The Dos And Donts Of Helping A Loved One With An Addiction
Once youve noticed the signs of addiction in your loved one like an Alcohol Addiction or an Opioid Addiction, for example youll need to know how to talk to and treat them in a way that is positive and helpful. There are several ways to do this, some easy to practice and others that require a little more effort and understanding on your part. Here are a few dos and donts for helping a loved one deal with addiction:
Tip #: Acknowledge The Fact That Your Child Is Now An Adult
This one is a bit obvious, but you can easily forget it when you see your child in trouble or hurting.
The reality is that your child is an adult now, and he or she has control over their own life and the decisions they make. You cannot hold yourself accountable for every step or misstep they take.
In the same breath, its important to tell you to not let your child blame you for their past bad decisions, their current situation, or future decisions they will make. Its not fair to you.
If youre putting in work to help your child and theyre continuing to choose drugs or alcohol over help, they have no basis to blame you. You know in your heart whether youre doing enough.
We live in a country where the decision to get help for alcohol or drug use is on the person with the substance use disorder. You cannot make them go to treatment if they refuse.
The best you can do is encourage the decision to go, and leave the rest up to them.
Again, he or she is an adult.
American Addiction Centers Can Help
Drugabuse.com is a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers , a leading provider in outpatient programs such as drug and alcohol detox care, and inpatient rehab programs. If you are struggling with addiction and considering detox or rehab, call our team to help you find the treatment you need. You can reach us at Who Answers?
American Addiction Centers accepts many insurance plans and can work with you on a manageable payment plan. Find out if your insurance coverage includes addiction rehab and treatment by verifying your insurance instantly or visiting the links below:
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Port St Lucie Hospital: Hope Lives Here
If you or a loved one are ready to take a step toward hope and recovery from drug addiction, the caring professionals at Port St. Lucie Hospital are ready to help. Located on 20 acres near the beautiful Savannas Preserve, the retreat-like environment of Port St. Lucie provides the ideal location for restoring peace, hope, and wellbeing to your life.
If youd like to discuss our treatment options, please contact our admissions specialists at 408-5871, or you can fill out our confidential contact form.
Dont Make Excuses Or Be An Enabler
Typically, in families with an addict, someone becomes an enabler to the addict. Sometimes its a sibling who is willing to cover things up or hand over money.
In many cases, the enabler is a parent. Enabling is detrimental to the recovery process.
More often than not, the enabler is in denial of whats right in front of them. They want to protect their child or loved one and hold on to them forever.
They get stuck in the path of denial or making excuses so much that they put the addict in danger by ignoring the facts. Denying things wont keep them as they are itll make them worse.
Dont make excuses about your son to friends and family either, especially when they can hear. Believe it or not, recognizing that they have an addiction is much more empowering than trying to cover it up. Addicts appreciate someone whos on their side and recognize the extent to which the disease afflicts them.
Making excuses for them or covering up their behavior and actions will only contribute to their feelings of shame and isolation.
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Dont: Be Unprepared Be Ready With Options
Getting someone with alcohol or drug addiction help is not only a matter of reasoning and bargaining. Any attempt to get someone into recovery should be supported by actionable information like nearby treatment options or licensed detox centers. Then, if there is a breakthrough and someone actively asks or seeks out help, their loved ones should be ready to translate that into an actual act.
Before talking to someone about treatment, research the options available in the surrounding area that could be a good fit for the addicted person, which can make it easier on how to talk to a drug addict. Treatment centers are not all the same. Some take an evidence-based, medical approach while others offer alternative treatments that are effective for some but not for others.
It helps to know which rehab offers what so that there is no time wasted between someone admitting they have a problem and asking for help. It may take a long time for someone to let themselves be helped, but its a good idea to have options ready when that time finally does come.
To Help Prevent Future Relapses Help To Remove Triggers From The Environment
What are triggers? A trigger is something that sparks thoughts in a persons head that can start them obsessing over drugs again.
