Around 21 million Americans suffer from addiction. It is hard to watch your loved one if they have a drug addiction, and you want to do nothing more than help.
Getting a loved one drug addiction help can be tricky and you may not know the best way to handle it. There are no direct one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to helping a loved one overcome this addiction.
How do you help a drug addict? Keep reading for things you should consider to help your loved one get to recovery.
First thing first, addiction is a disease. You wouldn’t fault someone with a physical disease; you would probably show compassion. Addiction deserves this same compassion.
Addiction is not a choice or character flaw—it is a disease. You also need to understand that external or environmental factors can also encourage an addiction. The same is true for depression and stress.
Addiction is a way to cope with stress, but it only provides temporary relief. This is why the person repeatedly seeks out this habit, and over time, this becomes an addiction when the body becomes dependent.
If you are wondering how to help a friend addicted to drugs, it’s important to be compassionate and help build trust before anything else.
Don’t expect everything to always go smoothly. It’s difficult to help someone with an addiction and your loved one may:
- Disagree that they have a problem
- Engage in their addiction to deal with other problems like mental illness
- Fear consequences like going to jail or losing their job
- Not want to change
- Feel awkward talking about their problem with a counselor or doctor
- Feel embarrassed around you
Overcoming addiction requires the person to be determined and have great willpower. There is no easy or fast way for addiction drug help. If someone doesn’t want to change, you will probably not be able to persuade them otherwise.
What you can do is help your loved love make changes for the long term. You need to get support for yourself and your loved one.
Do Not Criticize
It’s only human nature to shift to blame. Why? It’s easier to understand a problem if you know the source.
Unfortunately, addictions are not black and white in nature. There is nothing (or anyone) to blame. The person with the disease is not at fault, so you shouldn’t treat them like they are.
You should not outright state or imply that they are to blame. Shaming this person is only counterproductive to recovery. While tough love may work in some instances, this is not the way to do it.
Instead, focus on encouragement and positivity. You can also offer an idea of the future with a successful recovery. Whatever you do, try to avoid nagging and lectures.
Educating yourself is another great way to help you understand addiction. You will have a better idea of what the person is going through and what help may be best.
Being in any kind of relationship with someone that has an addiction is stressful and emotional. Along with educating yourself, you should also seek support. You can develop strategies to manage your stress to help yourself.
You may also want to consider joining a support group to talk to others that understand what you are going through. There are support groups like Naranon and Al-Anon.
Even if your loved one betrayed your trust, you want to establish trust on both ends to help.
First, you need to avoid trust-destroyers such as:
- Engaging in addiction measures yourself
Trust is something you can easily undermine, even if you want to help. You should look at things from different perspectives like thinking about do you seem controlling.
Remember that stress can make matters worse. Your loved one probably uses this addictive behavior to cope with stress. So, you don’t want the environment between the two of you to be stressful.
People that have addictions rarely change until they see the consequences of addictive behavior. While you want to protect this person, you should resist the urge to protect them from consequences. However, if the consequences are dangerous to others or themselves, there is an exception like drinking and driving.
Remember trust is a two-way process. If you are uncomfortable, you may need to seek additional advice from an expert because you shouldn’t have to put up with unwanted and risky behaviors.
You need to tell your loved one how you feel. You want to tell them how about the issues their addiction has caused and how you want them to change.
As difficult as it can be, the decision to change is theirs. A person is more likely to be open to thinking about change if you talk to them honestly. Don’t be threatening.
Identify Treatment Options
There are several types of treatment including free drug addiction help. However, depending on the person, you need to find the right help for their situation whether they need help medically to detox or need outpatient therapy.
As your loved one goes through therapy, remember to:
- Be honest
- Work on establishing trust
- Be prepared for blame
- Do not blame that person in return
If your loved one chooses to get treatment on their own, you should respect their privacy. Do not talk to others about their treatment.
Be patient because most addiction treatments do not change behaviors overnight.
Offer your support and let the person know that you are there for them. If they want you to go to therapy, you should consider going but don’t force it until your loved one is ready.
Get Drug Addiction Help
We understand that this is a hard time for you. Watching someone you love form an addiction is stressful and impacts you just as much as them. It’s important that you show support, but do not enable their addiction.
We are here to help you. Contact us today for more advice or to explore our programs for drug addiction help—you are not alone. We have programs for you and your loved one to fight this addiction.