One of the most heart-breaking experiences you may have been forced to face is seeing someone you care about become a victim to addiction. Being one of the closest people to an addict often means a great deal of responsibility is placed on your shoulders to help them beat their habit in the right way. Unfortunately, the process can often take several years, which can have major impacts on worried family members and friends who are left feeling pretty helpless. So, how do you help a loved one?
One of the first aspects in helping your loved one on the pathway to sober life would be to gain an understanding of the addiction. Doing so will enable you to make better decisions on the most suitable routes, as well as learning the critical signs of an overdose. You may also wish to research the latest news on addiction treatments and study the relevant vocabulary so that you can communicate with professionals about their personal condition.
Get support for yourself and the victim
Although your loved one is the true victim of the addiction, the stress of it all can also take a real toll both physically and mentally on family members and friends, but you shouldn’t have to deal with this alone. There are many groups you could join to learn coping methods, gain perspective on your own worries and take away useful resources to provide the best support.
If it’s a drug addiction your loved one is battling, it would be worth seeking outside help in the form of a rehabilitation center or specialized detox treatment. In most cases, addiction can’t be treated without intervention from professionals, who have trained to deal with these cases daily. Why not find a treatment center near you?
Be realistic about the outcome
Seeing an addict in such a horrific state can be extremely hard to watch and even though you want to see immediate effects from treatment, it’s going to take time. It can be especially tough for parents who are witnessing their teenage child become reliant on harmful substances, which are ultimately disabling them from living their life to the full. Always keep in mind that addiction is a disease of the brain and it isn’t their choice.
An addict is highly unlikely to keep their promises when it comes to staying sober initially, so take their word with a pinch of salt. Try not to lecture or get angry, or the message you’re trying to communicate most likely won’t register with them. Instead, keep calm and remain positive or it’s unlikely they’ll be willing to open up. It can be very frustrating as it’s obvious that just trying to help, but the addict may believe you’re trying to control them, which could lead to further self-destructive behavior.
Encourage healthy habits
When someone is suffering from addiction, it’s probable they’ll lose all interest in their health and hobbies. You could, however, keep their mind occupied by encouraging them to learn a new skill such as cooking or art, which they can use as a distraction. You may have found they are choosing to withdraw themselves from the outside world, meaning they’re not getting any exercise. Urge them to join you on a relaxed walk around the park to lift their mood and stay active. Giving them the motivation to focus on something productive should give them the boost they need to think positively about moving forward with their life.
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