Are you dealing with a loved one who suffers from drug addiction?
In 2014, 21.5 million Americans struggled with drug or alcohol abuse. The drug epidemic affects not only those who are addicted but their family and friends as well. Read on to learn how to help an addict toward a path to recovery.
1. Have A One-On-One Heart-To-Heart
Have you talked to your loved one about their addiction?
It’s a difficult conversation, but one that can’t be avoided if you want to get the ball rolling toward recovery. Make sure that this conversation is planned, though. It’s not a chat that can be had casually.
Talk when your loved one is in good spirits. He or she has to be sober in order for this talk to take place.
Discuss how they’re managing in life lately, and ask if they want to talk about any troubles they might have. If addiction doesn’t come up, bring it up yourself.
Tell your loved one how their addiction is affecting your family. But mainly, focus on how drugs are causing your loved one to change.
Then, offer to help them find the right treatment plan. Show them some resources you’ve gathered as a first step.
2. Learn How To Help An Addict By Staging An Intervention
A one-on-one talk might not work for your loved one. They might get defensive and resist help.
In this case, the next best plan is an intervention. Gather some family members who are willing to help, and plan a family meeting.
Use similar tactics as you would during your one-on-one conversation:
- Talk about how the addiction affects each person in various ways.
- Remind your loved one how much they mean to you.
- Then, present an ultimatum and a plan.
Ask your loved one to choose treatment. If he or she refuses, your next step is to stop supporting the addiction as long as it continues without recovery. As an incentive, your family can give the gift of rehab.
3. Stop Enabling
Do you have a codependent relationship with your addicted loved one?
If you’re an enabler, you might feel that you’re protecting them. Quite the opposite is true, though.
If you give them money or a place to live, for instance, you’re helping to pay for the drugs they use. If you cover for them ethically or legally, you’re helping them stay comfortable in their addiction.
Cut off all forms of support unless your loved one is willing to get help. This may feel like the opposite of a loving gesture, but really, it’s the way to make the addiction harder to maintain.
4. Let Them Feel The Consequences
Consequences go hand-in-hand with cutting off enabling behaviors. Your loved one needs to feel that there are real consequences of his addiction.
Often, addicts can’t relate to consequences until they experience them firsthand. Show your loved one that their drug abuse leads to negative results.
For instance, don’t call into their job and cover for them if they choose to skip work. Don’t cover for them in court or otherwise protect them from legal issues.
5. Find Treatment Resources For Them And Yourself
Loving an addict may mean that you need therapy as much as they need treatment. When your loved one is ready for help, find resources like this treatment center.
Find yourself a therapist as well. While your loved one is in recovery, you can work on reconnecting with yourself and establishing new boundaries.
This way, you can both enjoy a clean and positive future.
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