How to Help Someone You Love with an Addiction

How to Help Someone You Love with an Addiction

Did you know that Americans battle addiction more than all of the types of cancer combined?

Fighting addiction isn’t easy, but helping an addict through their battle can be just as tough. Do you want to learn how to support an addict best? Keep reading for all the information you need to help your loved one get sober.

Learn the Symptoms and Get Educated

If you suspect a loved one is suffering from addiction, you need to learn everything you can about their specific substance abuse issue. Since different drugs come with different symptoms, treatments, and health effects, it’s important to understand what they’re going through physically and mentally.

The more you know, the more useful you can be when you try to guide them to sobriety. Helping someone with addiction can be scary and stressful, but knowledge is power.

How to Help an Addict: Don’t Enable Their Addiction

When you’re trying to figure out how to help someone with addiction, your instinct may be to protect them and excuse their behavior. Although your intentions are pure, shielding someone from the consequences of their actions won’t allow them to learn and realize how severe their addiction is. Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they make an effort to recover.

While you don’t have to give them tough love, you shouldn’t condone their addiction either. You may feel like the bad guy if you watch your loved one suffer, but interfering through enabling will lead to much more suffering down the road.

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Try to Get Them Help

Although it’s challenging, the best way to help an addict is to persuade them to get treatment. If you want your loved one to get sober, the quality of care they receive will have a huge impact on their success.

There are a few different ways you can encourage someone to get professional care. If their addiction stems from a mental illness or a desire to escape from reality, then therapy could give them healthier coping mechanisms.

One helpful treatment is an ASAM level 1 class. Since the therapy is designed to be supportive and nonjudgmental, your loved one can feel safe. This treatment also allows the patients to continue their routine so their work won’t be affected. Severe addictions should be treated with more extensive rehab programs if out-patient therapy doesn’t help.

How to Support an Addict: Be Patient and Understanding

The road to recovery usually isn’t linear. There are plenty of ups and downs, setbacks, and even relapses. The most important thing you can do is remain patient and empathetic throughout this emotional journey.

Contrary to popular stigmas, addiction is a disease. Since no one would shame someone for getting cancer, the same mentality should be applied to people with addictions. One is a disease of the body while another is a disease of the mind.

No matter what happens, you should continue to support their efforts and remind them how proud you are of them for trying their best.

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Now that you know how to support an addict, you can ensure all of your loved ones are living their happiest and safest lives.

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