Witnessing someone battling with addiction is distressing and emotionally draining. It can take a heavy toll on your mental and emotional well-being. It brings a huge pile of stress while constantly testing your patience, straining your bank balance, and leaving you racked by feelings of regret, guilt, sadness, anger, and so on. One of the critical challenges with addiction is that apart from the addict, many others get impacted by this disease. Friends, family, and colleagues often face difficulties with the addict’s behavior in terms of financial or legal problems while facing the constant struggle of supporting their loved ones.
However, it is crucial to understand that this support is not about catching them when they fall, rather giving them a hand to hold while they get up on their own.
Here’s how you can support your loved ones with an addiction:
Take care of yourself first
Encountering problems associated with substance abuse is a chronic illness. Besides the addict, it also affects every individual who’s close to them. Placing the need of your loved one above yours often results in increased illness, lack of self-care, depression, and anxiety.
However, taking appropriate care of your own emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual needs leaves you in a better position to help your loved one through the journey.
Treat them as humans, not monsters
Substance abuse addiction is a disease that leads to a dysfunctional value system, shifting towards supporting ongoing substance use. It is natural to feel frustrated, angry, or irritated with your loved ones or limit your contact with them.
But, try abstaining from treating them like an outcast or a disgrace to the family since this can shame your loved one and hinder them from reaching out to you for support. Once they start taking the recovery sessions, communicate with them and try to understand how substance misuse became a part of their lifestyle.
Gain adequate knowledge about substance abuse
Feelings of worry, fear, and anger are normal and inevitable. Like other chronic illnesses, gaining better knowledge will help you provide better care to your loved one. Therefore, educating yourself about substance abuse disorder, interventions, treatment methods, and recovery programs will help enable you to help them and yourself in the best way possible.
Determine ways to offer recovery support without enabling the addictions
Intense substance use disorder often leads to various problematic scenarios such as making people financially drained or invites legal troubles. In such cases, friends and family support often end up laying unintended effects of making the addiction worse. However, it is important to let your loved one in early recovery understand how you will only be supporting their recovery efforts and nothing more.
Give them time to learn from their mistakes
During the recovery treatment, you should allow the patient to learn how to gracefully reject the cravings by themselves. Grant them the time to develop the ability to talk about their problems regarding their substance abuse. Your role during the whole treatment is to support them if they slip, along with constant love and encouragement.
If you are looking for an effective alternative recovery treatment program to help yourself or your loved one heal from substance abuse, we are here to help. We’re a non-profit organization providing complete healing for those aiming for recovery and sobriety in their lives. We offer an ideal environment to achieve lasting sobriety without facing another relapse ever. To know more about the details of our program or substance use disorder treatment, contact us at 503-457-3366 or email us at [email protected].