Over 70,000 people lost their lives due to overdose in 2017 alone. If your loved one is struggling with addiction, there’s a very real possibility that they’ll suffer the same fate one day.
Unfortunately, only a small percentage of those struggling with addiction ever get the help they need. If you want to see your loved one get clean, the best thing you can do is learn how to help someone with addiction.
Although you won’t be able to replace the need for addiction councilors and professional treatment, you can help them realize they have a problem and be there as they take the steps to get clean.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to learn how you can help someone struggling with addiction.
Learn More About Addiction
Helping someone with an addiction can be challenging. You may not fully understand why they continue to use despite all the negative consequences they’ve experienced.
That’s why your first step should be to research addiction. While this article is a great starting point, be sure to read more about the drug you believe they’re addicted to, how addiction changes a person, and how you can effectively communicate with them.
Stop Enabling Them
Have you bailed your loved one out of jail, gave them money after they lost their job, or tried to mend relationships they’ve damaged? While you may think you’re helping, you’re only enabling them.
By cleaning up their messes for them, you’re allowing them to continue using without repercussions. Without having to face the consequences of their actions, they’ll never see that they have a problem.
Although it will be hard, you need to come up with some rules and stick to them. This may include no coming home under the influence, no using at home, and no borrowing money. If you feel like kicking your loved one out while they’re under the influence will cause them to turn violent, don’t be afraid to call the police for assistance.
If they get arrested, whether they were caught using somewhere else or you called the police yourself, don’t bail them out. Make sure to sit your loved one down when they aren’t under the influence and outline these new rules, so they understand your new expectations.
Talk with Them
Once you’ve stopped enabling your loved one, they’ll hopefully begin to see that they have a problem. This is a good time to try and talk to them. Again, find a time when they are sober to broach the subject.
Make sure you keep a level head during your conversations. Your loved one may deny they have a problem, yell at you, or even blame you for their problems. While you may feel irritated, yelling, criticizing, nagging, and exaggerating can all cause your loved one to “tune you out”.
Instead, make sure you’re coming from a place of love. You can calmly express how their addiction has hurt you or even throw a full intervention with several other people who have been affected. The goal is to get them to see they have a problem without feeling attacked.
Research Treatment Options
Your loved one may not admit they have a problem right away. But that doesn’t mean they never will.
When that day finally arrives, you’ll want to have treatment options ready to present to them. Since they’ll already be under a lot of stress, the added process of researching treatment options may be too much for them. So, presenting them with a couple of your top picks can be easier for them to handle.
If possible, have information on local treatment centers as well as procedures like rapid detox printed out and kept together. This will allow your loved one to easily look over the information.
Be Prepared for Challenges
Helping someone with an addiction isn’t easy. They may take months to admit they have a problem, try to guilt you into enabling them, or even start stealing money from you to continue using.
Even if they do get help, they may relapse and start using again.
When you’re facing these challenges, just remember that your loved one is still in there. Celebrate small victories, and keep doing your best to help them.
Join a Support Group
Loving an addict is hard. Many people feel too embarrassed to confide in friends and family, so they end up facing this challenge alone.
But there are plenty of support groups catered to family members of addicts. Here, you can feel free to express your feelings and challenges without being judged. You can also connect with others in the same position as you, so you don’t feel so alone.
Additionally, this can be a great resource to get advice and learn other techniques to help your loved one.
Offer to Help with Recovery
When your loved one finally decides to seek professional treatment, you’ll be elated. But the fight isn’t done just yet. The risk of relapse is high, and your loved one will still have days where they want to use.
They’ll also need a sober house to stay in and sober peers to surround themselves with. This is where you can help. If possible, you can let them stay with you or offer rides to meetings and outpatient facilities.
How to Help Someone with Addiction
Don’t feel discouraged if your loved one refuses to seek help. Instead, follow the above tips to learn how to help someone with addiction. From presenting treatment options to assisting them during the recovery process, there are plenty of ways you can be there for them.
Does your loved one need extra assistance after rehab? Then learn more about the benefits of halfway houses today.