It can be hard to admit or realize someone you love has an addiction. Trying to get them help is a hard choice to make. If you can support them though instead of leaving them behind, they have a far better chance of making it through recovery.
Expect It To Be Difficult
Recovery is never a breeze for anyone. Not for the people who are going through it and not for the people who care about them that are forced to watch. Even just trying to get your loved one to admit they have an addiction can be complicated.
Here are some troubles to expect:
- They might not agree with you about having a problem.
- They might not yet want to change their ways.
- They might be afraid of losing their job or going to prison or admitting to their family.
- They may be embarrassed and not want to talk about it.
- They may not want to talk to a professional or get help from them.
- They might be using addiction to avoid other coping with other struggles in their life.
Helping someone battle addiction isn’t easy, and there isn’t a fast way to do it. They have to want to make a change because you can’t force them.
First Step: Establish Trust
This is the most important thing you can do. Your loved one has to trust you with your problems and trust that you will support them. Otherwise, they may interpret what you’re trying to do or say the wrong way.
Try not to do these things:
- No nagging or criticizing the person with the addiction.
- Don’t exaggerate or name call.
- Don’t have addictive behavior either or you will look like a hypocrite.
Make sure to remember that:
- Your intentions may be good but they can come across as controlling. The addict needs to ultimately make their own decisions about their life.
- Don’t make everything stressful when you’re around them. Addiction is usually caused by stressful situations and it could make them want to keep using.
- If you don’t trust your loved one then how can they ever trust you? There needs to be growth for both of you.
- Don’t try and shield the person with addiction from the consequences of their actions. They need to see what happens.
Second Step: Get Help For Yourself And Communicate
Having to deal with someone you care about with an addiction can be hard on you too. Make sure you have support separate from this so you don’t become overwhelmed.
Also, make sure to have honest communication between you and your loved one. Trying to force change on them won’t help the situation. You need to let them know how you feel without them feeling as though they are being attacked.
Third Step: Get Treatment
When they finally do get treatment make sure you support them. Don’t make assumptions and instead ask what they need from you and then make sure you follow through. They need the trust and support you can give them.