If you know someone you care about and have an addictive behavior, it can be highly distressing and can take a toll on your life. Your own mental and emotional well-being is disturbed extremely. So whether the drug abuser is your family member or your friend, their addictive behavior affects your life significantly. They can pile up stress upon stress for you. They test your patience, strain your bank balance, and leave you racked up by feelings of guilt, shame, and frustration.
At times, you will get worried about them? You will be concerned about the damage they are doing to their lives and health. Living with an addict is not at all easy. You may even be in debt, paying for expenses, legal troubles, and health issues. You may feel frustrated by covering them all the time, taking over the responsibilities they neglect, and not being able to live your own life. Addiction affects people in all walks of life; it wrecks the family, tears all kinds of relationships apart. However, there is help available for all sorts of problems. Several rehab centers offer services for the treatment of addicts. You can find these services around your area or by searching online. For instance, in Florida, you can choose rehab services such as The Palm Beach Institute to help your loved one. So along with the guidelines of the mental health care professionals, you can support your loved one through the battle. Hence here we are with some pieces of advice that can help you out:
- Understand Their Addictive Behavior
The significant factor that causes a person to use drugs is to cope with stress and anxiety. Some people use drugs to alleviate their boredom and dissatisfactory life. Addiction is complex, and it is okay if you are not aware of it. Hence it is necessary to do your research to understand what your loved one is going through. The more you understand about it, the better approach you can take to help them out.
- Address the Issue
The best way you can manage an addict is by addressing the underlying cause. You know that ignoring the reason won’t make it go away; in fact, it will alleviate the problem. So when you confront your loved one about their addictive behavior, there are high chances of denial. Please don’t argue with them, instead visit them at some other time, when they are sober and relaxed. Hence, it is essential to have this conversation sooner than later. So whenever you get a chance, make sure you stay calm, be open and honest about your concerns.
- Set Boundaries
When your loved one is an addict, it is easy to shield them from the consequences. You may cover up the person, take their responsibilities, and provide them the financial assistance of paying their bills. You may think that you are supporting them by enabling them. While in reality, you are promoting their addictive behavior. It is hard to say no to your loved one. But one should set healthy boundaries. Hold them responsible for their actions and tell them what is and what is not acceptable. It will be harsh and tough at times, but it is necessary.
- Have Realistic Expectations
If you are helping an addict, the best tip is to be realistic and expect the unexpected. Addiction is a chronic behavior, so don’t expect immediate changes. It takes a lot of time and support from loved ones. Hence never forcefully lecture an addict. Most of the time, they are not even listening to what you are saying. Don’t expect them to keep their promises, and don’t react when they are angry. Sometimes the treatment may stop being effective. So, in such a case, you can look for an alternative therapy for your loved one.
- Don’t Violate Their Privacy
When taking care of an addict, you may feel overwhelmed at times and want to vent it out with someone. But it is essential to take care of their privacy, especially when they are seeking therapy. You should ask the person if they are okay with discussing their struggles with someone else. If you attend the counseling session along with them, never reveal things discussed with others. And if they take sessions alone, don’t push them to tell you the details.
- Take Care of Yourself
When your family member is struggling with their addiction, you tend to ignore your well-being. Whether you realize this or not, but addiction is taking a toll on your life too. So make sure you take out some time for yourself. Practicing self-care does not mean you are selfish. The truth says, if you don’t help yourself, you cannot help your loved one. You can also take counseling sessions from a therapist. If not that, you can join different support groups. It always feels good to know that you are not alone in this battle.
A Take-Home Message
If you have a family member or a friend who is an addict, it gets challenging to deal with them. But there are easy steps that you can take to support them during these challenging times. You can never force them to change abruptly, but you can encourage them and motivate them to get help. Also, you can help them reach out to the treatment they deserve.