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Information for Loved Ones

How to Help a Loved One With an Addiction

By August 10, 2022No Comments

The current statistics for addiction and substance use disorders are frightening. Basically, 10 percent of the population. Or one in ten people. This means just about everyone knows a person with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. And at some point, most will wonder how to help someone with an addiction.

But things get more personal when it’s someone you love. A friend. A family member. A significant other. Whatever it is, addiction is a desperate disease that can leave people in the circumference feeling completely helpless—powerless while this substance erases their loved one right in front of them.

But there is hope. If you know and love someone with an addiction, here are some ways you can help.

Help a loved one with an addiction

Talk to a Person With an Addiction

There are many nuances to this, but ultimately there is one primary action to take if you want to help a person with a substance use disorder: talk to them.

Yes. This has to happen.

You can no longer sit idly by. Your inaction is an action here. And addiction to drugs or alcohol absolutely warrants a compassionate conversation that shows you care more about this person than to watch them destroy their life with each passing fix or tip of the bottle.

No Shame

That said If you truly want to help someone get help for an addiction, shame, guilt, and anger won’t get you anywhere. When you talk to your loved one, remember: blame, condescension, and indignation are not the required tones.

This approach will probably do the opposite of helping and drive your loved one away from you and right back to their drug of choice. It is counterproductive.

Saying, “Just Quit”

Addiction is a disease of the brain that continually causes a person to act in ways that cause them harm. The cravings and decisions are more than simple choices. They are deeply infused with changes to brain chemistry that has been brought on by heavy use over time. Just telling a loved one to “quit” is not the answer because it simply is not possible. This is one reason medication assisted treatment is the most viable option for substance use disorder treatment.

Be Aware of Your Enabling

Even though addiction is a disease, this doesn’t mean you just accept their destructive behaviors and actions. Personality changes (moodiness and anger) financial problems, hygiene challenges, criminal actions, and manipulation are not acceptable. Often when a loved one goes too far on the side of “no blame” they find themselves giving too much leeway or even taking actions that enable the addiction to continue unchecked.

The idea of a rock bottom is still valid. For real change to occur, a person with an addiction needs to feel the consequences of their actions. Protecting them from financial problems, from getting fired, or from the back seat of a police car is not truly protection in the long haul.

Share Your Experience

Once you recognize the problem, knowing how to communicate with and treat a person with a substance use disorder is essential for success in their recovery journey. Patience is important, but it is also important for you to express what the addiction is doing to you. Often, a person with an addiction is blinded to the harm that is resulting from their behaviors.

Educate Yourself

Learn about the specific type of recovery needed to help a loved one through addiction. Doing this gives you a better understanding of what addiction is. It equips you with essential solutions to offer your loved one when they finally begin to open to the idea of addiction treatment. It also enables you to deal with the stigma around addiction and the denial that comes with it.

If you want to talk to an addiction specialist about how to best talk to your loved one, our team is here to help. Call us today: 484-351-8031.

You are more than your addiction.

Allow our evidence-based addiction recovery center
to fully support you so you can live fully.

CALL NOW: (484) 351-8031