How To Help A Loved One Fight An Addiction
Having to watch someone you love face an addiction – whether it’s alcoholism or substance abuse - can be sad and frustrating. As much as you may want to help, only they have the power to quit. All you can do is offer the right kind of support that will point them in the right direction. Here are just a few ways to offer the best support.
Show concern, not anger
Getting angry at your loved one for not giving up will only serve to form a divide between you and they’ll be more likely to continue their addiction either out of spite or as a way of punishing themselves. Instead, you should show concern – this tells your loved one that you want them to change, but that you still care for them and understand what they’re going through. Emphasise the fact that you care for them and that you’re worried about the danger they’re causing to themselves.
Discuss treatment options
It’s worth discussing treatment options as it shows you’re serious about wanting to help them. If they’re in denial, they may be reluctant to discuss these treatment options or they may lie that they’re already looking into treatment. Whatever the case, by bringing it up, it will make them think about fighting their addiction.
Go to counseling together
A lot of addicts know that they’ll benefit from counselling, but they may be afraid or ashamed to go. Volunteer to go with them to a counseling session – it could be a chance for you to voice your feelings too. On top of one-on-one counselling, you may want to try counseling groups where you have the support of fellow addicts – such groups can make people with addictions feel less alone.
Know when to stage an intervention
If all your efforts are having no impact and they’re continuing to put themselves or others at risk through their behaviour, it could be time to stage an intervention. This involves gathering you and a group of key people (these could be recovered addicts or friends and family members) in order to try and challenge your loved one directly and get them to see straight. There are guides online that can teach you how to stage an intervention. These can often be very successful means of getting someone to seek treatment.
Get help yourself
Helping someone with an addiction can be mentally challenging. It’s important to stay positive yourself and not let their mental illness cause you to also develop a mental illness. Try to surround yourself with other people who you can vent to. You may even want to consider counselling yourself. By receiving this support, you’ll have more strength to offer your own support to your loved one.