Addiction can be a powerful thing when it begins taking over your life. If you know someone who is struggling with one, then you can most likely confirm this. Not only is it often hard for them to regain complete control over the addiction, but before they do, it has sometimes already spiraled out of control. As a result, it often affects different areas of their lives such as their finances, work-life and relationships with family and friends. However, no matter how bleak the situation appears to be, always remember there is still hope and that it’s possible for them to get better if they take the right steps to recovery. You may feel helpless in this situation, but it may be comforting to know that there is a lot you can do to help. Here are five ways that you can intervene and support someone who is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction.
Know the Signs
Many people will try drugs or alcohol throughout the course of their life. However, not everyone will become an addict. It is therefore important to be able to spot the signs of an addiction, and hopefully, you’re able to do so in the early stages. Although every drug has its own signs when being abused, each can tend to have similar signs. Some include them being more withdrawn, a sudden change in behavior, uncommon mood swings, red or glassy eyes, issues at school or work, strange and sudden demands for money, a runny or stuffy nose, and not being as well groomed as they once were. Once you’ve identified some of these signs, you can think about the best approach to use when confronting your loved one and talking about it.
Use a Caring approach
An addiction can be an extremely sensitive issue, so it’s best that when you’re trying to help a person struggling with one that you approach with caution. It means when attempting to approach them about the problem, especially if they’re yet to admit that they have an addiction, try and be as caring as possible. Show genuine concern and carefully explain to them why they may have an addiction and likewise, why they need help. In 2013, studies found that an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older had used some sort of an illicit drug in the past month. It is an alarming number and shows how common drug use is at present. It is also likely that your friend or family member will have people around them that encourage their addiction. The love and care you exhibit, will, as a result, need to be far stronger. You should try an approach that is non-confrontational but persuasive. Also, bear in mind that they’re likely to be defensive irrespective of your approach and you’re going to need a lot of patience.
When someone has an addiction, it is likely that they will often be on the defense. It is, therefore, important that when trying to help them, you try your best not to be judgmental, accusing or overly critical. On the contrary, make an effort to listen, be understanding, and make positive suggestions. Putting them in a corner, raining down threats, or giving them ultimatums are not necessarily the most helpful approaches. You should instead attempt to help them understand what the long-term effects and potential consequences of their actions may be.
Suggest Extra Support
When struggling with an addiction, it is often a good idea to encourage your loved one to join a support group or go to a recovery center. They are likely to come into contact with people who are struggling with the same or similar addictions which should help them feel more understood. There are several steps during recovery when professionals are more likely to be able to help them. Not only is it possible that a recovery center or support group may help with their recovery, but it may also have a more lasting effect. Before suggesting help right away, you could also consider leaving information around the house or in their personal space for them to see. They may come across it in a sober moment and take the necessary steps to get help on their own accord. When looking for suitable centers, you could consider somewhere such as https://www.ridgefieldrecovery.com/. Also remember that even once they begin to get treatment, your involvement, love, and support will still very much be needed.
Look after Yourself
Sometimes, it is easy to forget that someone struggling with an addiction hurts the people around them as well as themselves. It is, therefore, important that you take the time out to heal from all of the damage that this addiction may have caused you. The reality is, trying to help someone struggling with substance abuse can be mentally and emotionally draining. It isn’t uncommon when trying to help a loved one recover you may struggle with feelings such as anxiety, anger, distrust, worry, and frustration. However, these feelings are only human. You should always take time out to take care of yourself so that it doesn’t consume you. It could mean spending some time away from your loved one and completely taking your mind off of the situation by engaging yourself in things you enjoy. If not, it may be easy to spiral into depression. Also, always try to remember that it isn’t your fault and you don’t have to carry the burden of their actions.
Whenever you begin to get discouraged, remember that your loved one needs you. The power of addiction is a strong one, and it isn’t something they can defeat alone. If you are a witness to several relapses and are watching them slowly deteriorate, then it is definitely easier to lose hope, rather than it is to keep believing. However, there are many success stories regarding addicts who have managed to regain control of their lives. As long as your loved one is still alive, they could still become one of them.