7 Tips for Helping Someone Overcome Drug Addiction
By Gary Peterson
Drug addiction does not just affect the person who’s at the center of it. In fact, it affects everyone in the addict’s life.
When someone gets on the road to recovery, the door also opens for friends and families to walk the recovery lane for their own sake.
If a person you care about is struggling with drug addiction, it’s your responsibility to take the necessary steps to help them along the recovery journey. However, there are many challenges people face in addiction recovery. Thus, it’s ultimately crucial that your loved one is supported by a comprehensive recovery community.
You cannot possibly be their only source of support. As it turns out, many addiction treatment centers offer programs that work to help addicts get back on their feet with substance use disorders in order to resolve broken links in their lives that may have resulted from drug abuse.
If you don’t know how to detox, keep in mind that the complicated rebuilding process of detoxification and withdrawal can be extremely difficult to do alone.
Now, the question is, where do you come in when it comes to helping someone overcome their drug addiction?
Well, it can be difficult to resist the urge to help your loved one. However, for their sake and your own, it’s crucial to observe specific limits and let specialists guide them toward success.
That said, below are the seven best tips for helping someone overcome drug addiction...
#1: Be Realistic
Know that there’ll be resistance, roadblocks, and possibly relapse. However, you need also to expect that rehabilitation and recovery are very much possible with the proper steps forward.
Your job is to find a balanced perspective so that you can stay positive, even amidst the unavoidable challenges to arrive.
#2: Be Understanding
Dependence and addiction inspire unfortunate and desperate actions.
Remember, they might not be in full control of their actions or words. Thus, it’s best to avoid taking things personally during this period.
Also, leading with shame and blame won’t encourage their positive mental health development. While you shouldn’t look past the bad things they might do to you or others, they still deserve some gesture of compassion like the chance for treatment and clinical care.
#3: Take Supportive Actions
Denial happens for the drug addict and for the people involved as well.
It can be easier to put off conversations and actions, but that also means missed opportunities for early recovering and higher risks of emotional, psychological, physical, and life damage.
The various effects of addiction can be devastating. Work through all barriers instead of against them:
- Respect the addict’s privacy as you go for treatment.
- Share everything you know about the treatment center so that they know what to expect.
- Keep in mind that the recovery is all about prioritizing the person’s higher personal desire—not your desires for them.
- Remember that even when rehab means taking time away from work, it is the best thing for their career as well.
If the person is resistant and trying to block your attempts to connect them with proper help, know that you can always call a treatment center for professional advice.
One of the hardest parts about recovery is learning how to live in the shadow of a past substance abuse problem. Rebuilding relationships after addiction can be achieved with the right care. By learning to love life after addiction, you’ll find out about the realities and possibilities of rebuilding your world.
#4: Avoid Enabling Behavior
Always be honest about your needs, feelings, and boundaries. Also, be truthful regarding what you expect from them.
Enabling means sheltering the person from the consequences of their drug abuse. You might think it’d be better to pick up the pieces of their life, finances, responsibilities, and daily needs, but the truth is that enabling will delay recovery and the rest of their life.
A treatment center or a professional interventionist can help you understand the difference between helping and enabling.
#5: Consult with an Interventionist
The value of professional advice and intervention should not be underestimated as the health and safety of your loved one are too important.
Look for the best professional help available out there to guide you through this early stage to successful rehab and to long-term progress in recovery.
#6: Draw the Line at Compromises You’re Unwilling to Make Cutting someone slack isn’t doing them any favor when they’re likely to turn their bad habits around. It’s never going to be an easy road to recovery, but it’s definitely going to be a difficult one if those bad habits are still active.
Stay absolutely honest about what you are unwilling to tolerate, and commit to those specific boundaries. Once they’re in treatment, you’ll have support for these definite boundaries on several different levels via family programming and new habit building.
#7: Accept the Fact that You Can’t Fix Them All By Yourself
Drug use disorders are serious mental health issues which require experienced clinical guidance and supervision for a successful recovery. From the potential risks of detox to relapse, the road to recovery is a sensitive path, and anything can go wrong.
Don’t assume that you can fix their addiction or be the only source of mental and physical support. The odds for progress are always with well-rounded support, which includes clinical care and a network of peers that are also journeying in recovery.
Perhaps it’s been a long time since you put your own health first because of your concern for someone wrapped up in drug addiction. However, it’s a mistake to forfeit your own health. Also, it’s unfortunate to miss out on the various opportunities for the available support.
Even as your best friend or loved one is involved with treatment, there are plenty of opportunities for individual therapy, family therapy, support groups for a family of addicts and friends, and integrated family treatment programming to reinforce their long-term transformation.
It’s in everyone’s best interest that you put enough attention to your own well-being, mental health, and your needs.
Remember, the way forward is together, and the best way is one of positive transformations all around.