Addiction is an extremely difficult disorder to overcome and it’s incredibly hard to watch a loved one go through troubling times. Addiction can appear in many different forms; you can become addicted to gambling, alcohol, drugs, and even food.
When people develop this type of biopsychosocial disorder it’s important that they have a great support system around them. If you have a loved one in your life that is struggling with addiction, here are seven steps that you can take to help them overcome it…
Create a Safe Space
Before you even begin to tackle this issue, it’s important that you create a safe space in which to do so. A safe space can mean different things to different people, but generally speaking, this refers to a physical environment or emotional relationship filled with trust, transparency, and honesty. Whether your safe space is a cabin in the woods, or your relationship with a best friend, it’s a place where you can be yourself and express your feelings without judgement.
Expect a Difficult Conversation
Addiction is not an easy thing to recover from, which is why conversations surrounding this topic are extremely difficult to have. Many addicts live in denial, and they refuse to accept the facts. You need to leave your judgement at the door and make the point that change is possible. They have the ability to improve their life and regain control, all they need to do is reach out and get the help they need.
Never Enable Their Behaviour
Addiction can consume anyone, your mother, your son, or even your best friend. It gets extremely complicated when somebody you love is in this sort of trouble, but you should never enable their behaviour. Don’t try to hide their addiction and never give them money to fuel their addiction either. These are hard boundaries to set but if you want to help them get sober, you’ll need to respect them.
Take Care of Yourself Too
Although this article is geared at helping your loved one, you should also consider your own health during the recovery process. Helping a friend or family member overcome their addiction can be very taxing on your emotions and even your own physical health. It’s essential that you find support for yourself too.
Seek Professional Help
Addiction can be difficult to deal with on your own and sometimes only a professional will know how to deal with the situation. If you feel like you could benefit from this service, take a look at IOP resource guides to help you make the correct decision. Drug or alcohol abuse normally stems from something much deeper like a psychological problem. A professional can help navigate the nuances of your loved one’s recovery journey.
Find a Support Group
Having a support group will make all the difference for your loved one. They need to confide in people who are going through similar situations. It’s also a great way for your loved ones to make new friends that will guide them down the right path. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are two of the most popular addiction support groups.
When addicts start to get sober, it’s important that they fill their time with plenty of activities to avoid the possibility of relapsing. Many individuals in recovery will spend their day doing sports, taking up a new hobby, or getting involved in the local community. It’s important to accompany them and help them embrace a new way of life. If you normally go for drinks together, avoid dinner settings and go for a jog instead.
It’s worth noting that addiction is a disorder that takes time to overcome. It’s unlikely that you will see results over a short period of time. Many addicts can start to show positive signs of recovery and quickly relapse. It’s important that you never lose faith and continue to help them with this serious battle they are faced with.
Another important thing to note is that addicts will never truly recover unless they are prepared to do so themselves. The sad reality is that a full-blown addiction will skewer their perception of reality. Many addicts don’t care who they hurt or what they do, until they are ready to make a substantial change in their lives. The most crucial thing you can do is to stand by their side, reassure yourself that this is not their true character, and that they are consumed by their addiction.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from psychology, to all sorts of disciplines such as science and news.