The term “addiction” is used to describe a wide range of activities and behaviours, from substance abuse (e.g., alcoholism) and gambling to the compulsive use of social media. It is believed that nearly 2 million people in America suffer from addiction. Addiction can manifest itself through various physical symptoms such as uncontrollable shaking or vomiting, but it also has mental consequences like depression and anxiety. If your loved one is suffering from addiction, there are ways you can help them become healthy again. This article will discuss some of those ways. So, if you are reading this and you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, please keep reading.
Find a Treatment Facility
The most important thing you can do for your loved one is to find a good treatment facility. This may seem daunting, but there are many resources available to help you. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website provides a Treatment Facility Locator that can help you find the right treatment center for your loved one. You can also search for “addiction treatment near me” on the internet and find many local options. Once you have found a treatment center, be sure to do your research on it. Make sure it is accredited by a reputable organization and that it has a good track record. You don’t want your loved one going to a shady treatment center that will only make their addiction worse.
Learn as Much as Possible about Addiction
It is also important that you learn as much as possible about addiction. This will help you better understand your loved one’s condition and how to best support them. The more you know, the more helpful you can be. Rather than assuming that the person’s addiction is caused by weakness, willfulness, or stubbornness, it may be more beneficial to understand how it is caused by brain changes. Understanding that addiction is a disease rather than a decision may assist you in letting go of any anger or resentment you may be experiencing as a result of your loved one’s addiction.
There are many great books and articles about addiction. You may also want to consider attending a support group for loved ones of people with addiction. These groups can be very helpful in providing information and support.
Manage your Expectations
Addiction is a difficult disease to overcome, and it can be even more challenging for loved ones to watch their family members struggle. It is important to manage your expectations realistic when it comes to addiction and recovery. Don’t expect your loved one to suddenly be “cured” after completing treatment. Recovery is an ongoing process that requires hard work and dedication. Be patient and supportive as your loved one progresses through their recovery journey.
Also, don’t expect them to change overnight. It will likely take time for your loved one to learn new coping skills and adjust to their new lifestyle. Be patient and encouraging as they work towards their goal of recovery.
Help Them Build Coping Skills
Families can also help their loved ones build coping skills that will help them stay sober. Stress is unavoidable in one’s life. Rather than attempting to eliminate all stress, it is preferable to establish stress management skills. Coping skills can also assist people in dealing with these concerns as well as the chronic symptoms of mental health disorders such as sadness, anxiety, sleep problems, hallucinations, or drug cravings. You can assist a loved one in coping with stress and avoiding relapses caused by stress by being there to listen, discuss, and assist your loved one in processing stressful events, helping solve practical problems related to stress, and by reminding your loved one of the coping strategies for dealing with distressing symptoms or cravings.
Learn the Signs of Relapse
It is also important for families to be aware of the signs of relapse, so they can help their loved one before it’s too late. Some common relapse warning signs include:
- Increased secrecy and isolation
- Spending more time with old friends and using drugs or alcohol with them
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Engaging in risky behavior
- Quitting or decreasing participation in treatment or support programs
When family members are aware of these signs, they can provide support and encouragement to help their loved ones stay on the path to recovery.
Encourage Participation in Peer Support Groups
Peer support groups can be an incredibly effective tool for those who are struggling with addiction. By providing a safe, supportive environment where people can share their experiences and connect with others who are going through the same thing, these groups can help individuals to feel less alone and more motivated to seek treatment. Additionally, peer support groups can offer valuable coping skills and advice on how to maintain sobriety. Family members can encourage their loved ones to participate in these groups and offer emotional support to help them through the process.
Believe in Them
Lastly, family members should believe in their loved ones and offer them unconditional love and support. Addiction is a powerful disease that can take over a person’s life. It is important for family members to provide support and encouragement, even when their loved ones make mistakes. This means being there for them through the good and bad times, and never giving upon them. Recovery is a difficult process, but with the love and support of family members, it can be successful.
When a family member is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it feels like the world has come crashing down. The addict may be in denial about their problem, and the family may feel helpless and frustrated. There is hope, however, and families can play a vital role in helping their loved ones recover from addiction. First of all, it’s important to find a treatment facility that is right for the addict. There are many excellent programs available, and it’s important to find one that fits the individual’s needs. Families should also learn as much as possible about addiction and what to expect from treatment. It’s also important to encourage participating in peer support groups, as these can be incredibly helpful in terms of building coping skills and maintaining sobriety. Lastly, family members should believe in their loved ones and offer them unconditional love and support. Addiction is a powerful disease, but with the help of family members, it can be overcome.