How To Help An Addicted Loved One
Every year, millions of individuals fall into addiction, including problems with alcoholism or dependence on opiates and other life-threatening drugs. These cases of addiction in families cause serious heartbreak and often require the family to step up and help their loved ones recover.
If you are wondering how to help a loved one going through drug abuse, there are many options to consider. The following methods remain the most popular and effective ways of helping a person manage substance abuse and returning them to their loved ones as sober and happy individuals.
Stage an Intervention
If you’ve never directly confronted your loved one about their addiction, you need to take that step as soon as possible. A direct confrontation might seem embarrassing or difficult, but interventions may be the most powerful way to kick-start a recovery. For example, a study of the success rates of the show “Intervention” found that nearly 99 percent of all people on the show did go to rehab.
Additionally, of those who entered rehab, 55 percent were clean and sober years after their treatment. While that means 45 percent are still abusing substances, that’s still much less than the 100 percent who would be abusing substances if their family never had the bravery to stage an intervention. And yes, an intervention should be done by the loved ones of those with an addiction problem.
By staging one of these events and confronting your loved one about their problem, you can handle addiction in families at its very core. Instead of relying on a professional – if disinterested – handler creating an intervention, you can stage one yourself to let your loved one know how much they have changed and that you still love and care for them.
Understand How They’ve Changed
If you want to help an addict going through substance abuse recovery, you need to understand how substances change their body and their mind. For example, a study entitled “Truthful Self-Nurturing: A Grounded Formal Theory of Women’s Addiction Recovery” discussed the various ways that an individual changed after drug abuse and how trust and understanding were critical for their recovery.
And in another study, called “Social Support, Spiritual Program, and Addiction Recovery,” the importance of togetherness and spiritual understanding in recovery was highly touted. Substance abuse and drug abuse often blind a person to their failings and make it more difficult for them to understand where they have gone wrong and how they can escape from dependency clutches.
By understanding the ways that your loved one’s body and mind have changed due to drugs, you can better grasp how to help them. For example, you need to know that they aren’t weak because they can’t stop taking drugs. Instead, they are sick and need to be treated with medical help to overcome the disease that is addiction.
Remember, as hard as it is, you must not cross the invisible line between encouragement and enablement. You can support them all the way to their death bed. In these trying times, it may feel impossible to actually set boundaries. However, it’s genuinely in the sufferer’s best interest as long as it is done with compassion.
Support Their Relapses
While your loved one attempts to overcome substance abuse with your help, there is a good chance that they are going to relapse. Don’t get aggressively upset or treat them like they failed you when this happened. Do you get angry at a cancer patient when their tumors return and they need more treatment? Of course not. Drug abuse, like cancer, is a disease and requires patience and understanding to manage its symptoms.
What your loved one needs from you is not judgment and cruel words after a relapse but a concentrated effort to help them recover. After all, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that, out of the many millions of substance abuse cases across the nation, about 40-60 percent will suffer from at least one or more relapse. That relapse rate is very comparable to that of other diseases of the body and mind.
And since drug abuse is a disease of the body, mind, and spirit, relapse is something that can be devastating on many levels. Trust us when say that your loved one will already be calling themselves names for their relapse. Therefore, they need you to be trusting, understanding, and compassionate during this time. With your help, they can minimize overdose risk and get through a relapse with a better understanding of themselves and their substance abuse.
Get Them Treatment
The absolute best thing that you can do to help loved ones manage their substance abuse is to get them into a treatment program. Groups like Al-Anon and Nar-Anon understand where drug abuse originates and work hard to isolate addiction impulses. Their help with alcoholism and other issues provides you with the best chance of mastering how to help an addict recover.
If you’re experiencing addiction in families and help to overcome these issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at 1-866-229-5267 to learn more. Our addiction treatment experts work with you to provide a comprehensive, effective, and caring treatment program at a beautiful Malibu house in a luxurious home-like environment. Here at Rise in Malibu, we will work with you to help beat the addiction taking over your loved one’s life.