Watching a loved one suffer from addiction is one of the most painful things to experience. While it may seem hopeless at times, there are many things you can do to help a loved one overcome addiction. Although there are many strategies, here are five methods to help the one you love.
1- Educate Yourself
One of the most important ways to help a loved one overcome addiction is to become more knowledgeable on the subject. Addiction is a very complex topic that people don't tend to understand well without having experienced or studied the effects. For this reason, it will help all family members to read books, listen to lectures or join a support group to learn more about the condition itself.
2- Don't Become an Enabler
It is a tricky situation having to regulate your loved one's activities. However, it is important that all close family members ensure they don't become enablers. Enablers are those individuals who make it easy for people to stay addicted. This could come in the form of not encouraging treatment or not maintaining enough oversight. Many loved ones find themselves on a slippery slope in regards to this issue. The love and care felt towards an afflicted individual can lead to a desire to ease their suffering. You must remember that the most important thing is for your loved one to remain clean.
It can be easy to become frustrated with an individual who has an addiction. Not only is addiction difficult to understand, but it is also difficult to handle. Withdrawals can leave loved ones feeling agitated and irritable. Although it may be easy to become frustrated, those seeking to help loved ones with an addiction should try their best to empathize with the person addicted. Discussing feelings or watching realistic documentaries and movies can be great ways to increase your empathy and understanding overall.
4- Seek Out Treatment
Those suffering from addiction may not be willing to seek out treatment on their own, let alone admit they have a problem. However, treatment is a crucial component to overcoming many forms of addiction. Loved ones should do significant research and speak with experts to determine the best form of treatment. Another important component is ensuring that your loved one attends treatment consistently and is active in the process. This will greatly improve the chances of recovery.
5- Cultivate Patience
Trying to overcome addiction is a very difficult and engaging process that requires persistence and determination. Although the process is arguably most difficult on the individual overcoming the addiction, those family members and loved ones involved in the process also have a difficult struggle. It would behoove every involved individual to cultivate a sense of patience throughout the trying time. This will benefit the process overall and create a sense of determination for everyone involved.