It can be difficult to know what to do when a friend or loved one has an addiction. However, there are many ways that you can help them get treatment and recovery. Here are the top seven ways that friends and family members can help those struggling with addiction.
1. Acknowledge the Problem
The first step is always to recognize that they have an issue and have enough awareness of what resources are available to get treatment. It’s important to take them seriously and realize the harm their addiction is causing themselves and others and how much they need support for substance abuse recovery and treatment to work.
One of the worst things you can do is brush off your loved one’s addiction as if it isn’t serious when it could be life-threatening. If someone has come to you for help with an addiction, acknowledge that something may be going on.
Make sure you know the signs of addiction. If possible, become educated on different treatment options and find out the best fit for your loved one. There are so many kinds of treatments available today that it can sometimes seem overwhelming to try and figure out which option is right for someone close to you. By doing some research ahead of time, you will already understand the possibilities and be able to present your friend with some viable options.
If they are in denial about their problem, try not to argue with them over it. Avoid accusing them of having an addiction because this can cause someone struggling to become defensive when what they need most is unconditional love and support.
2. Support Them
It’s essential to support them in whatever decision they make. If you think that treatment is the best course of action, but your friend or loved one disagrees, it is crucial for their recovery and health that you stand by what they need rather than forcing your own will on them.
You can help motivate them towards this choice by bringing up the negative consequences of their addiction, but you should not make any ultimatums or threats. This will only cause them to resent the help and distance themselves even more from recovery.
While it can be difficult to watch someone you care about struggle with an addiction, they must be able to feel supported in whatever way they need during this difficult time. If they don’t feel like you are supporting them, they will be much less likely to get the help that they need, and there is a good chance their addiction could worsen.
3. Don’t Enable Their Addiction
If your loved one is struggling with drug addiction and you are providing them drugs or money for drugs, you are supporting their behavior. Instead, show substance abuse recovery support by encouraging them to get help through treatment.
On top of all of these things, for an addicted friend or family member to best get treatment and recover, you should encourage them to attend peer support meetings or other support groups.
4. Set Boundaries
When helping a friend struggling with addiction, it is important to set boundaries. Let them know your limits and state the consequences if they are broken. If you cannot help, be honest about that as well.
Setting boundaries will benefit both yourself and the addict because they can focus on getting better without worrying about burdening their loved ones or feeling guilty for not getting help.
If the addict is close to you, remind them that addiction should not define who they are as a person. Make sure they know there is more to them than their drug of choice and encourage them to focus on other parts of life like work or school.
Try making plans with your loved ones so that they can see all the activities they are missing out on when using. If you feel like it, encourage them to join in your healthy hobbies and go for walks together.
5. Encourage Them to Join Peer Support Groups
There are many different types of peer support groups, but they all follow the same basic structure. One typical example is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which has meetings in most cities worldwide where people can attend and talk about their addiction.
The primary purpose of these groups is to show that the person’s problem is not unique, but instead, very common amongst others who are struggling with addiction. This can be an excellent way for your loved ones to realize they’re not alone in this struggle while building community support, which will significantly aid them in their recovery journey.
It’s important to realize that these online groups are not religious but encourage participants to find their spiritual path. Some people may be surprised at the lack of religion in peer support meetings. They often hear about them through traditional recovery programs that have a relatively strong religious bent.
Peer support groups can help your loved one better understand their addiction by hearing stories from other addicts. These meetings are great for overcoming the sense of isolation that is often associated with drug and alcohol addictions and giving them a safe space to share struggles without facing judgment or criticism.
These groups allow people in recovery themselves an opportunity to help those struggling with addiction. This can be incredibly helpful for your friend or family member. They will have people in similar situations who understand what they are going through and feel comfortable sharing their own stories without feeling judged.
6. Encourage Them to Get Professional Help
While you can be a big help to your friend or family member, there are many times where they must receive professional treatment. If they have an addiction that is out of control or their attempts at quitting on their own haven’t been successful, then getting professional help will allow them the best chance at recovery.
This may be a difficult decision for your friend or family member to make. Still, they must understand the seriousness of their situation and allow professional treatment to help them on their way towards long-term sobriety. If you are having trouble helping your loved ones get the help they need, it may be time to seek professional assistance.
There are many resources available for those who care about an addicted friend or family member and want to support them in a way that works best for both of you. A counselor can also help encourage your loved ones to get the help they need and can be a valuable asset in helping your loved ones overcome their addiction.
7. Encourage Them to Visit a Rehab Center
If your friend or family member is struggling with a drug addiction that has gotten out of control, then the best thing that you can do for them is encourage them to visit a rehab center. These centers offer professional treatment and resources for those looking to overcome their addictions once and for all.
You could also be an integral part of helping them get to a rehab center and making it as easy as possible for them. You could offer financial assistance or even sign over the guardianship of your loved one if they are still considered a minor so that you can help make sure they receive proper treatment.
These centers help those who want to overcome their drug addiction and provide support services for those who are trying to quit, such as access to sober living homes and group therapy.
By following the above steps, you can help a friend or family member overcome their drug addiction by providing them with the support they need to get healthy again. Instead, you should not enable their behavior but offer encouragement through positive actions like joining peer groups and providing financial support.