Sunday, April 7, 2024

How To Be Supportive To An Addict

Connect With Understanding Peers

How to Support an Addict in Recovery

Its not always easy to live with or support someone who has an addiction. As research points out, addiction in a close relative can serve as a stressful life situation that persists for years, and that long-term dysfunction can make it hard for families to communicate clearly. There can be a block of mistrust between every member of a family touched by the addiction.

Connecting with peers can help, particularly if families use a well-established, trusted program like Al-Anon or Alateen. The goal of these programs is to provide help for families of addicts. They also provide a safe, nonjudgmental space where family members can learn, discuss and cope with an addiction unfolding in their midst.

People go to meetings like this for all sorts of reasons, but one survey found that many participants were drawn to meetings because they were hoping for help with:

  • Finding a better quality of life
  • Having fewer problems with the addicted person
  • Lowering levels of stress
  • Improving psychological health

These are lofty goals, but meetings really can help. By going to a meeting and listening to other family members, feelings of isolation and doubt may begin to fade. Families may also get the skills they need to better handle the interpersonal problems theyre facing. These meetings can help families learn how to deal with a loved ones addiction.

Where Can I Get Help For Alcohol Abuse

American Addiction Centers is recognized as a leading provider of alcohol detox and rehab. Many AAC facilities offer same-day admissions depending on various factors, such as the persons willingness to get help and the capacity of our treatment centers. At American Addiction Centers nationwide treatment centers, you will find a caring and compassionate team that will help you or your loved one develop an individualized treatment plan. To learn more about the rehabilitation services we offer, visit our addiction treatment centers page. Here, youll find a nationwide library of professional providers whose services vary in intensity, duration, and more. You may also use our map tool below to locate an AAC treatment center nearest to or most fitting for you.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic

Once you start helping, dont be the type to preach and lecture the addict all the time. In most cases, theyll block it out and wont hear what you have to say. The right way how to support someone is to make them accountable to expectations.

Offer them help if they want to get the right treatment needed to get out of their addiction. Dont expect them to fulfill all their promises. They wont have the right mindset while theyre affected by their illness.

Dont be mad at them or show outward pity. This will only prolong the process of treatment for them. If they need help, make sure to get in touch with institutions that can help. Find out how they can assess your loved one and refer them to the right people for treatment.

There are also Legal Aid programs you can connect with. Check if there are any in your area and see if your loved one has the right qualifications. At the very least, these people can help direct you to someone who can help.

Read Also: How To Talk To An Addict About Getting Help

How To Support An Addict

Addiction is a serious disease. It affects a persons brain and behavior. There are many things that people can be addicted to, including:

  • alcohol
  • sex
  • video games

People who have addictions need treatment. This could include rehab, detox, counseling, recovery programs, and/or other forms of treatment. It also is important that those close to the addicted person provide support. This may be hard but there are things that you can do to help your loved one.

Prepare Meals And Eat Them As A Family

What Causes Drug Addiction?

In todays modern, chaotic world, its all too easy to eat separately. One partner grabs a burger on the way home, the other snacks on salad at work and the kids heat up ready-made foods they can find in the freezer.

A family meal allows everyone to reconnect at the end of a day that may have been stressful, lonely or upsetting. Each meal helps build upon the work done in family therapy, and the ritual of eating together can promote a sense of common ground and togetherness.

The activity doesnt have to stop at the table, either. Spending time making the meal together or cleaning up afterwards can increase the benefits. Even one meal together per week can have a significant impact.

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Sugar Addiction

Tips For Coping With A Loved One’s Substance Use Disorder

The pathway to healing and recovery is often a journey that can progress over multiple years. Addiction not only involves the individual suffering from the substance use disorder, but their partner, their family, and their friends as well.

When supporting a partner or family member who is in active addiction to alcohol or other drugs, its critically important that you also take care of your well-being. It is a balancing act of offering support to your partner in navigating the treatment and recovery options available, while at the same time not losing sight of what you need to be happy and healthy.

Find 8 tips below for how to balance supporting the positive health behaviors of your partner, while also taking care of yourself.

Dont Get Into Any New Relationships Or Life

One of the first things that addicts tend to mistakenly do after getting out of treatment is jumping into new relationships or finding new jobs.

A relationship is a commitment to another person that requires more work than an addict would be able to handle. Once treatment is complete, an addict must take the time to work on him or herself, that way they can truly recover and practice self-love.

We have all heard the phrase that we cannot love someone until we can learn to love ourselves. This could not be more true when it comes to an addict trying to find a sense of peace and awareness before giving love in a relationship. You cannot afford to jeopardize all of the work that youve done in recovery for the temporary feeling of being in a romantic relationship.