We already discussed some triggers here. Having alcohol and drugs in the house are definite triggers. Nothing causes thoughts of relapse, like seeing your drug of choice right in front of you.
If you are recovering from addiction, it almost seems like people around you are permitting you to relapse by giving you easy access to drugs and alcohol.
There are many other examples of triggers. A particular street or neighborhood could be a trigger. If your loved one who is recovering from addiction used to buy or use drugs in that neighborhood, it is good to steer clear of it.
Another person could also be a trigger. A past significant other or a person who provided drugs are examples of people triggers.
When it comes to helping your loved one to avoid these triggers, dont expect them to just put up with them. Will power can only go so far. Long-term, the best chance of success will depend on placing barriers between your loved one and triggers that lead them to relapse.
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How Does Denial Play Out What Might It Look Like
An Addict in denial can be obvious, but it can also be deceiving. This is especially the case with more socially acceptable drugs like marijuana or alcohol. If your loved one is using these drugs with others and tells you they have everything under control, it may be difficult to prove otherwise. At least for a while. True addiction will eventually take its toll on the persons life and sabotage their relationships, physical health, emotional health, and financial stability.
Here are some things to watch for:
- Manipulating loved ones by pretending to be a victim or martyr.
- Accusing loved ones of judging them about their drug or alcohol use.
- Denying that they have a problem saying everything is under control or they just use drugs and alcohol for fun.
- Blaming others for their problems and their substance abuse.
- Not taking harmful or destructive behaviors seriously.
Tips For Finding The Best Drug Addiction Treatment For You
Remember that no treatment works for everyone. Everyones needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. Its important that you find a program that feels right.
Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. For example, your drug dependency may have developed from a desire to manage pain or to cope with stress, in which case youll need to find a healthier way to relieve pain or to handle stressful situations.
Commitment and follow-through are key. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment youll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery.
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.
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How To Talk To Someone With A Substance Use Disorder
When you talk with your loved one about their substance use, there are things that you can do, and not do, which can help the conversation be more productive and potentially result in a positive outcome.7, 8
- Express your concerns and state facts, not opinions.
- Be patient.
- Offer help, including information about treatment, how it works, and how it can help.
- Offer to go with them to the doctor or to an appointment.
- Neglect your own needs. Take care of yourself, regardless of the outcome.
- Donât yell or act angry.
- Enable the person.
Encourage Them To Get Help
As with other diseases, the earlier addiction is treated, the better. However, dont be surprised if youre met with denial or excuses as to why they cant or wont seek treatment. Be persistent about how important it is that they enter treatment for their addiction, but avoid making them feel guilty or ashamed in the process.
Another option is to hold an intervention for your loved one. Although these are often difficult to do, an intervention may be exactly what your loved one needs if theyre deep into their addiction. Consider bringing in an intervention specialist to help you navigate this process.
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When It Comes To Mandatory Drug Treatment We Have To Be Careful
On the one hand, we want to save our loved one from a tragic outcome if we stand by and do nothing. On the other hand, we may create an atmosphere of distrust with our loved one and make it difficult to provide support and help in the future.
Before making this decision, you may want to consult with professionals with experience in addiction treatment. Consider talking to an attorney with experience in using these laws and a doctor who treats addiction. Before taking action, it is best to make an informed decision.
You may find that your loved one who does not want to admit to using drugs may open up to you if you provide a safe, trusting environment, and make it clear that they can count on your support. As I discussed earlier, consider involving an enlightened intervention specialist who can have a one-on-one talk with your loved one about treatment options.
If the interventionist makes it clear that their conversation is completely confidential, your loved one may be willing to confide in them and have a useful talk about getting help. These talks can help to move your loved one in the right direction. Soon, they will be opening up to you about what is going on.
Phone Settings And Phone Management
Its essential to understand how to coexist with your phone in a way thats not problematic, because like it or not cellphones are here to stay. The best way you can curb your phone addiction is by using some of your phones useful tools.
