Encourage Them To Seek Treatment
Some people may feel that they are all alone in their world of drug addiction, that no one understands how they are feeling. Opening the doors of communication and understanding can urge them to start thinking about treatment.
Sometimes, the individual recognizes that they are suffering and that their substance abuse is ruling their life. Other times, they may think they are still in control, and make promises to stop or decrease their drug use. In either case, your role is to encourage, not force. Pushing someone into treatment when they are not ready often results in dropout and relapse.
Dont Say: Youre Never Going To Change
Youre never going to change, is right in line with, Youll always be an addict. These statements often come out during frustrating moments caused by repeat behaviors or perceived failures, such as after a relapse. As justified as you may be to feel frustrated, using these statements can be truly damaging.
People with substance abuse problems can get better and go on to lead fulfilling lives. Yet those who do achieve sobriety succeed easier if they believe they can. Making a loved one feel like he or she will never achieve sobriety inflicts direct discouragement and defeat. Instead, if your loved one relapses, try saying, Maybe you need to try something different, or You might require more help and support.
Offering A Safe Place To Detox
At The Nestled Recovery Center, our team is committed to treating our patients with the empathy they deserve during a dark time. With experience safely detoxing people from addictions like alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and more, we can be trusted to help your family member or friend take their first steps toward sobriety. Our company is JCAHO accredited and goes above and beyond to make our environment comfortable to ease patients into the detox process.
Want to help your loved one detox safely? The Nestled Recovery Center provides a comfortable place for patients to begin recovery while being monitored by a team of professionals. Learn more about our detox and treatment programs by calling 299-6406, or reach out via our online form.
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How To Help A Loved One Struggling With Addiction
The best ways to help a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may seem counterintuitive, especially for people who struggle with codependent relationships. Some of these methods may seem harsh, but they come from a loving approach with the ultimate goal to help the person overcome their addiction and to help all parties heal. Basic steps are outlined below.
- Remember that addiction is not a choice or a moral failing it is a disease of the brain
- Addiction is ultimately a condition that the individual must learn to manage no one can take the fight on for the addict.
- Set boundaries and stand by them.
- Encourage the individual to seek help this may include finding treatment resources for them.
- Find a therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support too.
- Set an example for healthy living by giving up recreational drug and alcohol use.
- Be supportive, but do not cover for problems created by substance abuse. The person struggling needs to deal with the consequences of their addiction.
- Be optimistic. A person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse will likely eventually seek help due to ongoing encouragement to do so. If they relapse, it is not a sign of failure relapse is often part of the overall recovery process.
Tip #: Have Realistic Expectations
Dont preach or lecture to the addict. They are usually unable to hear what you are saying. Continue to hold them accountable to expectations and offer help to direct them to the treatment they need. Dont expect addicts to keep promises, they are not able to do so while in the process of their disease. Dont react with pity or anger. This only keeps you in the process with the addict.
If your loved one is ready to get help, visit our Alcohol and Drug Treatment page to find out more about getting a referral and assessment.You can also contact Legal Aid programs in your area to see if you qualify for those services or they may be able to direct you to someone who can assist you.
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Dont: Violate Their Privacy
In taking care of yourself and attending therapy, you may be tempted to vent about your loved one with an addiction. While you should be as honest about your feelings as possible when getting therapy, its important to respect their privacy. This is especially relevant when discussing someone with addiction with friends or family.
Make sure the person is okay being talked about and having their struggles discussed. If you attend counseling with your loved one, make sure you dont reveal what was said in session to others. If your loved one attends therapy or counseling on their own and dont want to discuss what they talked about in session, respect that and dont push them for details.
Taking Care Of Yourself
Your loved ones recovery from drug addiction can be a long process and the negative impact on your own health, outlook, and well-being can multiply over time. Its important you maintain a balance in your life to avoid burnout from all the stress and frustration that comes from helping someone get clean.
