounter during your conversation, such as:
- Denial that there’s a problem.
- Not wanting to change.
- Fear of consequences.
- Underlying mental health concerns.
What to Avoid
When talking to someone about getting help, it’s also important to know what doesn’t work. Here are some things to avoid:
- Preaching, moralizing or lecturing.
- Emotional appeals meant to evoke guilt.
- Enabling behaviors, such as covering up, making excuses or taking responsibility to protect them.
Support the Ongoing Recovery Process
If your loved one decides to move forward with treatment, stay involved. Your continued support and participation in their care will show them that they’re not alone. It can also encourage them to keep going when the road gets hard.
Take Care of Yourself
Being in a relationship with someone addicted to drugs is difficult, to say the least. To deal with the emotional and mental strain, it’s important to take good care of yourself. Get a full night’s sleep. Exercise. Eat well. Get help from support groups or therapy. Developing stress management techniques can help you maintain the energy and determination you need to support your loved one.
Find Compassionate, Professional Drug Addiction Treatment at GreeneStone
If you or someone you know needs help breaking the bonds of drug addiction, GreeneStone is here for you. Our evidence-based addiction treatment programs can be customized based on your loved one’s unique needs. To learn more or to discuss your options, please contact us today.