There are few forces that can tear through your life as destructively as addiction can. It doesn’t just affect the people who are dealing with the addiction, but those around them, as well, can be in serious danger of harm. However, if you love someone who is dealing with addiction, you can also be a powerful ally. While you should never think to assume full responsibility for their treatment or their health, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do. Here are a few tips on what you can do for the addict in your life.
Know what you’re getting into
Before you start trying to talk about drug addiction to your loved one, there are few things you should know in relation to addictions. Understanding the health risks that it poses to the person fighting the addiction is key so you can know when to make an emergency medical intervention. However, knowing how addiction affects them is also important. For instance, in many cases, it’s not something that can be fought off with willpower. It’s not a moral failing, but rather a physical dependence that often arises in response to some form of mental or emotional health problem.
Having the conversation
Even approaching the topic of addiction can be difficult. This is even more true if your loved one is likely to deny that they have a problem. Staging an intervention is not easy and it can be very emotionally troubling for everyone involved. As such, sometimes it’s recommended to do with the advice of a specialist. Most important is ensuring that the approach is about kindness rather than confrontation. Honestly talking about your concerns and how addiction has affected your loved one and your relationships is good, accusing them or admonishing them is less likely to work.
Finding the treatment options
Your loved one might also have trouble understanding what kinds of treatments are available. Helping them go through their options, such as going with them to places like a methadone clinic, for example, can help. As such, researching the options and offering to be with them when they seek help can be of serious benefit.
Being there for them
Even after their treatment, your loved one is still going to be fighting addiction, and supporting them can play a crucial role in that. Helping them by keeping them accountable and not simply sweeping the topic under the mat is recommended. Helping them with practical things, like helping them find a job, can be a big boost, too. Emotional support comes first and foremost, but practical help can prevent backsliding, too.
However it is that you’re helping your loved one who is facing an addiction, you have to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself, at first. You cannot be responsible for their journey, you can only help them on the way. To that end, if you ever feel like you are in any danger, be it physically or mentally, you have to be able to distance yourself, as well, but hopefully, the tips above can help.