Find support. Expressing what youre going through can be very cathartic, so look for support from trusted friends and family, or a peer support group for family members of drug addicts. Talking to others who are facing similar challenges can help you find comfort, reassurance, and new ways of coping.
Manage stress. The stress of witnessing someone you love battle addiction can take a heavy toll. You can reduce your stress levels by eating right, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and practicing a relaxation technique such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. Since stress levels can escalate when quitting drugs, you can even encourage your loved one to do the same.
Helplines and support
Support for sufferers of substance use disorders
In the U.S.: Call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
Canada: Download the PDF Finding Quality Addiction Care from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.
Australia: Find support or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation helpline at 1800 250 015.
Support for families and loved ones
Group and 12-step programs for your loved one
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Bring Helpful Information To Your Meeting
Talking to someone about their substance abuse problem is difficult. One way to make it easier is to bring information about possible treatment options to your meeting.
- You can find 12-step support group information online. The national Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous websites offer free information you can download and take with you. They also have meeting finders on their website to help you find a local support group meeting. Type in your zip code and the sites provide you with a list of meeting locations, dates and times. You can bring this information to your talk with someone you think is an addict, and offer to accompany them to their first meeting.
- Bookmark sites like 12 Keys, so that you can pull them up on your phone and show them to your friend. Your friend may be surprised at how nice places for rehab can be, or how much help is actually available. Show them the information on insurances accepted, travel and other resources. Make the call together if you can.
- Offer to go with them to a doctor for an evaluation if they arent convinced they really are an addict. Some people are fine with going to see their physician but may still balk at getting help for an addiction. They may agree to defer to their physicians opinion.
Drug Or Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
Mayo Clinic offers a comprehensive list of symptoms that may be displayed by a person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. Many of these may be internal experiences for that individual however, symptoms that may be evident to others include:
- Appearing intoxicated more and more often
- Developing problems with cognition and memory
- Being lethargic, sleeping more, sleeping irregular hours, or appearing unwell or tired
- Developing problems at work or school possibly losing ones job or dropping out of school
- Attending social events only if drugs or alcohol are available becoming intoxicated before the social event or attending fewer social events specifically to drink or use drugs
- Stealing money or valuables to pay for drugs
- Lying about the substance or how much they are using
- Becoming angry, sad, or lashing out when questioned about their substance abuse
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to take the drug
- Neglected appearance and poor hygiene
People who struggle with substance abuse problems are likely to behave differently when they are intoxicated versus when they are sober they may say or do hurtful things, and they are likely to take serious risks with their life, such as driving while intoxicated. These behavioral problems can cause intense worry and fear in loved ones.
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If You Dont Change Im Done
Issuing threats to an addict is rarely effective. For some, the addiction is as much mental as it is physical. They may have the best of intentions and plan to walk away from the substance theyre abusing. However, when the craving hits, they cant control it. Supervised detox and inpatient treatment are the only things that will help them overcome the thirst to use again.
What Not To Do When Someone Is Struggling With Drug Addiction
There are some things that should be avoided when talking to someone about their drug addiction. Lecturing, preaching, making excuses for them, or enabling them are all destructive habits that will not help in the long run. Anything that encourages substance abuse or emotional distance can be damaging.
It can be very difficult to refrain from lashing out in anger when someone you love is causing pain through addictive behaviors. It can also be a challenge to cut them off financially if necessary. Tough love can be vital when dealing with addiction. Sometimes the kinder choice is to not give in to what the other person wants, but to instead stand up for what they need.
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We Can Help Your Loved One Recover From Addiction
Your loved ones addiction has been heartbreaking. And some days, you may not know how to go on or what to do to help them. But remember that all hope isnt lost. You can make a difference and help your loved one save their own life.
At The Raleigh House, we have over 10 years of experience helping people just like your loved one find lasting recovery. We can answer any questions you have and help you determine the next steps in getting your loved one into treatment. Contact us today to get support for your loved ones addiction.
Pick up the phone and call our admissions team.
