While there is no simple solution for how to help someone with addiction there are some practical things you can do to help. In your desire to learn more about how to help someone with addiction always remember an addict is in pain and is suffering untold discomfort. This doesn’t mean they should be enabled but always remain empathetic and supportive in your actions.
Learn as Much as You Can About Addiction
- While no two addictions are the same there are some common threads that exist but only if you’re aware of them. Educate yourself on vital things like various symptoms, silent cries for help, lethargy, mood changes and so much more. Especially learn about the dangers of codependency so you may avoid the signs in yourself,
- Take your time and focus on those areas where you see your loved one being most affected.
Always be Supportive
- Someone in pain does not necessarily understand, or appreciate, the support around them.
- It is up to you to communicate to them that you, and others, are there to help them in any way needed.
- Being an addict can be a humiliating thing to admit so please be sensitive to how you communicate with your loved one. Avoid making them feel guilty or ashamed.
Encourage the Addict in Your Life to Get Help
- As with most problems the sooner it is discovered, and addressed, the better.
- Be persistent in your efforts to get them professional help but be prepared for resistance.
- Quite often addicts are unaware of the damage their addiction is doing to their loved ones. As such they may believe they are only doing harm to themselves.
Understand that Recovery is a Long Journey
- If your loved one does enter treatment it is vital that you remain involved where necessary. Let them know you are available if they need you.
- Recovery is a lifetime commitment and your support is the most important element of how to help someone with addiction. Think of yourself as the immovable rock in their life.
- There will be bumps in the road so be prepared. Also remember . . . there is a limit to what you can do so . . .
Always Be Mindful of Your Own Needs
- You can only give others what you have left to give. In other words, always take care of your needs first so you have the energy sometimes needed in this process.
- This means getting enough sleep, eating well and exercise. You also need to go to sleep every night secure in the knowledge that you did only what you are capable of doing, and that is all.
- You cannot save them, only support them. Ultimately there recovery is up to them.
How to help someone with addiction is often a long and painful road. It can, at times, be so overwhelming that you may be tempted to ignore it or pretend it isn’t happening. This can prove even more damaging to you, your family, and the person you’re concerned about. As painful as it may be, it’s important that you take the time to encourage your loved one to get the help they need.
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