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How to Help Those You Love Who Have an Addiction Problem
When someone you love has a problem with addiction, it can be devastating. A series of consequences inevitably accompany the addicted person which affect everyone around him or her.
Financial devastation, legal troubles and health usually go hand-in-hand with the addict or alcoholic. They will constantly turn to loved ones for solutions to problems they have created as a result of their addiction. This is financially, emotionally and mentally draining to those around him or her. Watching someone you love slowly engage in risky behaviors robs you of your peace of mind and your sense of security; it will also undoubtedly keep you up at night worrying.
While it is difficult to understand, the addicted person has become powerless to stop their chemical dependence on their own. They have been taken hostage by a consuming mental obsession to do drugs and unable to control the physical compulsion to use more and more once they start. Typically, the addict is in complete denial that there is a problem and wonder why everyone is “making such a big deal” out of their alcohol or drug use.
It is not uncommon for loved ones to grow resentful because of their irrational behavior and complete lack of regard for the damage they are causing. The addict may have stolen from those closest to him or her, had violent episodes or destroyed property as a result of their addiction, invoking an apathetic attitude in those who have been victimized because of the addiction. At the very least, being around the addict is uncomfortable because they are incoherent, keep poor hygiene or are totally self absorbed, making social interaction next to impossible. Usually, loved ones end up washing their hands of the person altogether and want little to do with them.
Don’t Give Up
At times, it may seem impossible to reach the addict or alcoholic but if you truly want to help them, you must not give up hope. Educating yourself is paramount. There is help available and the one you love can learn to live a productive life without mind-altering substances. No matter how angry you may be, temporarily set aside your feelings and get serious about helping. Chemical dependence is a life-threatening condition and it cannot continue to go ignored.
The first step in helping an addicted person is getting them to recognize they have a problem. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to stage an intervention. This is when family members, friends and loved ones join forces and collectively confront the addict in an attempt to strip them of their denial. In this case, the use of a certified interventionist or substance abuse counselor is recommended. These are trained specialists who can ensure the intervention is successful. Bringing in a professional is not a requirement. The family can perform an intervention independently but extensive research should be performed to fully understand how to engage the addict and ensure they get the help they so desperately need.
In most situations, addicted people cannot get sober without the supervision and guidance offered in a rehabilitation facility. Stopping certain drugs and especially alcohol can create serious health risks. Withdrawal symptoms can cause seizures, psychosis or even death. Research drug and alcohol rehabs and be armed with information when you confront the addicted person. There are plenty of places that accept insurance, operate on a sliding scale or cost absolutely nothing. Encourage the addicted person to check themselves in to an in-patient rehabilitation program.
At minimum, someone with a drug or alcohol problem should begin attending 12-step meetings immediately. Alcoholics, Narcotics or Cocaine Anonymous meetings are available in almost every city in the United States. Be ready with meeting information and be prepared to drive your friend or family member to their first meeting. There, they will find recovering people who will help them feel less alone and begin the recovery process.
Set clear boundaries. One of the greatest gifts you can give to an addicted person is to tell them “no.” Learn to exercise tough love. Explain that you will no longer bail them out, accept their inappropriate behavior or allow them to create chaos in your life. Do this with love but be serious and follow through. If they are unwilling to check themselves into treatment or go to a recovery meeting, you will have to detach and stop enabling their behavior. Only when they have nowhere else to go will they go get help.
Finally, be very cautious in the way you communicate with an addict or alcoholic. Always speak kindly and lovingly, never harshly or judgmentally. They are looking for every reason to rebel and resist. If they feel loved and cared for, they are more likely to see the truth and get help.Stop suffering with addiction! Located a few minutes from the US border and one hour from Montreal, Canada, Heritage Home Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center offers a tranquil and therapeutic environment to begin your recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Our team has worked together in drug rehab for many years and will give you a personal, unique, and individualized approach to emotional healing and sobriety. Visit us online today.
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