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How can you help someone with an Addiction?

Watching your loved struggle with addiction is heart-wrenching. Addiction robs us of our ability to make good choices, build and maintain healthy relationships and prosper in our professional lives. It destroys our dignity and self-respect, and sometimes, it leads to criminal activity that affects the rest of our lives. In some cases, substance abuse causes psychotic behavior and even brain damage. If someone you love is struggling with a substance abuse problem, it’s vital that they get addiction treatment to kick-start the recovery process.

Recovery is a lifelong process that requires hard work and determination. If you want to help someone with an addiction, follow the suggestions below. Change must begin and end with the addict, but you can help. These tips enable you to help someone with an addiction.

Build trust through education

You obviously already have a connection with the person who is suffering. This bond is a vital step in the healing process. An addict has to be able to open up and believe that they are going to be heard and listened to, and one of the best ways to building this trust is to educate yourself on what they are going through. The following resources can help you learn more about addiction, so you better understand the addict in your life:

Bring up the subject of sobriety

It’s time to have a heart-to-heart. Bringing up the issue can be difficult, but it is mandatory. At this stage, you should express your sincere concern, including specific examples of your loved one’s harmful behavior and its effects on them, you, friends and family members. You may wish to share these encouraging words from real-life addicts who found long-term sobriety.

Offer treatment for addiction

This is the most critical part — offering them treatment for addiction. A reputable treatment program will offer:

  • A detox component – so your loved one can safely and (somewhat) comfortably get rid of the toxins in their body.
  • Various treatment modalities – offered in an inpatient, intensive outpatient (IOP), or standard outpatient environments. Many services make up this aspect of treatment, including one-on-one counseling, group therapy, drug education classes, nutrition and healthy living classes, yoga and art therapies, meditation guidance, and exposure to 12-step programs. Learn more about the types of addiction treatment treatment.
  • Aftercare – ongoing guidance and support to maintain permanent sobriety.

Consider offering access to a sober living facility after they finish treatment, as well.  For more information on sober living, read our post, “Why Should I Go To Sober Living After Treatment?”

Help your loved one get treatment for addiction

There are a variety of resources available to you as you prepare to offer treatment to your loved one. To find treatment options, you can:

And the truth is, your loved one may refuse treatment. Try to be patient, and keep offering them help — but it’s OK to set some firm boundaries with them too. If you need support, try a group like Parents of Addicted Loved Ones.

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