When someone is struggling with addiction, it affects everyone around them. Addiction changes a person, from their physical appearance to their mental state and mood. It’s difficult for them to maintain relationships, hold a job or function as a productive part of society. If you know someone struggling with addiction, there are certain things you can do to help aid in their recovery.
1. Accept the Reality
No one ever wants to see a loved one suffer. You may go through periods of denial when it comes to recognizing your loved one as an addict. But denying the truth isn’t beneficial for either of you. You can’t help the addict in your life or yourself until you accept reality. Stop telling yourself that things will magically get better. Often times, an addict needs outside resources, therapy, a treatment facility like Inspire Malibu or medication in order to break their habit. You must also come face-to-face with your behavior and reaction to the addict. This might mean saying “no” when asked for money or other help. Do you avoid confrontation with the addict in order to “keep the peace”? This isn’t healthy either. You shouldn’t have to change your behavior to accommodate the outbursts and needs of the addict in your life.
2. Create Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are important in all relationships. You can’t internalize the behaviors and feelings of the addict in your life. It’s sometimes difficult not to become wrapped up in the life of an addict. Do they constantly need a ride? Are they asking for money? Do you wake them up each morning to make sure they haven’t overdosed? If the behavior of the addict is interfering with your own life, routine, and happiness, then it’s time to set some healthy boundaries. Stop taking responsibility for the addict’s life. Focus on yourself. This means maintaining relationships with friends, going to work each day, and paying your bills. You can emotionally support the addict in your life without sacrificing your own.
3. Let Go of Control
No matter how much you love the addict in your life or want to help them get better, you can’t make that decision for them. There’s no magic pill or words you can say to fix this person or break them from their addictive cycle. Trying to control the addicts behavior will only leave you frustrated and may cause them to pull away and fall deeper into the hole of addiction. It’s also important to recognize that no amount of screaming, yelling or fighting will control an addict’s behavior. Sadly, neither will any amount of love. You can’t focus on controlling the addict’s behavior. The only thing you have control over is your own. You can show love and support but often, that’s simply not enough.
4. Help Don’t Enable
There’s a big difference between helping an addict and enabling them but many people confuse these two things. Enabling an addict is any behavior that doesn’t force the addict to change. This could be allowing them to stay in your home without working or paying rent. Giving them money that you know is going towards drugs or alcohol or bailing them out of jail. All of these things make it easy for the addict to continue on their destructive path. But you can help an addict by finding them a treatment center or outpatient facility. You can offer to attend meetings with them, cook them healthy meals, encourage them to exercise, and help them find work. It’s very difficult to “cut off” an addict by refusing future help but it’s necessary if you ever want them to change.
5. Fight Against the Manipulation
One thing that’s common amongst most addicts is that they are master manipulators. Addiction is an ugly thing that can turn even the most honest person into a liar and a manipulator. Addicts will lie, deceive, and do whatever it takes to get the substance their body needs. Addicts also act out in other ways including having fits of rage, giving those closest to them a guilt trip or falling into a deep depression. Don’t let the addict get into your head. Addicts are like stubborn children. They will continue to argue with you until they get their way. Stand your ground and in time, they’ll realize that you’re not fooled by their manipulation.
Article Submitted By Community Writer