People who are dealing with addiction need others in their life to give them support. Right now, you play an influential part in helping your friend or family member begin the process of getting their life back on track. While you are doing the right thing by sticking by their side, you should also know that it won’t always be easy. As you encourage your loved one to get treatment for drug addiction, remember to use these tips to support them while also taking care of your relationship.
Keep a Realistic Perspective
The recovery process takes time. Try to remember that most people go through a cycle of detox, withdrawal, recovery and sometimes even relapse. It may take more than one round of treatment for your loved one to get sober, and they need long term counseling. Be patient through the process, and understand that fixing years of addictive behavior does not happen overnight.
Don’t Take Things Personally
If you knew your loved one before they fell into the trap of addiction, then you know the kind of person that they can be when they are sober. Try not to take the things that they say right now personally. Drugs and alcohol generate personality changes that can cause them to lash out and say things that they do not mean. Once they get sober, you’ll see their once-caring personality begin to come back.
Accept the Need for Help
You may care genuinely about your loved one, but you cannot help with all their needs. The recovery process goes through a series of stages that begin with detox and requires intensive counseling to identify the underlying reasons for the addiction. During this time, your loved one needs support from trained professionals who are experienced with each stage of addiction recovery.
Act Right Away
Families and friends often make the mistake of living in denial. You may also be afraid of upsetting your loved one by calling them out on their addiction. Sadly, this mistake leaves your loved one vulnerable to even more damage in their life. People who continue to use drugs or alcohol excessively can wind up in trouble with the law, damage their health and even experience an overdose. Start talking to your loved one about your concerns today and have information available to help them get into treatment while they are interested.
Establish Clear Boundaries
Enabling behaviors are common among people who care about someone who is dealing with addiction. Your well-meaning attempt to keep your loved one from dealing with the consequences of dependency could mean that you are making it easier for them to continue to use drugs. For instance, bailing them out of jail can make them feel as though their actions are not as bad as they are. Set boundaries that make it clear to your loved one that their negative behaviors will not be tolerated. Once they enter treatment, you can continue to work on developing healthy habits that benefit your relationship.
As you continue to support your loved one, remember to take time out to take care of yourself. Helping someone learn to manage their addiction is challenging, and you need to trust in the expertise of your loved one’s treatment team to help them through the hardest parts of their recovery. Taking a team approach to supporting your loved one helps you surround them with love while you work together on building a healthier lifestyle.