How to Help Someone Dealing With Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Discovering a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol is shocking. You’ll feel scared, confused, and unsure of what to do but you are not alone. Millions of people globally have a family member or friend struggling with addiction.

Addiction is a disease that affects not only the addict but also those closest to them. Read on to learn more on how to help a loved one:

Understand More About the Addiction

Every addiction is unique, affecting the individual in different ways. To help your loved one, understand as much as you can about their addiction and how it impacts them. Which drugs are they using, and how often? What methods do they use to get them? Are there any underlying mental health conditions that may be contributing to the addiction? 

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According to Behavioral Health Centers, treatment for addiction and mental health issues is provided side by side for a successful outcome. Educating yourself enables you to make tough decisions, love the addict and support them in their journey from detox to recovery.

Offer Emotional Support

Addiction is a disease that takes a toll on the individual’s mental and emotional state. As a result, your loved one will likely need emotional support to help them through tough times and prevent a relapse. 

Listen to them without judgment, offer encouragement and hope, and be there for them when they need to talk. Showing support doesn’t mean enabling their addiction. You can still set boundaries as needed. Addicts with a support system are more likely to stay in treatment and avoid using drugs in the future.

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Help Them Find Treatment

If your loved one is ready to get help, assist them in finding a treatment program. This can be a complicated and overwhelming process, but you don’t have to go through it alone. 

Many addiction treatment centers offer resources to help addicts and their families find the right treatment program. They’ll help you understand the options after analyzing your loved one’s needs. For instance, treatment centers may recommend a dual program that focuses on addiction and mental health when there are underlying mental health issues.

In addition to the types of treatment offered, you may also want to ask if the facility uses addiction treatment planning software. This software can help clinicians create individualized treatment plans, track progress, and generate reports.

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Be an Active Part of Their Treatment

After your loved one starts treatment, continue to be an active part of their life and recovery. Attend family therapy sessions, support groups, and sober social activities with them.

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The effort will help you heal from the effects of addiction and better understand how to support your loved one. It will also give you an opportunity to bond and build a stronger relationship.

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Encourage Them to Continue Treatment After They Leave Rehab

Treatment doesn’t end after your loved one leaves rehab. It’s often just the beginning. Addiction is a chronic disease that requires lifelong management. Your loved one will have to attend therapy, support groups, and sober social activities to prevent relapse. Encourage them to stay involved in the treatment plan by driving them to appointments, inviting them to sober social gatherings, and being a source of support.

Get Help for Yourself

Caring for a loved one with addiction can be emotionally and mentally draining. Take care of yourself as well. Attend support groups for family and friends of addicts, talk to a therapist, and take care of your physical health. It will help you sail through the tough times and be there for your loved one when they need you.

Learn What To Say and What Not To Say

Your words can either help or hinder your loved one’s recovery. Avoid saying things that enable their addiction or make them feel guilty. Instead, focus on words of encouragement that show you support their recovery journey. 

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Avoid using drugs and alcohol yourself in front of them. It can trigger a relapse. If you need help communicating with your loved one, talk to a therapist or counselor. They can teach you how to have difficult conversations in a supportive and helpful way. 

Show Support and Encouragement

Addiction is difficult for anyone to deal with, but you can help your loved one through it. Show support and encourage your loved one to seek treatment, and be there every step of the way. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

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