How to Help a Loved One with Substance Abuse Problem
Seeing a loved one struggle with a substance abuse problem is heartbreaking. Even though you can often feel helpless, you are actually a crucial part of your loved one’s recovery process.
SpringBoard Recovery, a top Scottsdale treatment center know that your love, strength, and support are all essential to your loved one getting their life back and there are many things you can do to help them fight their addiction.
Know What Signs to Look For
When a loved one is struggling with addiction, it is possible that they are not aware of it. They may think that they have the situation completely under control. Even if they are aware of it, many sufferers do not want to talk about it. It is important to remember that the sooner you notice your loved one’s substance abuse problem, the sooner you can help them begin the recovery process.
You know your loved one, so you will notice changes from their normal behavior. Personality changes that are common in those struggling with addiction include secretive behavior, sudden changes in health, unexpected financial problems, and uncharacteristic changes in mood. If you notice these telltale signs, you can help your loved one by starting a conversation about them. This could be the motivation they need to finally enter recovery.
Understand the Realities of Addiction
One of the most dangerous misconceptions about addiction is that it is merely a matter of willpower. However, science has shown that this is far from the case. Addictions affect a person psychologically and emotionally as well as physically. Also, not all addictions are the same, and not everyone is affected the same way. Many factors including biology, development, and environment influence addiction.
Additionally, those affected are not in full control of their actions. They may not be aware of the harm they are causing themselves and those around them. Even if they are aware of the negative effects of their actions, they are unable to stop. This can often lead to feelings of guilt, which only makes the addiction worse. This is why patience on your part is so important. Even if it does not seem like it, your loved one truly does want to get better.
Be Willing to Communicate
As difficult as it may be for you to see your loved one suffer because of a substance abuse problem, it is even more difficult for them. The last thing they need is to feel like you are blaming them for their disease. Rather than attacking them, it is better to approach them with the understanding that what they need is help.
When you speak to them about their addiction, you must remember that they are not in a state of mind in which they are making the best decisions. There is a chance that they will reject any help your offer, but that is okay. Be patient no matter how they respond, and make sure they understand that you are there to help them whenever they are ready to get sober.
Help Them Help Themselves
One of the most destructive effects of addiction is that it blurs the boundaries between what is acceptable and what is not. This is true for both you and your loved one. You may suddenly realize that you are letting things slide that you normally would not because your loved one is suffering from this disease. While you want to help, it is also important for you to enforce boundaries.
If you know that your loved one is struggling to pay for their addiction, do not give them money. Do not allow your home to become a place for them to act on their destructive impulses, and do not lie and cover for them. Doing these things only makes it easier for them to continue their bad habits. As difficult as it might be, forcing them to face the consequences of their actions is a crucial step towards recovery.
Fighting Addiction is a Lifelong Battle
Addiction is a chronic disease, which means that it can be controlled, but it is never cured. This is why some alcoholics choose to stay away from situations where alcohol is present even after they quit drinking. It is also why many addicts choose to stop talking to old friends and even move to a new environment. The battle is ongoing, which means the support system to keep fighting needs to continue as well.
When you see that your loved one is doing well in their recovery, you might be tempted to act as if things are back to the way they were before the addiction. However, you must understand this is not the case. Your loved one needs your continued support in order to keep fighting.
When your loved one is winning the battle, let them know how proud and happy you are. If they fall back, do not blame them; let them know that you are there for them no matter what. Remind them that they have beat addiction once, and you are there to help them do it again.
If you are looking for resources to help your loved one fight this disease, finding a reputable Scottsdale Treatment Center is the first step. Contact SpringBoard Recovery today and let us help you get on the road to recovery.
- Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/substance-use-4014640
- Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323465
- American Psychiatric Association: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/what-is-addiction
- News in Health: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2017/06/dealing-drug-problems
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction
- Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/addiction
- Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/addiction-4157312
- Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-for-staying-clean-and-sober-67900
- Michigan Health: https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/brain-health/science-says-addiction-a-chronic-disease-not-a-moral-failing
- Road to Growth Counseling: https://roadtogrowthcounseling.com/how-to-build-a-support-system/#:~:text=A%20support%20system%20is%20made,and%20in%20your%20best%20interest.&text=Sometimes%20your%20support%20system%20includes%20people%20in%20your%20community.