4 Ways To Support A Loved One With An Addiction
They often say loving (or living with) someone with an addiction can be just as challenging as having one yourself. Interpret it as you will, the fact is: It is excruciating to see someone close to you battle this life-threatening illness. And there are plenty of Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to a proper recovery strategy. For this particular blog, we wanted to explore ways that, as a loved one, you can help the person in your life struggling with drug or alcohol dependence. Granted none of this is easy, but it is extremely important if you want to see them safely through the other side.
#1 Stop Enabling
This is one is actually much harder than it sounds. As a parent or loved one of an addict, it is tremendously painful to see them in pain. Many times, those closest to an addict try to turn the other cheek or even offer handouts to ease the suffering. This is considered “enabling” and actually does much more harm than good. Letting them sleep in all day, borrow your car keys or write themselves a check only continues the cycle. For the moment that may seem like an easier solution (especially since people suffering from addiction appear much nicer when catered to), but it can have deadly consequences.
#2 Tell Others About The Problem
Swearing yourself to secrecy is no way to solve the addiction problem of a loved one. It is very common for the person suffering to ask for confidentiality about their habit and, yes, everyone is entitled to privacy. But living in solitude will only create more problems. It is important to tell others close to the person about their problem. If other friends are unaware, they may be more likely to lend money or “enable.” You must let the person know that the loved ones in their life are united around sobriety and getting them help.
#3 Take Time For Self Care
This may sound selfish, but believe us it isn’t. Loving someone with an addiction can be extremely taxing, creating both emotional and physical stress. And, shockingly, it can even lead the caretaker to start using. One of the primary reasons people use is to “escape” and being around drugs and alcohol 24/7 can easily make the sober loved one begin to lose their willpower. So yes, do everything you can to support and help your dependent loved one. But on the flipside, always set aside time for therapy or self-care. Your health is just as important as theirs and separating yourself from the situation can do a world of good.
#4 Reach Out To A Recovery Facility
Ultimately, the most important of all these rules is #4. Yes, you can try to show love and support throughout the first stages of an addiction. But once things turn serious, the first thing you need to do is connect your loved one with a proper treatment program. As much as you would like to think that you alone can solve the problem, the hard truth is: You Can’t. A facility like Valley Recovery Center has trained specialists working around-the-clock who can ween your loved one off drugs, alcohol, gambling or what have you. The first step is actually very easy. Just pick up the phone and dial (866) 986-2486. We’ll handle the rest and YOU can begin getting your life back.