If youre at a dead-end job and it negatively impacts you every day, then yes, you should go out and find a new career. However, you should be cautious with your endeavors because sometimes, a big change in employment can cause you to become very overwhelmed, anxious, and put you at risk for a relapse.

Addicts use substances as a way to escape the everyday stresses of life. You shouldnt place yourself in stressful situations that you know can trigger your desire to relapse. Just as people who have food allergies know that they shouldnt eat a certain food because of what it can do to them, an addict should not place him or herself in any vulnerable or risky situations that can create more stress.

Read Also: How Do You Get Addicted To Alcohol

Next Level Recovery Addiction Recovery Near Salt Lake City

Next Level Recovery takes a special interest in guiding family members toward establishing healthy boundaries for their loved one in recovery. The family-focused group sessions help family members understand how enabling behaviors can be detrimental to their loved ones recovery, and teach them the difference between being supportive versus enabling. Next Level Recovery seeks to not only prepare the individual for managing their recovery, but also the family members on how best to offer support without crossing over into enabling behaviors. For more information about the program, please contact Next Level Recovery today at 759-5846.

Professional Resources For Friends And Family

How to support a drug addict

If you have a crack addict in the home, you are probably looking for support. Nar-Anon family groups are designed for the friends and family members of addicted people, and they can be a great place to start. You can use the organizations online search tool to find a group that meets your needs.

Once you are ready to talk about getting your loved one into crack addiction treatment, The Recovery Village is here to help. We have facilities located throughout the country, and each one provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient services. Contact us today to learn how we can help you, your loved one and your family recover from the wounds of addiction.

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During Rehab: Your Role In Your Partners Recovery

Now that your partner has entered rehab, its okay to breathe a sigh of relief. You can feel comfort in knowing that your partner has recognized their problem and taken the first steps toward recovery.

During the first few days of inpatient rehab, contact with your partner may be limited. This is because your partner will likely be participating in a detox program that will set the course of their treatment plan. Once they finish detox, you should be able to get in touch with your partner again.

While your partner is in rehab,

  • Do take part in any visitation events held by the center.
  • Do keep all conversations, in person or over the phone, focused on the positives.
  • Do learn everything you can about your partners addiction.
  • Dont become too wrapped up in your partners treatment process. Be sure to give your partner some space to heal on their own.
  • Dont bring up past mistakes during phone or in-person conversations.
  • Dont try to be your partners only source for support. Your partner likely has other family and friends who will play a part in their recovery.

Many rehabs offer counseling support for couples while their partner is in treatment. During these sessions, a counselor will help you and your partner form new ways of expressing feelings and communicating effectively. You and your partner will also learn how to identify unhealthy behaviors that may have led to your partners substance abuse.

Will Your Insurance Cover Rehab?

Ways To Help A Recovering Alcoholic

Educate Yourself On Addiction And Recovery

Addiction and alcoholism are very complex, and recovery is one of the greatest challenges of most individuals lives. The best way a loved one can help an addict is to educate themselves on the many aspects of addiction and recovery, such as potential triggers, health issues, enablement, the recovery process, and the psychological changes that addiction causes. Loved ones will find it much easier to relate to and assist a recovering addict if they understand addiction, and they will also be much better equipped to help prevent relapse.

Understand And Prepare For Extended Problems

Addiction creates many lasting problems, both for addicts and their loved ones. While sobriety will improve all of them, many will still be present during recovery. Financial problems are common, especially as the recovering addict tries to rebuild their career and pay off addiction related debts such as DUI expenses. Health problems caused by addiction are some of the most serious, and some, such as HIV, are permanent. Relationship problems can be the most painful it can take years to rebuild trust, and in some cases, it just isnt possible. Additionally, relapse is always a possibility, even after many years. Understanding and preparing for these problems will make it easier to deal with them and lessen their impact.

Dont Hold Unreasonable Expectations

Make Changes To Support Sobriety

Dont Go So Far That Youre Unfair To Yourself

Find Support

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Exercise: Becoming Compassionate Toward Yourself

  • Think about the most compassionate person you have knownsomeone kind, understanding, and supportive of you. It may have been a teacher, a friend, a friends parent, or a relative. Think about how this person conveyed his or her compassion toward you and how you felt in this persons presence. Notice the feelings and sensations that come up with this memory. If you cant think of someone in your life who has been compassionate toward you, think of a compassionate public figure, or even a fictional character from a book, film, or television.
  • Now imagine that you have the ability to become as compassionate toward yourself as this person has been toward you . How would you treat yourself if you were feeling overwhelmed with sadness or shame? What kinds of words would you use to talk to yourself?
  • This is the goal of self-compassion: to treat yourself the same way the most compassionate person you know would treat youto talk to yourself in the same loving, kind, supportive ways this compassionate person would talk to you.

