Regrettably, no magic, catchall solution makes helping an addict a breeze.
Just as recovery is a process, getting to recovery is also a process. One that can be marred by frustration, confusion, false hope and more. There’s a certain stick-to-itiveness, power of will and dogged determination that comes with the territory of helping an addict get sober.
How to support and assist an addict in getting sober encompasses a lot.
Tips on How To Help an Addict Get Sober
Don’t Ignore the Signs of Addiction
It’s tempting to think that what you’re seeing isn’t an addiction and is just some occasional drug or alcohol abuse. To excuse the behavior because you don’t want to believe that your loved one could possibly be an addict.
Don’t do that. Learn the signs of addiction and when you see them take note of them. Use that knowledge to help formulate a plan of action.
Speaking of that frustration, confusion, false hope and going even further to exasperation, irritation, annoyance and more…you’ll experience all of it and more most likely. While you might be able to plainly see the problem their addiction is causing, it’s a different story to get them to see it.
Therefore, you need to prepare for that by being realistic across the board.
Don’t expect that your suggestion about rehab is going to be well-received initially. Know that they might break promises to you in the process. Try to be ready to not react in anger. Addiction is a disorder, if you can get through to them eventually, it’ll be worth the hardship for them and you.
All in all, don’t expect instantaneous and abrupt change.
Just like being realistic with the expectations is important, so is being supportive and communicating positively.
Simply being there and being there supportively can be hugely beneficial. Addiction is already an alienating and lonely experience, try to be supportive through it if possible.
But Don’t Enable Them
There’s a natural breaking point in how far you can extend support. When your support turns into enabling their addiction, that’s a step too far. Whether it’s withholding financial support or paying their expenses so they’re able to continue using, there’s a delicate balance to how far your support can reasonably go and it will be tough to maintain.
Nonetheless, it’s important to be conscious of this because if you end up enabling them, it will only prolong their addiction.
Communicate with Love, Not Guilt, Anger or Shame
No one likes to be attacked, shamed or guilted.
Without question, it’s difficult to remain loving in times like these but it’s important to understand that your loved one might already be dealing with feelings of guilt and shame associated with their addiction. Adding to that with more guilt and shame could push them further away.
Speak with love and try to make them feel that they’re deserving of it and the treatment to get themselves back on track.
Creating and maintaining some through-line of trust is tricky but if you can nurse it and build on the notion that you care and are trying to help, it can make it easier for them to accept that assistance down the road.
Find Treatment Options and Remove Barriers to Them
Educate yourself throughout this whole process on what treatment options are available for whatever addiction your loved one is going through. The last thing you want to have happen is that they’re ready to commit to rehab…but you’re not sure exactly where to send them or how to go about finding out.
Let Footprints of Serenity Help Your Loved One Get Sober Today
If someone you love is battling with an addiction, there is hope to free them from it. There are resources available. Perhaps they’ve reached the point where an intervention is necessary to compel them to accept treatment, reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity and let’s discuss your circumstances further and figure out what the best next steps to take are.