Know someone who is struggling with addiction? Whether it is an addiction to substances, the internet, or food, it is likely that they will need some help in finding the road to recovery. You could be the one to provide this support – whether it’s encouraging them to recognize their addiction or helping them to beat withdrawal symptoms and stay clean.
Of course, when helping someone with an addiction, you need to approach the problem in the right way. Many people can be anxious about offering support because they don’t know what to say or do. This post offers a few tips on exactly how to help a loved one overcome addiction.
Do your research
Your first step should be to understand their addiction and the recovery options available. This involves doing your research online. Try seeking advice from addiction recovery advocates such as Mike Smeth. It may even be worth calling a helpline for loved ones of addicts or talking to a therapist about what your options are.
Communicate with compassion
The best way to get an addict to seek recovery is to keep addressing your concerns – however you need to do this in a compassionate way. Getting angry at them and blaming them for their problems is likely to only make the issue worse as the person may feel worse and seek out addictive behavior as a comfort (or as a deliberately rebellious act of self-destruction). Instead, continuously express how you are worried about their behavior and make them realize that you care about them.
Help them to find professional help
Professional treatment is often necessary when battling many forms of moderate to severe addiction. Try to help your loved one seek professional help. This could include agreeing to research into professional help services with them. If they are reluctant to seek professional help, use small prompts such as leaving a leaflet on their bed or sending them a link to a professional help service.
Be loving but firm
It’s important to show your love, but you also need to be firm in your desire to help them recover. Set strict rules and boundaries and stick to them. This could include not allowing any alcohol or snacks in the house or banning use of devices/consoles after a certain time. Do not give into their demands and do not enable their behaviour out of pity.
Know when to arrange an intervention
If your loved one is not listening to you no matter, no matter how much you try. It could be time for an intervention. This involves organizing multiple friends and family to confront your loved one and express concern. It could be worth getting help from a therapist when organizing an intervention.
Get support for your own mental health
Having to help someone else through recovery could take a strain on your own mental health. Know when to seek help for yourself. This could include seeking professional help or simply opening up to friends and family members.