A Simple How-To Guide for Getting a Loved One Help With Addiction

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Addiction’s more common than you might think.

Studies show 1 out of every 7 Americans winds up struggling with an addiction. Watching someone abuse drugs or alcohol is a heart-wrenching experience. All you want to do is help, and yet nothing you do seems to make a lasting difference.

If you’re wondering how to help someone you love get help with addiction than you’re in the right place. In this article we’ll review the best steps you can to put an end to the vicious cycle most addicts find themselves in.

Read on to learn how to help an addict, the right way.

Learn the Truth About Addiction

Before you can help with addiction, you first need to learn the truth about what addiction is. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of myths out there about what causes addictions. For instance, some people mistakenly believe that addiction is a choice people with low moral values choose to make.

However, the reality is, addiction is a disease. When someone’s addicted to drugs or alcohol, it changes their brain chemistry. Researchers are now discovering that addictions can hijack a person’s survival regions in their brain.

As a result, their ability to make logical, safe decisions go out the window. Oftentimes addicts get high or drunk, because of signals their brain’s sending. It takes extensive rehabilitation, and oftentimes therapy, for an addict to teach their brain new ways of thinking.

Help With Addiction by Exploring Treatments

The next step in learning how to help an addict is to explore treatment options such as an Addiction Treatment Center. We find it best to look for programs that provide individualized alcohol and drug treatment programs. A healthy environment is vital to recovery, so make sure the programs your considering helps clients feel at home.

The last thing you want to do is enroll your loved one in a treatment center that’s just a detox center, where they’ll have to suffer through withdrawals. Instead, look for programs that help clients learn life skills and tools for handling emotions that arise during detox.

Depending on the situation you’re dealing with, you may want to choose inpatient treatment centers as opposed to outpatient ones. There are also medication-assisted treatments to help ease the pains of withdrawals. Finally, find out what the treatment program does to help clients learn how to live a sober life after leaving the center.

Tips for Staging an Intervention

If your loved one refuses to attend a treatment center, it may be time to stage an intervention. First, we suggest you contact an intervention specialist who can serve as a neutral 3rd party. Intervention specialists are experts in communicating and they can help your loved one break through the cycle of denial.

Next, carefully select who you’ll include in the intervention group. For instance, family members and close friends could help you deliver the message of recovery.

However, be careful when including children or elderly family members. Make sure everyone in the group can handle the intense confrontation an intervention usually creates.

Finally, you’ll need to stage a practice intervention before going through with the real intervention. Let the intervention specialist instruct you on what to say, and how to say it. Sometimes you’ll find it’s best to write down exactly what you want to say, to help avoid getting off track when things get emotional. 

Stop Enabling

Moving on, one of the hardest things about learning how to help someone with an addiction is learning how to stop enabling. However, before you can stop enabling an addict, your first have to recognize that you’re doing it.

Here are a few signs that you’re an enabler:

  • Prioritizing addict’s needs over yours
  • Lying to cover the addict’s behaviors
  • Resenting addict
  • Trouble expressing emotions
  • Ignoring dangerous behaviors

Are you constantly worrying about the addict in your life? If yes, you might be feeling the burden of being an enabler. Enabling isn’t healthy for you, and it’s not healthy for addicts.

If you suspect you’re an enabler, consider checking out Al-Anon. There are virtual and phone meetings held worldwide that can help you learn how to safely overcome a loved one’s excessive drinking or drug abuse. The best part is Al-Anon doesn’t cost anything.

Support Their Sobriety

Now let’s look at how to help someone with addiction after they’ve returned from a treatment center.

Here are a few tips for helping support someone who’s in recovery:

  • Offer your help
  • Be available
  • Learn about the recovery process
  • Promote healthy decisions
  • Remove temptations
  • Avoid smothering
  • Participate with them during new hobbies

While following the list of suggestions above are a great way to support someone’s sobriety, remember it’s not all up to you. An addict can have a relapse for a variety of reasons.

Relapse Stages and Warning Signs

There are typically 3 stages that lead to a relapse. First, there’s usually an emotional relapse where an addict starts to experience intense negative emotions.

Next, there’s a mental relapse, where the addict starts to consider that sobriety isn’t something they want to do. Finally, once an addict starts using again, they’re back in addictive addiction.

Paying attention to your loved one’s behaviors and word choices can help you identify potential relapses. For instance, did the addict in your life recently stop attending work or school? Are they withdrawing and isolating themselves from social activities?

If yes, it’s possible they’re at risk of having a relapse. Instead of ignoring the warning signs, talk to your loved one to see how they’re doing. It’s possible they may need additional support, such as therapy, to maintain their sobriety.

Take It 1 Day at a Time

Now you know the best tips for getting a loved one help with addiction. What’s 1 new thing you were able to learn from reading this article?

Did you learn that staging an intervention requires hiring an intervention specialist? Or how about how addiction affects a person’s brain chemistry, making it hard to quit on their own?

We hope that this article will inspire you to take things 1 day at a time. For more articles like this, explore the rest of this site.