Addiction is an epidemic that’s making its way across the world. Substances of all kinds are being abused, and new ones continue to rise in popularity. You might have a loved one who’s currently experimenting with addictive substances or is already an addict, and it’s incredibly difficult to cope with.
There are strategies that you can use to help your relationship and make sure that you and your loved one are as healthy as possible. It’s important you remember that it’s a long and grueling process, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did your best to be there for you loved one when they were going through something has horrible as an addiction.
Leave Your Judgement Behind
Addiction is a mental illness, and it’s important you treat it like one. It’s common to feel anger or resentment towards the person you love for getting addicted in the first place, however it’s vital to remember that substance abuse is typically a product of underlying mental illness. Just like you wouldn’t blame someone for having diabetes, the same should be said about mental illness.
To put it simply, your loved one didn’t just wake up and say they wanted to become an addict. People use substances to self-medicate, escape reality, and give into impulsive thoughts. If your loved one is feeling judged by you, the person they’re meant to feel safe with, then expecting them to recover just isn’t an option.
Set Strict Boundaries
Codependency and enabling are two of the hardest things standing in the way of an addict and recovery. This is a traumatic time for you and your loved one, meaning it’s easy to form unhealthy habits.
It’s normal to think that if you give into their every whim that an addict will be able to beat their addiction, but the truth is they won’t. If you give your loved one money, a place to live, clothes, drive them places, or help them attain the substance they abuse you are simply encouraging them to continue being an addict.
To combat this, you need to set boundaries.
You can start small by telling your loved one that you won’t pick up every time they call. Then it can move to things like cutting them off financially and having them not live in your home until they’re ready to get better. You can take it step by step until you’ve made it clear to your loved one that you will always love them but not support the thing that’s slowly killing them.
Encourage Them to Get Help
Unfortunately, addiction is not something people can usually get over themselves. Depending on the substance, addicts trying to detox themselves can have serious health consequences.
If your loved one has expressed wanting to get help or move towards recovery, there are many things you can do. Helping them find a center to detox at is the first step. Many of the places have programs for addicts to adjust back to normal life like at Clear Recovery Center, so once they’ve finished detoxing, they can continue getting the outpatient care they need.
With a combination of therapy, cutting out toxic people, and potentially medications, your loved one has all of the potential to make a full recovery. It’s important that whatever decision they make you support them as long as it’s helpful.
Addiction is a heart wrenching disease that ruins lives, tears families apart, and makes people miserable. Despite it being hard to overcome, if you have a loved one suffering with substance abuse, you should still encourage your loved one to get help and be there with them for every step of the way.