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Do’s and Don’ts for When You Think You Have a Loved One with Addiction

Addiction can become a devastating problem for both the sufferer and their loved ones. If you think that you have a loved one with addiction, there are some things that you should do to help. However, you must also avoid keeping the person from pulling away from you.

Finding a balance may feel difficult at times. But, you are not alone, and neither is your loved one. Here are some tips for what to do and not do when you want to help someone with an addiction.

What Not to Do

When it comes to talking to a loved one with addiction, there are some things that you should avoid saying and doing. These things can drive your loved one away from you, making any advice you later give them seem suspect. Therefore, the chances of them getting the treatment they need for their problem will decrease.

1. Accuse or Threaten

Accusing your loved one with addiction for failing will not help them to stop their problematic behavior. In fact, if you accuse or threaten your loved one, they may retreat from you.

Additionally, threatening and accusing someone with a substance use disorder won’t make them suddenly change. Addiction is a chronic condition that requires professional help, just like any other long-term disease. You wouldn’t expect someone to recover from cancer just by yelling at them. Therefore, you cannot expect the same of someone with an addiction.

2. Expect Immediate Recovery

Even though you may want your loved one to recover quickly, it likely won’t happen as fast as you want. Some substances, such as benzodiazepines, can cause anxiety and sleeping problems for months after stopping them. These issues need continued care. Additionally, your loved one will still need support during this time to prevent relapse.

Instead of expecting a quick fix, be patient with your loved one and with yourself. Recognizing that recovery takes time will help you to avoid putting too much pressure on your loved one to get better now.

3. Don’t Use Addictive Substances Yourself

If you want your loved one to take you seriously when you advise them about their addiction, don’t use addictive substances yourself. For example, if your loved one has an addiction to alcohol, avoid recreational drinking yourself. If you drink and tell your loved one that drinking is a problem in their life, they will see you as a hypocrite. Additionally, they may be less likely to follow anything that you tell them about needing treatment.

Even partaking in alcohol around your loved one can trigger their addiction to cocaine, for example. Such activities can remind them of using and should be avoided.

What to Do

While knowing what not to do can help, here are some things that you should do to provide support. These behaviors will help to encourage your loved one and recognize that they are not alone in their fight.

1. Talk Calmly and Explain How You Feel

When talking about your loved one’s problem, talk calmly, and explain how it makes you feel. Using sentences that start with “I” puts the conversation into a perspective of your concerns and how the addiction affects your life. This method lets your loved one know that they have a problem that hurts others. Therefore, when you use this technique, you avoid personally attacking your loved one.

2. Use the Right Language

Instead of using terms like addict or alcoholic, use terms that separate the individual from the disease. Your loved one is a person who happens to be struggling with alcohol, heroin, or prescription drug use, and so on.

3. Encourage Treatment

Addiction treatment programs have been proven to work in the past. The most effective drug rehab programs encourage psychological development and care along with stopping the substance use. In fact, many people with addictions have underlying mental health problems that also need addressing. To fulfill these needs, an addiction treatment program should also have the ability to help someone with psychological issues, too.

Some of the evidence-supported programs that we offer at Promises Five Palms include:

Find Help for Your Loved One with Addiction

Addiction does not have to become a permanent state. Don’t let it run your loved one’s life. Contact us at Promises Five Palms by calling 1.844.675.1022 for more information on how we can help your loved one with addiction. Through our professional programs, we can help your loved one to lead a life free of dependency.

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