It is heartbreaking to watch a loved one struggle with any kind of mental disorder. Substance use disorders and addiction are no different. The trouble with addiction is that a loved one may not be aware or willing to acknowledge the presence of their addiction, and the damage it is causing to their life.
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Although they may be resistant to this at first, getting treatment at one of the top rehab centers is the optimal approach for overcoming addiction.
Your loved one can’t fight addiction alone, and you can’t fight this battle for them. It requires the clinical services of healthcare professionals and addiction specialists to address the root of the problem and sustain abstinence from the substance of choice.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with a substance use disorder, you may notice changes in demeanor and behaviors that are concerning. You may feel scared, frustrated, helpless, and confused as the behavioral signs of addiction increase.
Your loved one may detach and withdraw from you and other people close to them, but it’s crucial that you maintain an emotional connection and provide as much support as you can.
Even though you alone cannot enforce their abstinence or solve all their problems, you can help by encouraging them to seek treatment and embrace recovery.
Here are some examples of how you can be a source of strength and support while your loved one is navigating the challenges of recovering from an addiction.
Gather Support from Other Family Members and Friends
Broaching the subject of addiction to a loved one is very difficult, for fear of provoking anger or some kind of negative reaction. People in active addiction tend to be emotionally reactive and unpredictable, and this makes it even more challenging to approach them.
By including other family members and close friends to plan an intervention or initiate a heart-to-heart conversation, you’ll benefit from the extra support, and so will your loved one.
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Make Suggestions for Treatment
The decision to get help for an addiction is ultimately up to the individual, but it can be an overwhelming one for someone who has never been to treatment before.
You can provide emotional support by helping them research their options, going on tours of rehab centers, figuring out insurance coverage, and making gentle suggestions if they’re willing to listen.
Offer to Make Arrangements for Them
Offering to take care of things and make arrangements while a loved one is in residential or inpatient treatment can help to alleviate their anxiety about being away from home.
You can make the experience less stressful for them by taking care of their pets, checking their mail, watering their plants, or anything else that could deter or distract them from treatment.
Get Access To Supportive Resources
Your loved one’s experience with addiction and recovery can be as emotionally intense and exhausting for you as it is for them. While you do everything you can to support them, you must be mindful of not neglecting yourself in the process.
There are free support groups such as Al-Anon, and you can also consider getting individual or family therapy to deal with the stress and trauma you may have experienced as a result of your loved one’s addiction.
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Some people do not realize how their addiction affects their family and close friends, or they struggle with being in denial about having an addiction and will do everything in their power to hide it. Once addiction takes root, they are powerless over it.
Addiction is not a choice or a moral failing. It is a mental disorder that affects brain chemistry in such a way that people will neglect and even sacrifice their health, careers, families, and all other valued aspects of their life for the sake of their addiction.
As hurtful as their addictive behaviors and actions may be, remember who they are at their core, and that love and connection are paramount to recovery. Your loved one will have a greater chance of success in treatment knowing how much they are loved and how supported they are.