You can never understand the effect alcohol and substance abuse have on an individual until it affects your loved one. At this point, you start wondering; how did they start? What led them to this unhealthy lifestyle? How can you be of help to them? Finding the right answers to these questions is difficult because they might not accept your help. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot reach out to them. Because the addiction problems are unique, you will need to devise ways to help them overcome their problems. Here’s how:
The Things to Avoid
Playing the blame game
Blaming them for their woes is one of the worst things you can do as a person who is reaching out. They will not only make an enemy out of you, but they will also go back to the drugs to drown their miseries. It doesn’t matter whether you are the cause of their habits or they started doing it for fun.
Confronting them when they are high
When an addict is high on drugs, they tend to have irrational thoughts. Confronting or having a candid conversation is an uphill task because of their state of mind. Insisting on doing this not only escalates into arguments, but it also triggers their aggressive behaviors.
Your addicted friend or relative can easily make you feel like you are the cause of their decisions. Covering-up or making excuses to justify their habits only allows them to become habitual liars and trigger their habits. It makes them believe that they are justified to take more drugs because they hold others responsible.
Setting unrealistic expectations
You may not like the idea of associating with an addict. You start thinking that it takes a day, week, or a month to recover. Well, that isn’t entirely true. The journey to sobriety is a gradual process that is filled with challenges such as withdrawal symptoms, triggers, anxiety, cravings, and many more. This is a perfect recipe for future heartaches if you had higher expectations.
What to Do
Have a one-on-one conversation with them
Addicted people tend to isolate themselves from people for fear of being judged or intimidated because of their actions. For this reason, they will avoid anyone who tries to talk them out of their unhealthy habits. As a person who has their interest at heart, you need to have a sober one-on-one conversation, instead of gathering a battalion.
Get a quiet place where they feel comfortable. Let them air their frustrations if there’s any. Adapt a compassionate conversation with them to avoid provoking them any further. That way, they will open up to you.
Did you know that more than 200 Americans die from drug-related overdose each day? The fear of losing a loved one on drugs is inevitable. Feeling sorry for them won’t help them either. Like any other disease, drug addiction is treatable. This is the time to look on the bright side. When you stay positive, they will also see light at the end of the tunnel.
Encourage healthy habits
Most addicts aren’t keen on what they eat, how they dress, and how they view life. You see, drugs only give them what they want to believe. Addiction worsens their mental, physical, and physiological wellbeing when they indulge in unhealthy lifestyles.
Always encourage them to adopt healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, exercise, and rediscovering their hobbies. That way, they will be quick to accept professional help and stay healthy.
Recommend professional help
A person with an addiction problem isn’t quick to ditch the habit because they are delusional. You might not realize the effect it will have on you, and the rest of your family members, until they go back to drugs. At this point, you can stage an intervention led by their loved ones and a professional in a supportive environment.
During the intervention, the assigned therapist will give everyone a chance to voice their opinions on alcohol and substance abuse. Though the addict may remain in denial about their condition, an intervention is a perfect plan to help them to think otherwise.
It takes compassion, enlightenment, and patience to help someone who is enslaved to drugs. If left untreated, it can cause a rift between them. Accepting and reaching out before it gets worse, is one of the best ways to help them.
About Footprints of Serenity
As an intervention facility located in the North Hollywood area of Los Angeles, Footprints of Serenity provides a holistic approach to persons battling addiction. Among the services they provide include; interventions, recovery companion, counseling among others. Visit our official website to book an appointment and to discover the types of services we offer.
Finding the right addiction treatment for your loved one involves a series of steps. You need to understand the Do’s and Don’ts to ensure they drop their unhealthy lifestyles and maintain a good relationship with their families and friends. In everything you do, always remember that addiction is a disease like any other. Remember, how you approach the issue will either help or worsen their addiction problems. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity.