5 Tips for Helping a Loved One Struggling With Addiction

posted by Chris Valentine

In 2017, over 19.7 million Americans struggled through a substance abuse disorder. If you’re like many people, one of those people might have been a close relative or friend.

And an even more alarming fact is that over 80% of opioid addicts aren’t getting the treatment they need.

You can change this.

Of the 38% of adults struggling with addiction in 2017, some were lucky enough to have loved ones guide them through their internal conflict.

If you’re interested in how to help someone with addiction, read more to learn essential ways to give proper drug addiction help.

1. Acceptance

Before you do anything else, it’s important to accept the situation. This doesn’t mean gloss over your friend or lover’s addiction. It means you need to look at the facts and stop denying them.

By doing this, you become increasingly ready to help with addiction.

Acceptance is also key to listening. If your partner will not admit they have an addiction and fights your help, it might seem tempting to believe them. After all, nobody wants to welcome addiction.

But if you start by accepting where they’re at, you’re less likely to be swayed by your own internal bias.

2. Communication

One of the hardest steps is also one of the most important: communication.

If you can establish communication of any kind, you can learn from your loved one what they need.

Better yet, showing that you made the effort to sit and listen, or took time to talk at all, will demonstrate your willingness to help.

This will be challenging. You may hear some things you wish you hadn’t. But the details involving your loved one’s addiction are worth listening to.

3. Do Your Research

In order to create change in an addict’s life, you need to increase your knowledge about the addiction they’re facing.

For instance, if your close friend is battling a stimulant addiction, it warrants you knowing about stimulants.

Each addiction has its own effects both mentally and physically. If you know what kind of prognosis follows their specific diagnosis, you can make the steps to be a better aid.

4. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

There are certain lifestyles that enable addiction and some that help resolve the core problems. One of the main lifestyles that will not help you or an addict is codependent behavior.

A codependent relationship is defined in part by taking on your partners emotions as if they’re your own. That’s a light way to say that you neglect your own emotional wellbeing through the relationship.

When you’re helping a loved one through addiction, it’s essential to be good to yourself. Don’t blame yourself. Do not forget that you need to eat, sleep, work, and take care of yourself.

If you can manage self-care while helping an addict through their battle, you’re much closer to being real assistance.

5. How to Help Someone With Addiction By Setting Realistic Goals

When you serve as addiction support it can become tough not to set unrealistic goals and expectations.

You may want to convince yourself that your effort will solve all the issues an addict is dealing with.

This is not the case.

The only surefire way to clear an addiction is to process it over time, (often a long while), and receive some form of regulated treatment.

Be the motivator towards that reachable goal.

You Can Do This

No matter the difficulties that arise you can learn how to help someone with addiction by being true to yourself.

When nothing seems possible, you can always turn towards support groups, such as Alanon.

Most of all remember this: there are ways to assist someone with an addiction.

One of the top ways to do this is to continue your research. You can get started by reading about detox and learning more about how to heal and reverse the problems of addiction.

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