Addictions can confuse even the most centered and intelligent people in the world. This is because addictions don’t follow the laws of logic and reason. For many, this can lead to extreme frustration and a feeling of defeat.
Especially, when they feel like they’ve tried everything to help someone overcome an addiction. Knowing how to help someone with an addiction is difficult. None of us naturally know how to help and sometimes “helping” can make things worse.
When this is the case it’s called “enabling.” Enabling someone with an addiction is much different than helping them. Enabling someone with an addiction includes doing things like giving them money, lying for them, or making excuses for them.
This may seem to help them in the short-term. But, in the long-term enabling allows the addiction to continue.
People who enable, however, are well-intentioned most of the time. They don’t want to see their loved one suffer. They also may fall victim to the addict’s attempts to guilt them or intimidate them.
This is why knowing how to truly help a loved one with an addiction is imperative. Read on to discover how to help someone with addiction without enabling them.
Addictions change the way people act, behave and think. Addictions do not discriminate. They can happen to anyone from any social class at any time.
When addiction occurs in our family or friend circle, we may feel at a loss. We may have tried many methods to help them without any success. At this point, we may feel like it’s a lost cause and like we’re powerless.
Always remember that recovering from an addiction is ultimately the responsibility of the addict. Addicted persons should also get sober for their own reasons and not to simply please others. This is because an addict has a higher chance of relapse should a relationship breakdown.
But, if you’re concerned about your loved one and want to help there are some strategies you can use. Relationships, love, and connections are important to all human beings. Even though people may damage their relationships during active addiction, this doesn’t mean relationships still aren’t vital to their well-being.
Explore the following ways to help someone with addiction while protecting yourself in the process.
Addictions don’t only affect the addicted person. They also deeply impact the addicted person’s loved ones. However, as a loved one you may not realize how their addiction has affected you.
Addictions tend to damage or destroy important relationships. As a result, you may feel depressed, angry, or lost. You may also be grieving the person your loved one was before their addiction took over their lives.
For these reasons, it’s important that you seek out support. Join support groups like Al-Anon where others will be able to relate to what you’re going through. You could also start meeting with a therapist on a regular basis.
A therapist can help you to process your emotions, help you with setting boundaries and assist with developing new coping strategies. It’s also important to lean on healthy friends and family for support.
So, how does this help your loved one with an addiction? Seeking support gives you the tools to stay healthy and informed. It also can give you the strength to make difficult decisions and set boundaries with your loved one.
Addiction is a disease that is commonly misunderstood in our society. Many people view addiction as a weakness or a choice when in actuality, it is a mental health disorder.
To reduce the stigma around addiction and to understand your loved one, educate yourself. Learn about the addiction process and how it affects the brain and behavior.
Educating yourself can also help you to prepare to deal with your loved one. It can help you to understand how they’re feeling and how they might act. It can also help you to develop greater empathy so that you feel less angry with your loved.
When you feel less angry or consumed with their addiction then you make more room in your life for other people and activities that you enjoy.
Setting boundaries is difficult in even the most normal situations like at work. It can be difficult to say “no” to someone or give a consequence when a boundary is violated.
Having boundaries with an addicted loved one is vital to your well-being and their recovery. If an addicted person has no boundaries, then don’t learn that there are consequences to their actions. They may also put themselves in dangerous situations simply because they think they can get away with it.
Some boundaries to have with your addicted loved one can revolve around their drug or alcohol use. For example, one boundary you can set is to not allow substances in the home.
Another boundary could be that you won’t bail them out of jail anymore. Only set boundaries that you are prepared to enforce. Otherwise, your loved one is not likely to take you or your boundaries seriously.
The good news is that it’s never too late to start enforcing your own boundaries and following through with them.
Sometimes we all need an example to follow instead of trying to create the path on our own. Try to be a healthy example your loved one can follow.
To help them with their addiction, you could agree not to partake in substance abuse of any kind. You could also not allow people who used drugs with your loved one to come to your house.
This will show your loved one that being healthy is a possibility. You can also be a healthy example by showing them kindness, encouraging them to seek treatment, and partaking in new activities.
This will show your loved one that lifestyles changes are entirely possible. It could even give them the strength to make important changes in their own lives and seek out treatment.
Knowing how to help someone with an addiction can give you some much-needed confidence. Using these strategies may also help your loved one to seek out treatment.
While none of these strategies guarantee success, they will help you to navigate through your loved one’s addiction. They will also help you to feel empowered and firm in your decisions.
Is your loved one ready to seek out treatment? Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment services.