Seeing someone you love struggling with substance abuse and addiction can be incredibly painful, frustrating, and heartbreaking. When you care so much for someone, it’s difficult to watch them destroy themselves, their lives, and their futures.
Sometimes, there’s not much you can do to assist, and the reality is that they need to be willing to help themselves. However, that doesn’t mean that your hands are completely tied. There are ways in which you can support and assist your loved ones through this journey and help them get to the other side.
1. Learn About it
Understanding addiction to prescription drugs, alcohol, and other substances is important if you want to help and support an addict. When you don’t really understand what’s happening or what they’re going through, you won’t know how to talk to them about it or what they might need from you.
Learning about substance abuse and how addiction affects the brain will help you to understand them a little better and perhaps what might have caused them to go down this road in the first place.
2. Encourage Them to Get Help
When you have a clear understanding of what’s going on, you can start encouraging them to seek professional help. Remember that no matter how close you are to this person, you cannot help them recover on your own – professional intervention is necessary. In the end, the decision needs to come from their own will, but your support and encouragement could help them to make the choice sooner.
Encourage them to get treatment at a professional rehab institution like Lighthouse Recovery Dallas Addiction Center where they will be supported and assisted by professionals through withdrawals and other struggles.
3. Go For Counselling
Sometimes, supporters, accountability partners, and other people close to an addict will need their own support and assistance in order to better help the person suffering.
If you find yourself not knowing how to cope, consider going for counseling sessions yourself. This will help you to cope mentally, and allow you to support them better too.
4. Set Strict Boundaries
Some people rely on tough love tactics when someone they care for is struggling with an addiction. While this works in some circumstances, it could be detrimental with certain types of people.
Know the difference between an aggressive and confrontational approach to the addicted person and simply setting boundaries in order to help them. You will need to be strict about what you allow, while still offering gentle support when they struggle.
5. Take Care of Yourself First
Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and you’ll need to find healthy ways to cope with the situation too. Make sure you have someone to talk to – whether this is a counselor or a friend.
Take time away from yourself and prioritize self-care during this difficult time. You’ll need to take a step back from time to time and remember that you’re not failing your loved one by doing this.