    Create A Safe Space For Recovery

    Addiction Support « Image Therapy Services

    Creating a space for a recovering addict that has no substances is extremely important for success. Studies about the efficacy of living in a sober house show that there are certain methods which have been proven to work.

    You can create this environment within the recovering addicts home and surrounding circumstances. Take away any drug paraphernalia or alcohol and encourage them to avoid places that can trigger old habits, causing relapse.

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    Principle : Recovery Support Is A Lifelong Process

    Another very important thing to know throughout your loved ones recovery support process is that change is gradual and may have ups and downs. Not everyone has a clean, linear path to recovery. There will be setbackswhether its a relapse, stressful stage in life, or feelings of resentment. An eight-year study of about 1,200 addicts showed that only about a third of recovering individuals who had been sober for less than a year remained abstinent, which meant that two-thirds of recovering addicts relapsed within their first year of recovery. As time goes on in sobriety, the chances for relapse drops, but it should be understood that relapses are not an indication of failure. Instead, they are an indication that the method of treatment needs to be changed.

    Recovery support is a lifelong process. Your loved one might relapse several times before finding an effective treatment method that keeps them on track. Stability in life is difficult to achieveeven for sober people! So continue to be supportive of your loved ones improvement and sobriety. As long as they have the will to change, and you have the will to see it through, then with patience, time, and dedication, the both of you will get your lives back again. Be strong.

    Dont Smother Your Loved One

    Completing basic tasks for your son or daughter and doting on them in other ways can hamper their progress, despite your best intentions to make their lives easier. They may begin to believe that they cannot achieve anything on their own and avoid making efforts to better themselves. You might also be smothering your loved one if you repeatedly bring up their addiction, which could create added tension and frustration.

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    Taking Care Of Yourself

  • 1Engage in self-care. Supporting someone with an addiction can be exhausting, so dont forget to take a few moments for yourself each day. Give yourself some love by taking care of your mind and body. This might mean doing some meditation, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee, or petting your dog. Slow down and take a few moments to breathe deeply, relax, and enjoy your senses.XResearch source
  • Some other ideas might include taking a bath, going for a walk, or getting a relaxing massage.
  • 2Connect with others who support an addict. Find a group for people who have a friend or family member with a drug problem. This can connect you with other people who know what its like to support someone with an addiction and can remind you that youre not alone.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source
  • Connecting with other people can help you get advice, share your concerns, and relate to other people in a similar position.
  • Visit or for resources and support while you’re helping the person with their addiction.
  • 3Do your best, but remember that you cannot fix them. While supporting someone with an addiction is a kind and noble act, remember that despite your best efforts, you cannot force change on the person. They are responsible for their actions and choices. If they choose to use while you support them, remember that its not your fault and you are not to blame.XResearch source
  • Schedule Private Therapy Sessions

    How to Avoid Enabling an Addict

    While lifestyle alterations can be a big help for families in crisis, addictions can cause deep wounds that often benefit from seeking professional help. Research has found that families of addicted people experience increased levels of depression and anxiety. Caregivers can feel worn out from everything theyre asked to do for their addicted family member, and they may not have access to healthy coping skills that could help themselves. Siblings or children can feel forgotten or feel like they have to do better to make up for the addicted person, leading to self-esteem issues.

    Theres no judgment or blame here a private therapy session is a safe place for stressed family members to talk openly and work through issues.

    Private sessions typically follow a skills-based format, in which caregivers learn more about how to deal with destructive thoughts and habits developed during years of addictive behavior. They might learn to meditate to handle stress or they might work on assertiveness skills. They might do group work involving anger management, or they might learn how to let go of codependent behaviors so they wont feel responsible for the poor choices of others.

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    How To Help Someone Struggling With Addiction

    John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health .

    If you have a friend or relative who is living with addiction, you might be wondering how you can help. It’s not always easy to make the decision to try to help someone who has an addiction, but your loved one will have a greater chance of overcoming addiction with your support.

    This article discusses some of the strategies you can use to help a friend or loved one who is struggling with an addiction. While every situation is unique, there are some general guidelines that can help.

    • Focus on building trust so they will be more likely to listen.

    • Be honest and let them know how the addiction is affecting your life and your relationship with them.

    • Respect their privacy while being supportive. You can’t force them into quitting, but you can be a source of strength.

    • Threaten. Giving ultimatums may lead them to hide the behavior.

    • Criticize. This can contribute to shame and lessen their belief in their ability to quit.

    • Expect immediate change. Recovery takes time and setbacks are bound to happen.

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