If you are a friend or relative to a person living with addiction, you might have thought about helping them. Now, deciding to help an addict is not an easy task since addiction can be frustrating to both the addict and those related to them. However, with your helping hand, your loved one has a better chance of recovering from their addiction. Essentially, lack of support can be the reason behind the lack of rehabilitation for your loved one. In this piece, we look at the dos and don’ts of helping an addict. In addition, you will get to learn a few tricks that can help you throughout the process.
• Focus your efforts on gaining the addict’s trust; it is crucial
• Be frank with them. They are addicts, not people to lie to.
• Give them some space. They still require their privacy.
• Don’t criticize them; negativity might make them not want your help.
• Don’t threaten the addict
• Don’t expect much; actually, don’t expect them to change immediately.
Now, with the dos and don’ts out of the way, let us look at the tips of helping an addict:
Be Ready for Difficulties
You might have heard that helping an addict is difficult. Well, it is true. Now, various reasons make helping an addict quite difficult. Essentially, these are problems associated with the addict or the rehabilitation process. To help your loved one, you will need to understand these reasons to be prepared. They are:
• The addict may not agree to recognize their problem
• They might not be interested in changing their way of life
• The addict might be afraid of the consequences of leaving addiction
• Embarrassment and the feeling of shame due to stigma
• Awkwardness caused by the discussion of personal issues
• Life difficulties and problems made them get into addiction in the first place
Looking at the above reasons, you find that there is no easy and fast way of helping a person dealing with addiction. In essence, helping an addict will require patience, great willpower, and a determined mindset. Essentially, be ready to walk with the addict and help them to initiate changes that will lead to rehabilitation in the long term.
The addicted person probably is either your friend or family relative. To help an addict recover from their addiction, you will need to rebuild trust. Typically, the ability to help an addict will stem from a relationship that is built on trust. If the addict cannot trust you, then you definitely cannot help them. To help an addict, avoid the following practices.
• Don’t nag, lecture, or criticize the addicted person
• Name-calling, yelling, or exaggerating the problem.
• Don’t engage in behaviors that might lead to addiction in you.
Since trust can be broken simply, observe the following when talking to your addicted person.
• Respect the different perspectives. At first, the addict might feel that you want to creep into their space. This might also be perceived as controlling and can be bad for the addict. Therefore, make sure your actions are not perceived in the wrong way.
• Eradicate stress between you and the addict. Stress can cause addiction to continue.
• Create a habit of telling the addict truthful things about you. This will generate trust.
• Don’t try to protect the addict from the consequences of addiction.
Ensure That You Get Help Too.
Being around an addict can also be stressful. To avoid falling into the same trap, accept that it is a problem and seek help. This will keep you strong and ready to help the addicted person recover. In essence, you cannot help your loved one if you have problems yourself.
Practice Clear Communication
Getting an addict to change and recover can be a difficult task. However, with proper communication, you can convince them to change their ways and go for rehabilitation. This can be the most challenging conversation since a simple mistake such as yelling or threatening can prevent the addict from taking your suggestions.
Seek Treatment Options
Once the addicted person is ready to proceed with recovery, you can identify treatment options. In essence, the choice will depend on the addition and the treatment that your loved one needs. However, treatment might cover detoxification, rehabilitation, and follow-up consultations. During the treatment, practice the following.
• Keep the trust going. It will help them be more close to you.
• Open up about your feelings. Just be honest.
• Accept the blame if issued by the addicted person.
If the addict decides to pursue the treatment alone, respect their life, privacy and be patient with them.
Helping an addiction could be the most challenging thing. However, using the right approaches will ensure that you get the help and convince them to seek treatment. If you intend to learn more or need to help your loved one, call us today at 732-392-7311.