You Can Be Key In Your Loved One’s Recovery From Addiction
When it comes to health, addiction can be one of the scariest topics to help about broaching. Few things can make you worry as much as realizing your loved one might have an addiction. But make no mistake, there’s a lot you can do. Someone with an addiction has to be willing to face it, but you can help them get there.
Be aware of the dangers
It can be difficult to know whether or not someone’s addicted and what kind of signs point to it. So you need to start learning them before you jump to conclusions. If people are missing their responsibilities because of substance use, that’s a clear sign. When it comes to alcohol abuse, drink driving is your sign to step in. With prescription meds, you want to pay close attention to how often someone needs to take pain medication. Defensiveness, mood swings, changed behaviour. These can all be strong indicators that someone is starting to slip into an addiction. It’s not always dramatic but that doesn’t mean it’s any less serious.
Learning to talk to them
Some of those same behavioural changes can make it difficult to properly broach the topic and communicate your concerns. Some people think that addicts need a ‘wake up call’. But being too brash can only further that defensive behaviour. You need to treat them with compassion and kindness. Make sure it’s clear that this is coming from a place of care, not admonition. Be consistent with them and don’t mix your messages. Don’t say one thing then behave another way. Surprises feed stress and stress feeds an addiction.
Help them get help
Taking the step to reach out and actually get help can be a very scary thing for an addict. People have a lot of concerns, especially when it comes to rehabilitation. They might believe some of the horror scenes they’ve seen on TV. Or they might be afraid of the financial implications. You can be a lot of help in scouting out resources and places that can help them. You can find out things like drug rehab cost and what kind of treatments are offered. It’s hard to be rational about such a big choice, so you can help provide that rationalization with them. Just be honest with them. They know it’s not going to be easy, so don’t try and sugar coat it.
The support of a loved one is crucial through the challenges involved in recovering from addiction. If someone’s alone, they’re all the more likely to relapse. You need to know your own limits, but you also need to know the dangers ahead. If you’re committing, you have to commit. You also need to respect whatever treatment is underway for them. If their doctor says that you can only visit periodically, then don’t try and argue. Treating addiction involves treating aspects of someone’s home and family life, too. Sometimes you can be a distraction that is more hindrance than help.
Dealing with addiction is never straightforward. It can be hard to navigate to the stage where the problem’s being addressed face-to-face. It’s difficult for loved ones as much as addicts. But don’t underestimate the huge effect you can have on the road to recovery.