Substance addiction can be a challenging matter to navigate not only for the abuser but for the family and friends that surround the addict. Though there isn’t one size fits solution to helping those that suffer from addiction, there are various ways to support those individuals. Some may be apprehensive about showing support when dealing with addicts, ultimately your love, words of affirmation, and guidance may help them overcome their battle.
One of the best things someone can do when supporting those with addiction issues is to be completely honest and forthcoming with them. Rather than shy away from the issue at hand, or act oblivious to the situation, have an open dialogue about your feelings and concerns. Let your loved one or friend know what their addiction has been like for you and express what you’d like to happen moving forward. Take some time to discuss treatment options and express your love and concern for them.
Another way to support someone with substance addiction is to build or rebuild trust with them. Though trust might have been broken along the way, rebuilding and maintaining that trust is imperative for change. Let your loved one know that your support is coming from a place of compassion and concern and not control. Never blame or humiliate them, but instead speak from the heart and your experience.
Finally, when supporting an addict, you’ll have to be patient. Unfortunately, more often than not, battling addiction can be a lengthy journey. Most people will go through several forms of treatment or counseling before the addiction is managed. Try not to get discouraged or enraged and know that it will take time. Respect the individual’s journey know that you are not to blame.
Be prepared to expect some difficulties when supporting those who struggle with substance addiction. Often, individuals might disagree that they have a problem or might not even want to change their lifestyle. Try not to shield them from consequences and rather be transparent about the situation at hand. Though every situation is unique, following some of these guidelines will help you start with their recovery journey. Remember, when dealing with someone with addiction problems, it’s vital to get the support that you need as well. Consider joining a support group and developing some stress management strategies.