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7 Steps To Support A Loved One Who Has An Addiction

7 Steps To Support A Loved One Who Has An Addiction

Whilst it might be the case that the ultimate resolution of a loved one’s drug addiction is their enrolment in a drug rehab program, there is no shortage of ways in which you can help them before and towards that destination. So many actions and steps can be taken by those who care deeply for someone addicted to drugs that it can pose the problem of deciding which to follow.

In this article, we will narrow down all the various ways you can help a loved one with drug addiction to just seven. Of those seven, you could choose to follow just one of them, but we recommend you try as many as possible for the best results. That way, you can determine which has the most positive effect to continue along that path, hopefully ending with your loved one agreeing to enter drug rehab.

#1 – Ensure You Educate Yourself

Drug addictions can come in many forms, and each drug will cause various symptoms and behaviours of which you should be aware. We have placed this at #1 because you must learn as much about the addictions your loved one is facing, especially if they are drug related. That education also includes researching which drug rehab facilities will be the most suitable for your loved one’s treatment.

#2 – Do Not Blame Or Judge

It can be difficult not to apportion blame on your loved one for their drug addiction. Admittedly, they were the person who chose to try drugs on the very first occasion they did so. However, we are confident they have not chosen addiction as their way of life. Drug addiction is an illness, not a choice, and in the same sense that someone with cancer is treated for their condition, so should your loved one who has a drug addiction

#3 – Have Boundaries In Place

Whilst you should have compassion for your loved one, that does not mean giving them carte blanche to do as they please and take liberties. Examples include them asking to borrow money to feed their addiction or expecting you to cover for them when their drug addiction causes issues outwith your home. Stay resolute and never back down on these and the other boundaries you set.

#4 – Seek Outside Support And Allies

The burden of trying to help your loved one escape the curse of drug addiction should not be borne by you alone. Apart from family and friends who wish to help, there are many other people and places you can approach. Support groups, counsellors, health professionals, online forums, and other resources are available.

#5 – Focus On Rewards Rather Than Consequences

This is the old carrot versus stick scenario, and whilst it might be tempting to hit your loved one with a stick, we assure you that the reward path will work much better. One caveat is that the reward should never be something that encourages their drug addiction, such as money.

#6 – Show Patience

The road to ending drug addiction differs for everyone, including the addict’s family. There will be wins and setbacks along the way, and even when they complete drug rehab, you will have to remain vigilant and patient with them as they will still require your support. Rest assured that patience and understanding will be worth it for both of you.

#7 – Do Not Neglect Self-Care Or Caring For Other Family Members

So far, we have rightly focussed on your loved one who has a drug addiction. The risk is that, in you doing so, you could be neglecting others in your family, yourself, or both. So, ensure that you provide yourself and others within your family with adequate care, love, and appreciation throughout this journey.