How to Help a Loved One With Addiction

Seeing a loved one struggle with addiction can make you feel heartbroken and powerless. You might be wondering if you can do anything to help them overcome their addiction or if it’s a good idea for you to stay around them when it seems their situation is just getting worse.

Remember that you are not powerless as long as your loved one wants your help and support. Take a deep breath, and then learn how to help a loved one with addiction.

Educate yourself about addiction

Did you know there were different myths surrounding addiction? If you’re not too familiar with what addiction truly is, take a moment to educate yourself. Seek reliable resources so you can gain a better understanding of what addiction is and what treatment and recovery can look like.

One of the most important things you need to know is that addiction is not an incurable disease. Your loved one’s situation is not hopeless, no matter how bad it may look.

Have a conversation about addiction treatment centers

Remember that it would be impossible to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. But if your loved one wants some help to overcome their addiction problem, start by having a heart-to-heart conversation with them.

Ask them questions about their situation, and listen to what they say. You can also explain to them how their behaviour makes you feel.

If they agree to seek treatment, you could even recommend different addiction treatment centers they could get in touch with.

Listen to your loved one and be supportive

Even if your loved one agrees to seek professional help, they still need your unwavering emotional support. Be there for them.

Listen to them whenever they want to talk to you about their struggles. And above all, do your best to listen to them without judgment. Be supportive, and remind them that you care about and want them to improve.

Be sure to set healthy boundaries

Being present and supportive of your loved one doesn’t mean you should forget about setting healthy boundaries. You don’t want to be helping your addicted loved one at the expense of your well-being.

Be sure to recognize and assert your needs. Establishing clear personal limits in your relationship is what will allow you to protect your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Don’t enable addictive behaviours

Some of the things you do might enable your loved ones’ addictive behaviours. For example, you might lend them money whenever they ask for it or even pay their overdue bills.

Making excuses for their problematic behaviour is also a way to enable their addiction.

Look out for these enabling behaviours, and do your best to stop doing them. Remember that enabling your loved one doesn’t help them in the end.

Focus on realistic expectations

Recovery just doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and dedication. Be sure you keep this in mind and that your expectations for your loved one’s recovery are realistic.

The truth is that for some people, recovering from addiction can be a lifelong process. Don’t get discouraged or frustrated if your loved one relapses when they seem to be doing better. Keep supporting them in their battle against addiction, and be patient.

Seek some support for yourself

As you look for tips on how to help a loved one with addiction, don’t forget to seek some support for yourself as well. You might consider booking some therapy sessions if you feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

If you forget your needs and well-being, therapy will help you find a new balance in your life. It could also help make it easier for you to understand how to separate your loved one’s addictive behaviour from who they truly are.

Check in with them regularly

If you don’t share a home with your addicted loved one, you will need to check in with them regularly.

Simply visiting them or calling them to ask how they are doing will remind them that you care and are there to provide them with the support they need.

Take good care of yourself

Taking good care of yourself is not selfish. It’s necessary. If you’re constantly tired and stressed out, you won’t be able to support and help your loved one.

So be sure to take some time to care for yourself. Relax, get enough sleep, and eat healthy food. Do things you enjoy, whether watching your favourite movie or walking in a beautiful park.

Being kind to yourself will help you be kind to your addicted loved one as well.

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