It can be very difficult to help someone struggling with substance abuse. It’s not only taxing physically but also emotionally and financially. It may even be overwhelming that it may lead us to just let be with their devices. However, it is important that we take the steps to encourage them to seek help and heal themselves.
Educate Yourself About Addiction
Drug abuse and addiction are often less about the frequency a person uses, and more with the primary reasons people take drugs, and the implications of their abuse. For example, if drug use causes problems in your life, like losing a job or unstable relations, you’re likely to have a substance abuse problem. Not everybody who uses drugs gets into addiction. The probability of someone becoming addicted varies from person to person. You understand what you know. Once you have knowledge of addiction and the symptoms of drug abuse, the signs that are right in front of you are easy to overlook.
Addiction is complicated and if you don’t know everything right away, it’s fine. But it is immensely helpful for both you and your loved one to take the time to consider your loved one ‘s disease and how it affects them.
Encourage Them To Seek Treatment
The sooner addiction is treated the better as is the case with other diseases. But don’t be shocked if you come across denials or excuses as to why they can’t or won’t be looking for treatment. Some roads require long term treatment for addiction which can take its toll on the loved one. The treatment may be a holistic approach to the sickness and a program is built around healing the person’s afflictions. Be persistent about how important it is for them to enter therapy for their substance abuse but in the process avoid them feeling guilty or ashamed.
Your loved one may prefer to do the treatment alone and if this happens you should take note of the following so that they feel like they have their privacy while going on with it:
- Respect their privacy in everyday life.
- Respect their privacy in therapy. If they don’t want to talk about it, don’t push for them to tell you what happened.
- There are many different approaches to the challenge of how to help addicts, but remember, change doesn’t happen overnight.
Think about bringing in an intervention expert to help you navigate through this process.
Building trust or trying to build trust with your loved one may be a difficult thing to do if your trust has already been betrayed by the addicted person. Setting up trust in both ways is however an essential step in helping them think about change. Even when you are trying to help, trust is easily undermined.
You have to avoid these actions in order not to destroy the trust you are building with them:
- Scolding the addicted person, criticizing him and lecturing him.
- Yelling, calling your name, and exaggerating (even though you’re stressed yourself).
- Committing yourself to addictive habits, even in moderation (they’ll think you ‘re a hypocrite).
When building trust, you should be aware that doing this is not a one-way process but a two-way process. If there is no trust established between you, they may use the addictive behavior every now and then for them to control stress. You should also not expect that changes happen overnight because people with addiction rarely change until there is a consequence to their behavior.
Support the Recovery Process
When your loved one opts for treatment, it’s important that you stay invested. Continue to encourage their participation in community groups that facilitate continuing treatment, meetings, and rehabilitation. Be the means of support they need, and assure them every step of the way that you’ll be there.
If you have a loved one that is struggling with the pain of substance abuse, the best thing to do is to encourage them to seek help. You must learn how to be supportive and at the same time a loving pillar for them to lean on. You must also learn how to assert yourself to maintain the path to recovery and help them reach a healthy and meaningful life.