How to Help an Addict? 101 Comprehensive Guide!

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By Külli Kittus/ Unsplash/ Copyright 2022

If your loved one is struggling to combat addiction and you are finding ways how to help an addict, you are in the right spot.

The grip of addiction is firm, and the consequences disastrous! The tendency to fall back on drugs and alcohol for any minor inconvenience can be harmful, and seeing your loved one go through it is disastrous. This post discusses everything you need to know about the addiction treatment process and how to help an addict.

Today’s generation lifestyle, excessive work pressure, economic status problems, social relationships, and peer pressure can contribute to an individual’s early exposure to substance abuse. It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 52, struggling from alcohol addiction or drug addiction; one needs to acknowledge that addiction as a whole can destroy different aspects of your life: Family relations, financial conditions, health, and mental stability.

Addiction is not a choice. The compulsive urge to seek drugs or any addictive substance, although destructive implications on health, is what addiction is. Blaming, criticizing, and taunting is not the way to go about it. The journey to combat addiction can be an arduous one. However, recovery from such a situation is possible. Determination is the only way to Detox! This post discusses how to help an addict, doesn’t matter your spouse or son.

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By DiamondRehab Thailand/ Unsplash/ Copyright 2022

When a family member struggles with addiction, the whole family goes through destructive consequences. It can jeopardize public relationships, alienate one from the corporate sector, and hurt your emotional and mental state. Rather than be angry with your addicted loved one, it is important to acknowledge the problem, offer them love and support, show concern, and allow them room for improvement without doubting them.

Truth Behind Addiction: How to Help an Addict Suffering from Drug Abuse

Overcoming addiction becomes easy for an individual when they have the support of their family. The primary step is making them understand what’s at stake, how their decisions affect you as a family, and how much it hurts not to know what’s going to happen next. Support and unconditional love in this stage are imperative.

When your loved one struggles with substance use disorders, the nightmares can be terrifying. The best help you can do is help them seek medical treatment. However, patience along the way can be a major pillar when you are wondering how to help an addict.

Are you acquainted with a college friend struggling with substance abuse? Spouse? Or a friend? The answer to the question of how to help an addict is to be supportive.

People suffering from addiction are conservative, and they don’t let their guard down and show their loved ones that there might be a problem. A failed attempt at recognizing addiction or refusal to acknowledge addiction both by the individual or you possess fatal repercussions as a concerned family member.

Almost 20 percent of Americans suffering from depression and anxiety also suffer from substance use disorder. Moreover, it is backed by National Study on Drug Use and Health, only 11% of people struggling with substance abuse get the necessary treatment facilities and help. The better the support of the family, the better the chances of overcoming addiction. This post enlists a comprehensive guide on how to help an addict.

What’s the Road to Recovery: Here’s how to seek Addiction Treatment for Your Loved One?

People struggling with addiction may or may not be able to understand the situation, be in denial about their condition, and think treatment programs are a waste of time and effort. The negative effects can impact different aspects of their lives.

As a loved member, you can help them seek treatment, open up, have a heart-to-heart conversation, and create an organized plan to make changes before things take a disastrous turn. An intervention can be the best way to do it in such situations.

Intervention: What is a Substance Abuse Professional? How to Consult?

A structured plan that family or relatives carefully plan by consulting a medical professional is called an intervention. Bring in the person whom the addicted member trusts the most. Consult licensed alcohol, drug counselor, or interventionist.

During the intervention, family members and doctors would help the person understand how their destructive behavior impacts the family and social relationships? Moreover, a planned treatment program will be created in the intervention to enlist programs, steps, and goals to cover.

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By Towfiqu barbhuiya/ Unsplash/ Copyright 2022

For an effective intervention, one can consult various doctors and specialists. For instance, consult an addiction professional, a social worker, a psychiatrist, an interventionist, a substance use disorder specialist, or an addiction professional. An addiction professional will study the circumstances, create robust strategies, incorporate the best approach for addiction treatment and make you aware of possible plans to treat your loved one.

Top 3 Do’s and Don’ts: Ultimate Drug Addiction Guide

Substance use disorders get worse with time. A loved one’s addiction takes emotional stability, a relationship’s strength, and intimacy with it! There’s always a lot to lose if your loved one struggles with addiction. However, with proper planning and the right measures, one can help their loved member achieve a clean and sober lifestyle.  Some of the ways to achieve the same are-

Zero Codependency: Addiction Help for a Family member or friend

In a relationship, whether it’s your relatives or husband, a person who is struggling with substance use disorder can often rely on you as a family individual for emotional support, financial help, or excuses. Codependent behaviors between an individual and a person struggling with addiction can have bad consequences.

It is important to understand that one should not favor the person despite your unconditional love and desire to protect them. One should be able to distinguish the fine line between codependency and assistance. Start by stopping some usual behaviors. For instance, making excuses for them, covering up the addiction from other relatives, helping them with financial issues, paying for the damages and nuisances they created under the influence, and helping them with daily chores.

One should be emotionally prepared to be hurt if the addicted member refuses treatment, denies addiction claims, and calls you out as a bad friend for not being supportive.

Trust is The Best Approach to Tackle Addiction

Trust is imperative in any corporate, workspace, personal or social relationship. It is the very foundation of love and security. The person suffering from addiction might open up to you only if the foundation of trust is well laid in your relationship.