Putting your phone on Do Not Disturb mode or muting apps will make it easier for you to go long stretches without using it because it wont notify you every time you get a message. Deleting apps you dont use or apps that are time wasters is a great place to start.
Believe it or not, your phone can actually help you fight your phone addiction.
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Symptoms Of Drug Abuse
There are many signs both physical and behavioral that indicate drug use. Each drug has its own unique manifestations, and symptoms of abuse vary from drug to drug. However, some general signs that your loved one may be addicted to drugs include:
- Sudden change in behavior
- Problems at school or work
- Lack of energy or motivation
- Becoming careless about personal grooming
- Loss of interest in hobbies, sports and other favorite activities
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Sudden requests for money or a spike in spending habits
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use or addiction, The Recovery Village can help. Contact us today to learn more about addiction treatment programs that can work well for your needs.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
How Can I Help Someone Struggling With Addiction
Helping a person who is struggling with an addiction can be a difficult thing to do. Remember that you cannot control a personâs substance use, nor can you make them do anything. However, you can voice your concerns and offer your support, including offering to go to a treatment assessment with them, or encourage them to attend a self-help meeting, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.7 If your friend or family member expresses hesitation, fearing that treatment wonât work, assure them that treatment does indeed work and substance use disorders can be successfully managed. It is important to emphasize that treatment is necessary to repair damage to brain function that was caused by and promotes compulsive, repetitive substance use.8
If you want to help, and your loved one agrees to go to treatment, your next question may be where to find the help your loved one needs. You can talk to a doctor or treatment specialist or research online resources including treatment directories.
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How Do You Help A Gambling Addict
Before you can help your loved one you first need to look after yourself, as counter-intuitive as that might sound.
Firstly, here are 8 effective tips to help a gambling addict :
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Set Up A Personal Intervention
Interventions make it possible for parents and families to take a proactive stance against their sons drug addiction. Theyre a great way to reach out and show the person who needs help how much you love and care for them enough to get them the help they need.
If possible, try to find the right time to talk, ideally one when theyre as sober as possible.
Hold a rehearsal, make a plan, and stick to the script. Deliver your lines clearly and confidently, but also with warmth and love. Try not to deviate and stick to the order of speakers you develop in your rehearsal.
Do everything you can to stay calm and keep tempers under control and dont give up! A professional interventionist can provide integral support before, during, and after your intervention.
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Helping The Addict Requires Healing The Family
Youll never understand how to help an addict without enabling them until you recognize these dysfunctional dynamics. You cant help your loved one if you come to their rescue every time. It not only enables their behavior but it takes attention away from every other member of your family. Helping the addict is a process that involves your entire family, not just the person with the problem.
Every family member must be on board with learning to stop enabling the addict. Theyre not going to get well if someone continues stepping in every time the addict gets into trouble. You must make sure that each person is willing to do what it takes to recognize their enabling habits.
Sometimes this involves other members of the family seeking help, too. For example, family therapy is an important part of addiction treatment programs. It provides a space for families to talk about unspoken issues and work through these damaged dynamics. Having a therapist present as a neutral third party ensures the discussion stays on track and everyone in the session feels heard.
Know The Signs Of Addiction
Behavioral changes are amongst the biggest indicators that your son might be suffering from addiction and is in serious need of drug addiction treatment.
Here are some behavioral and physical symptoms to look for in someone who suffers from drug or alcohol addiction:
- Spending money they cant afford or dont have
- Doing things out of character, like stealing
- Not meeting work obligations or other responsibilities
- Dropping hobbies or other activities
- Secrecy, isolation, and solitude
- Problems at school
- A change in friends or social circle
Teenagers are notorious for spending alone time in their rooms or changing their friend circles. As much as you might feel like you no longer know your own son, pay attention to your parental instinct.
If your son is exhibiting the aforementioned behaviors, he needs professional help. No matter what he says or tells you, do not hesitate to get him the help he needs. Because addiction is a disease, he wont be able to fight it on his own, nor is it up to you to do it for him.