Addiction is a difficult disease to deal with, both for the person who is struggling with it and for their loved ones. If you have a family member who is battling addiction, it can be hard to know what to do to help them. The good news is that there are things you can do to support your loved ones and improve their chances of recovery. In this blog post, we will discuss six ways that families can help their loved ones struggling with addiction.
1. Educate yourself about addiction and what you can do to help
To truly be able to help a family member who is struggling with addiction, you first need to educate yourself about the disease. This means learning about what causes addiction, how it affects the mind and body, and what you can do to support your loved one through their recovery journey.
There are plenty of resources available online and at your local library that can help you learn more about addiction. You can also attend support groups for families of addicts, which can provide valuable information and emotional support.
If you take the time to educate yourself about addiction, you’ll be in a much better position to help your loved one through their struggle.
2. Show compassion and understanding for your loved one
As much as you may be frustrated with your addicted family member, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease. Showing compassion and understanding can go a long way in helping your loved one feel supported.
It can be difficult to see someone we care about suffer from addiction, but try to remember that addiction is a disease. Just like with any other disease, addiction can be incredibly difficult to overcome without the proper support. Showing compassion and understanding for your loved one is a crucial part of providing that support.
Try to avoid judgmental language or actions. Instead, focus on listening to your loved one and offering non-judgmental support. It’s important that they feel like they can come to you with anything, without fear of being judged or ridiculed.
3. Encourage them to seek professional help and support groups
When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they need professional help to get and stay sober. Encourage your loved one to see a therapist or to visit a treatment center that can help them get on the path to recovery. In addition, tell them about support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous that can provide extra assistance and accountability.
And when it comes to the support groups, be sure to attend a few meetings yourself. This way, you can better understand what your loved one is going through and how you can best support them. It’s also a good way to meet other families who are dealing with addiction, which can help normalize the experience and make you feel less alone.
4. Be a supportive listener, even if they don’t want to talk about their addiction
If your family member is struggling with addiction, they may not want to talk about it. However, it’s important to be a supportive listener if they do open up. This can help them feel less alone and more understood.
Even if they don’t want to talk about their addiction, you can still express your support. Let them know that you’re there for them and that you’re willing to help in any way you can.
5. Don’t enable them or make excuses for their behavior
What you’re doing might feel like helping at the moment, but if you make excuses for their drug use or alcohol consumption, you’re only enabling them to continue down a destructive path. It can be hard to see your loved one hurting, but making excuses for their behavior will only make things worse in the long run.
If you find yourself making excuses for your loved one’s behavior, try to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. Ask yourself if you would make the same excuses for someone who wasn’t struggling with addiction. If the answer is no, then it’s time to stop making excuses and start holding your loved one accountable for their actions.
6. Offer practical assistance, like helping with groceries or transportation
Since addiction can take over someone’s life, day-to-day tasks like grocery shopping and cooking can often fall by the wayside. Offer to help out with these chores so your loved one can focus on recovery. You could also offer to drive them to appointments or support group meetings.
If you live far away from your family member struggling with addiction, you can still help by sending care packages or gift cards to help with everyday expenses.
Following these six steps will not only help your family member struggling with addiction, but it will also help you. It is important to remember that addiction is a disease, and like any other disease, it takes time to recover from. Be patient, be supportive, and most importantly, be there for your loved one.