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By Külli Kittus/ Unsplash/ Copyright 2022

Avoid nagging, abusing, arguing, and lecturing them on their roles and responsibilities versus what they are doing. Think from the perspective of an addicted individual and do not give them more reasons to engage in substance abuse. Arguing and pressuring them can lead to stress and elevated anxiety. Result? More Substance Abuse.

Instead, one can focus on bridging the gaps by engaging in conversations and explaining to them how their destructive behaviors hurt you politely, resort to therapy, yoga classes, meditation, or a family weekend. Some of the other things to consider while seeking an answer to the question- of how to help an addict are-

Help but Do Not Indulge in Blame Game

Becoming defensive of the issue, arguing, and using statements like “Stop drinking, it affects us financially” can only push the addicted one away. In case of any conflict, conversation and persistent efforts on the word “We” instead of “You” can drastically change the tone and intention, reducing the chances of an aggressive response.

Problem-solving Attitude

Your partner must approach you with the problem at hand. Talking about the issue and approaching it with realistic goals can make them more open and vulnerable to you. Threats like “I will leave you if you don’t stop” will worsen things. Rather than shifting to a polite confrontation, “You were so much better without it. Can we not stop this and seek a treatment plan?”

Empathy over Ultimatums

As a family person, the ability to understand and relate is what will drive your partner out of the vicious cycle of substance abuse. Be more empathetic while interacting with the addicted individual. Acknowledge and address their problems, show them that you care, assure them that you understand their viewpoints, and accept their situation.

SAMHSA or Resources From mental health services administration

Thanks to technological advancement and ease of accessibility of the internet, hundreds of resources online offer help for substance abuse and drug addiction. The substance abuse and mental health services administration (SAMHSA) is a treatment referral and a good platform for families seeking help for substance use disorder.

Either one can call at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the nearest treatment center for a guided treatment facility, referral to support groups, and community-based organizations to understand the addict’s behavior, get prescribed addiction medicine, and seek support for their well-being. One can refer to hundreds of legitimate sources online and browse how to help an addict.

Engage in Family Therapy Sessions: Visit the 12-Step Programs!

Family meetings with an addict for a 12-step program will help the person understand what triggers them to resort to substance abuse. Behaviors, disappointments, and failures in doing something might enable drug abuse.

12-step programs set out the core foundation necessary for achieving sobriety by implementing robust strategies, plans, and addiction treatment schedules to help anyone suffering from substance use disorder, behavioral addictions, and other mental health disorders.

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By Jason Goodman/ Unsplash/ Copyright 2022

By giving them company to their 12-step plan from prodigious organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous one can help your loved one’s addiction by being a constant support. By helping them engage in the program, driving them to the meeting, and going to weekly check-ups with them, one can efficiently boost the belief of the addict that it’s the right time to quit.

Encourage The Idea of Rehab for An Ultimate Detox

It doesn’t matter if your friend suffers from substance misuse disorder or your husband. The most effective treatment of addiction out there is rehab programs. Rehab is the place where one can avail of all the professional help, top-notch facilities, and assurance of healthy living after completing the treatment process.

To know how to help an addict, one should know the best rehab nearby. Before suggesting the idea of rehab, consult a few treatment options and research the best rehabs near your neighborhood. Visit support groups, research online for survivors, take their reviews, and follow the advice of a professional to pick the best rehab near you.

Tons of programs suggest the best rehabs like Peace Valley Recovery, Smart Recovery, and alcoholics anonymous promises to eliminate drug dependency problems and help one set a strong foot in living a clean lifestyle. Family members should approach the problem with empathy and drive positive reasons why the addicted member should consider rehab.

The recovery process can last for a month or six to seven months, depending on the seriousness, intensity, and severity of the addiction. Moreover, past failed attempts at detoxing, duration of substance abuse, the extent of motivation, and the level of professional and medical help available are other factors responsible for recovery duration.

Some other tips to remember –

  • Remember that addiction was not a choice in the first place. Molding it as mental illness and moral failing will upset the addict. Empathy over anything else plays a crucial role.
  • Compile treatment resources and research plans and schedule appointments for them. Show that you are trying for them, but the fight is their responsibility.
  • Thanks to technology, many resources are available online. Research about local treatment facilities, online support groups, recovery support, and begin treatment for drug dependence.
  • Find a therapist or a psychiatrist that indulges the addict and offers the best counseling sessions to offer the maximum help. As a family member of an addict, one should consult therapy themselves.
  • Make plans and be involved in recreational activities with them. Visit the park, go to movies, dinner dates, plan a self-care Sunday, or maybe play with the pet together? Help them see what a sober and healthy life looks like without putting too much pressure.

Conclusion: How to Help an Addict

Seeking an answer to how to help an addict? But your partner refuses to seek treatment? Start with couples therapy and counseling sessions. Later, persuade them for treatment programs because the family is concerned. Motivating your partner for the better in the journey can be disappointing and extremely difficult for some.

However, to eliminate drinking and drug use, achieve sobriety, and have a supportive, healthy relationship, one should consult a professional.

Sobriety is like a mixed bag with its moments of glory when one is sober and healthy, along with its moment of shame when one relapses. If you are in a close relationship with a person struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, be optimistic and offer support to help them overcome addiction. In the recovery process, mistakes are bound to happen.

Remember to make them understand that relapsing is not because he/she failed at the recovery. It is a process. Also, consistency, determination, and patience are the three pillars of the recovery stool.

One of the qualities fails the recovery process fails. As a family member, set boundaries, stand right behind them, and be their comfort cushion and the support they need.

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Also read: Importance of Acknowledgement in Relationships

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