Watching someone you love struggle with addiction can be heartbreaking. Helping an addicted loved one might seem like an impossible task but it doesn’t have to be. Understand that your attempts to help may be met with anger and denial. Breaking free from the cycles of addiction may be the hardest thing your loved one will ever face and he or she may need more time to recognize the need for change. Your willingness to encourage and support them in their struggle may be the push they need to seek lasting sobriety.
Educate Yourself. Unless you have faced addiction yourself, it can be incredibly hard to understand why anyone would engage in behavior that is so clearly harmful. The more you understand about addiction, the better equipped you will be to support an addicted loved one when they decide to get sober.
Offer Love and Support. Express your concerns about your loved one’s behavior with respect and kindness. Let them know that while you may not understand addiction, you care about their well being and will support them in their efforts to find sobriety.
Take Care of Yourself. Those closest to an addict often feel anger, resentment, guilt and confusion. It is important to recognize the impact that loving an addict can have on your own well being. Look for support groups in your area. You might be surprised at how much talking to people who understand what you are going through can help you process your own experience.
Let Them Hit Bottom. Despite your good intentions, helping an addict avoid the consequences of his or her addiction does more harm than good. Let them feel the real weight of their choices. This might be the push they need to finally get the help they need to get sober.
Set Boundaries. It is common for the friends and family of an addict to put the needs and feelings of their addicted loved one before their own. Setting boundaries (and sticking to them!) can help an addict face the consequences of their choices, which is essential for recovery.
Understand that Recovery is Ongoing. Treatment is just the first step in what will likely be a lifelong process of recovery. Your loved one may find sobriety and then relapse. Understanding that recovery is an ongoing process that requires regular support and attention will allow you to better help your loved one when they stumble.
Let Go. Of resentment. Of blame. Of guilt. You are not responsible for someone else’s choices. You can not control someone else’s addiction. Once you truly accept that, you can be there to support your addicted loved one when they reach out for help.
Helping an addict is never easy. If you need advice about how to help your addicted loved one, the specialists at Luxury Beach Rehab can help. Fill out a contact form.
My interests are wide-ranging, and include computer games, online culture and addictions. Most of all, I’m interested in exploring why people act in a certain way; what makes them tick. I publish articles on several sites, and if you’d like to get to know me better, feel free to visit my Google+ profile below.