Dealing with someone suffering from any addiction, either physical or behavioral, is exceptionally challenging. If you’ve suspected that one of your nearest and dearest have been stuck in the sea of addiction problems and you want to help, get ready for a long journey.
Very often, people with addiction perceive any help with hostility or denial. They struggle to see the problem and acknowledge it. Moreover, they frequently don’t recognize the negative effects of their behavior on themselves and others.
If you’ve decided to support and help someone with this matter, start with creating a safe and harmonious environment. The long and difficult recovery path demands a lot of patience, energy, and attention. Keep on reading and get acquainted with useful guidelines to help someone suffering from addiction.
Start with Compassion
Addiction deserves the same amount of empathy and compassion as any other disease. Adverse social support is one of the biggest barriers to entering treatment. Without support, the person with addiction may feel even more alone and isolated. This, in turn, may force them to use more.
Start with acknowledging that addiction isn’t a defect or a choice but rather a disease. Don’t put the blame on a person but instead, be compassionate and willing to help during a long-lasting recovery. It’s a great way to build trust and give your loved one the incentive to change.
Show them that you care. Listen a lot and try to acknowledge the pain. Ask open questions. Exercising compassion is a huge part of a successful struggle.
Educate Yourself About Addiction
Knowledge is power. Learning about addiction will help you better understand your loved one’s condition and what they are going through.
The more you educate yourself, the faster you’ll be able to help a person.
Find an Approach That Works
Many different treatment options can be effective, so it is essential to consider them. Think about which approach might best suit you and your loved one’s needs and goals.
Depending on the nature of the addiction, the treatment process might involve rehabilitation, psychotherapy, medication, and support groups.
Don’t Violate Their Privacy
As we’ve already mentioned, the treatment of addiction is a long and difficult journey. It’s vital to find a balance between being completely supportive and respecting their privacy.
Before informing your friends, family, or others that your loved one is undergoing treatment, get consent. Also, don’t push a person to discuss the details of therapy if she is not ready to talk.
Lead an Effective Communication
Effective communication with someone who has an addiction involves kindness, honesty, positive statements, and empathy.
Instead of saying, “You should be ashamed of yourself for using drugs.
Will you ever get clean again?” say, “I’m sorry you’re struggling with your addiction. I am always here to help and support you.”
Avoid using the blaming “you” statements. Try saying, “I feel completely frustrated when you’re drunk. Having you sober is the best company” instead, “You are so disgusting when you are drunk. I can’t stand you.”
Exclude blame and confrontation. When you are honest and open, there is a bigger chance of change.
Also, keep non-verbal communication in mind. Negative facial expressions or body language can make your loved ones think you are intrusive and threatening.
Practice patience. When you’ve already built trust, try to listen more without interrupting and criticizing. Ask open questions and withhold your judgment if you don’t agree with what they say.
An important part of communicating with someone who has an addiction is keeping an open heart and mind. Try not to make their addiction the main focus of your communication and continue asking them about their weekend plans or inviting them to go to the cinema with you.
If there was one universal, easy and fast way to help people suffering from addiction, you would probably know about it. However, this is a daunting and very often draining process that requires much effort.
Be ready that your loved one may deny having a problem and thus avoid dealing with it, feel unable to discuss anything, refuse to change their behavior, and contradict a lot.
Stay patient, and don’t give up looking for the right approach. Hope dies last, and together with hope, the chances of recovery diminish as well. Remember that addiction is treatable.
Implement Healthy Habits
Very often, people suffering from addiction don’t have any energy, motivation, or desire to maintain their physical and mental well-being.
Try to encourage a person to implement healthy habits. Among them are exercising, drinking vitamins and plenty of water, establishing a structured environment, good sleep, etc.
Those habits can lower the risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety accelerated by addiction.
Take Care of Yourself
The last and extremely vital tip is taking care of yourself. And no, it’s not about selfishness. When helping someone with addiction, people often forget about themselves and dive into a destructive way of life.
Start your self-care by making up stress management strategies. Thus you could not only help your beloved one more effectively but also maintain your own well-being.
Additionally, try joining a support group. It may become your bridge between medical and emotional needs.
Continue doing your favorite activities, like hobbies and social outings. Never forget about yourself to be more effective in helping others.
The Bottom Line
To help a person overcome addiction, start with educating yourself, learning and understanding what addiction is, looking for the right approach, setting healthy boundaries, and leading effective communication.
Support your loved one while supporting your own well-being. Remember to implement stress management strategies and therapy. This way, you’ll support yourself in this uneasy journey.
Don’t give up when meeting the first difficulties. Be ready to have many challenges on your way. Finding a common language with a person who has an addiction may be extremely challenging. Though you can’t force anyone to change, you can encourage them to get help and support during treatment. Check out what rehab in Thailand can offer you.