Get curious about getting healthy
How Do I Help Someone Struggling With Drug Addiction
Watching someone you love struggle with drug addiction can be heartbreaking. You may be afraid to say anything for fear of pushing them away. It isnt easy to bring up the topic of drug addiction, but it may be easier than seeing them suffer.
Addiction is a complicated psychological issue that needs to be handled with care. It is important not to approach the person with judgment, hostility, or blame. Treating a person poorly because of their drug addiction is likely to cause them stress, which is a primary trigger for substance use. Here are some things you can do to address the situation carefully:
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What Do I Say To Someone Struggling With Addiction
Dont accuse them, judge them or make them feel ashamed. Instead, approach conversations with your loved one with compassion and patience. Tell them that you love them and are just concerned about what their drug use is doing to them. Ask them questions about why they drink or use drugs and how their substance abuse makes them feel. If they believe they can open up to you, youll be one step closer to getting them the help they need.
Reassure Them That As Long As They Stick To Their Treatment Plan You Will Offer Support And Encouragement
The road to recovery may seem long and bump at times, particularly when therapy touches on painful issues that may be hard for your loved one to face. They may feel alone and vulnerable, especially if they previously leaned on drug or alcohol abuse rather than dealing with emotional difficulties. Letting them know that you will be there for them as long as they follow their treatment plan can give them the encouragement they need to continue through the hard times. It can incentivize them to continue doing what they need to do to stay on the right track with their sobriety. This also applies to those who go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
However, this doesnt mean you will abandon your loved one if they relapse or have a slip. It simply means that you may have to set some boundaries. Remember, you have likely been hurt as well throughout the course of your loved ones drug or alcohol use. And while forgiveness is an important part of the healing process, you still have to protect yourself by setting boundaries, communicating those boundaries, and sticking to them.
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Why Dont You Just Quit
Among the other things you shouldnt say to someone with drug addiction are just get help or just quit. Addiction causes relationship problems, health problems, and financial problems, leaving many individuals alone and even homeless. If a person with an addiction could quit, they would! Instead of asking a person why they cant just quit, help them find addiction treatment.
Our residential treatment facility in Delaware is comprised of a strong and professional team that strives to offer safe and efficient addiction treatment to all of our patients. We know that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for substance abuse, and thats why we can help you or a loved one get sober.
Call Banyan Delaware now at to find out more about our levels of care and other services offered at our rehab facility in Milford.
Take Our Substance Abuse Self
Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
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Getting Help For Addiction
Helping your loved one through an addiction is difficult, and the hardest thing to face is often that you can’t help them. An addict must choose to get over their addiction on their own, and while you can try to be there for them, it can be frustrating and difficult simply because you have very little control over their choices.
It can be painful to watch your loved one hurt, but you can’t fix it for them. Your best option is to support your loved one, offer them help when they need it, and be there for them. In time, they will hopefully get the help they need to recover.
The Anaheim Lighthouse is a modern and effective addiction treatment center in Southern California. Our program is licensed and certified by the California Department of Health Care Services and accredited by the prestigious Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities . Contact us today for a confidential, no-cost, and no-obligation evaluation for yourself or a loved one.
In The Event Of A Relapse
The current understanding of addiction as a disease means that symptoms will get worse at times. For people with diabetes or asthma, treatment will work for a period of time, and then symptoms may progress. This does not mean giving up instead, it means returning to the doctor and developing a new treatment regimen. Understanding addiction as a disease means treating relapse in exactly this way: Work to avoid it, but if it happens, return to treatment. Relapse is only a serious problem when the person who has fallen back into addiction refuses to admit the problem and refuses to get help.
When looking at treatment options, it is important to ask how the rehabilitation program handles relapse. Many programs pair new participants with sponsors who have graduated the program these people will understand the progression of recovery and serve as a source of support for the person if they are even tempted to relapse.
Friends and family should also be supportive if a loved one seems likely to relapse. Be there for the person without judgment and help them recommit to treatment.
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