Are you struggling to help a friend or family member with a drug addiction?
You’re not alone. More than 21 million Americans have a substance abuse disorder. Behind many of those people are concerned relatives who are at a loss for how to help them.
In this article, we’ll tell how what role you can play in a person’s recovery, and how to take the steps to getting them the help they need.
It’s important for family and friends to be involved in the treatment process. Here’s what you should do if someone in your life has a problem with substance abuse.
Above all, it’s crucial to empathize.
People with drug addictions are often treated like failures or second-class citizens. However, this approach doesn’t help. Instead, it isolates them, often leading them to abuse drugs even more.
Try your best to understand what’s lead them to the situation they’re in and what role drugs play in their life.
The first step is to change the way you talk about it. Be mindful of the terms you use. Instead of referring to them as an ‘addict’, describe them as suffering from addiction.
Compassion is key in supporting people with drug addictions. If you’re empathetic, they’ll feel more comfortable opening up to you and asking for help. It will also help you to maintain a healthy relationship with them.
It can be incredibly hard to understand drug addiction if you haven’t struggled with it yourself. That’s why you should do your research and try to educate yourself as much as possible.
Read up on the causes of addiction and common behaviors it causes. Online resources, such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, can be a great help. If you’re looking for something more tangible, reach out to local support groups.
Talk to other people who are dealing with similar issues. Sharing your experience with others can be therapeutic, as well as educational. Through listening to other people’s stories, you might find some inspiration for how to deal with your own.
The idea of treatment is a scary one.
Many people who have trouble with drug addictions avoid treatment, as it requires a huge lifestyle change. It forces them to tackle their issues, sometimes by going to an outpatient facility. That’s why around 90% of those who need drug rehabilitation don’t get it.
Even when they desperately need help, they may be reluctant to seek it out. That’s why you should look into treatment centers for them.
Look for residential treatment centers in your area. Then, find out what treatment programs are available and what your options are. From there, you can start to create an action plan, which you can present to your loved one when they’re ready.
That way, when the time comes to start, you’ll know exactly where to go. You’ll also be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Know where and how to get treatment. Otherwise, you could miss an opportunity to start the process of recovery.
Convincing someone with a drug problem to get help is not a one-man job. You’ll be much more likely to have success if you have other people to help you.
Get the people around you on board, so that they can help you throughout the process. If your loved one rejects your offer to help them, they may turn to someone else nearby. If that person is on the same page as you, they can reinforce the same sentiment.
Create a network of people who can help, whether it’s friends, family members or social workers.
You can’t go it alone. You need support, not just for the person who has an addiction, but for yourself, too.
This is undoubtedly the most important step.
If someone in your life is suffering from drug addictions, it can be a sensitive topic. As much as you want to talk about it, it’s difficult to broach the subject, and many families go for years without addressing the elephant in the room.
However, it’s important that you talk about it.
The earlier you catch it, the better. While you might think that things aren’t bad enough to merit a confrontation, you shouldn’t avoid it. Often, what you’re seeing is only the tip of the iceberg.
You might be worried that bringing the subject up may push them away, upset them, or lead them to further substance abuse. At times, those with drug addictions can react to such a conversation aggressively, as they’re often in denial about the seriousness of their problem.
On the other hand, confronting the issue head-on can be a hugely beneficial experience. They may be unaware of how serious their addiction is, or feel too ashamed to ask for help. Either way, they will need you to reach out to them
It can take several attempts to escape an addiction. There can be cycles or recovery and relapsing, which are frustrating for friends and family to witness. After having tried everything you can, you may feel helpless, but don’t give up.
With the right treatment, environment and support, an addiction can be overcome and managed successfully.
They may be unwilling to engage in the conversation at first, but if you’re persistent, they might just come around. Keep the lines of communication open.
At Chateau Recovery, we’re dedicated to helping people fight drug addictions in a way that suits them.
Instead of generic programs, we offer individualized treatment. We work with each patient to find out exactly what support they need. We’ll work to give your loved one support that fits their personality, needs and desires
It’s not just psychotherapy, counseling and medication. We provide skills workshops, group therapy, meditation, animal-based recovery, religious meetings, and more.
Take the next step on the road to recovery. Find out more about our treatment programs and how they can help your family.