Learning that a loved one is dealing with drug addiction can be overwhelming. You may feel confused, angry, and even hopeless. However, you need to know that addiction doesn’t have to last forever. Addicts can recover. While you can’t force your loved one to get help, you can assist them during the recovery process. In the beginning, you’re likely to be at a loss about how you can help. There’s no single answer that works for every situation or individual. However, there are some general dos and don’ts you should be aware of.
Things You Should Not Do if Someone You Love is Dealing With Drug Addiction
Don’t Ignore the Issue
You probably didn’t expect your spouse, friend or family member to be an addict. However, you can’t turn a blind eye to the situation. Resist the urge to make excuses for their behavior or downplay the severity of their condition. Telling yourself that they’re just having a tough time and they’ll soon be okay isn’t helpful. Addiction that goes untreated will only get worse.
Don’t Judge the Individual
You’ll naturally be upset about your loved one’s condition. However, you must keep in mind that addiction is a disease and not a choice. Don’t blame the individual for their drug addiction or look down on them because of their situation. It’s difficult for an addict to admit they need help and then navigate the recovery process. They need your support, not your judgment.
Don’t Force Your Loved One to Get Help
Tough love doesn’t typically get addicts to seek help. You may think that forcing someone into treatment will have a positive effect. That’s possible but if your loved one isn’t ready for sobriety, they will likely start to use drugs again as soon as they leave rehab.
Don’t Be an Enabler
It can be difficult to help an addict without enabling them. Unfortunately, many people unwittingly facilitate their loved one’s drug use. They may lie for them, cover up their addiction, or give them money even though they know it will be used for drugs. Many also get into the habit of bailing out their loved one whenever they get into trouble. You’ll need to monitor your behavior and determine whether you’re really helping the addict in your life.
Don’t Give Up Hope
If your loved one refuses to get help, you may get frustrated. You may be even more exasperated if they get clean and then relapse. However, you shouldn’t give up on them. Fighting addiction is hard and if you doubt that they can change, they may begin to believe it too. Having a strong support system can make a big difference in an addict’s life.
What You Should Do If Someone You Love is Struggling with Addiction
Learn More About Addiction
Many of the ideas you have about drug addiction may be incorrect. You may not fully understand what addiction is or how it can affect an individual. That’s why you should do some research into the issue so you can truly help your loved one. In addition to reading books and online resources, you may want to seek advice from a treatment professional.
Talk to Your Loved One About Their Addiction
We’ve already pointed out that turning a blind eye to addiction won’t help the addict. You need to have a conversation with your loved one and voice your concerns. Be sure to wait until they are sober. They won’t be at their best if they’re high and you’ll likely be upset or angry at that time. Talk to your loved one when you’re calm and let them know you want to help.
Look into Treatment Options
Even if your spouse or relative isn’t ready to get help, you can begin researching treatment options in your area. Look into the various centers and what they have to offer then give them a call. This will help you to prepare to help your loved one when they’re ready to get better.
To ensure your own well-being and increase the likelihood that your loved one will seek help, you’ll need to set some boundaries. For example, you may tell the individual that they can’t use drugs around you, or they can’t come home after a certain time. You may also vow not to get them out of debt or legal trouble. Once you establish a boundary, you need to stick to it. Otherwise, your loved one will not have the increased motivation they need to change.
Contact Asheville Recovery Center Today for Help Dealing With Drug Addiction
Call us and learn about the varied treatment options we have available at our recovery center in North Carolina. Whether you’re simply collecting information or your loved one wants to book a consultation, we’ll be here to help.