Helping a loved one with an addiction can prove to be a difficult balancing act. It is not for the faint of heart and it is a constant battle between offering unconditional support, hope, and encouragement while at the same time allowing the addict to be accountable for his/her own actions. If you are wanting to help someone with an addiction, do your best to avoid blaming yourself. Setting healthy boundaries and doing what you can to avoid becoming a codependent is extremely important for your health and sanity.
Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs or alcohol. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs or alcohol lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using simply by choosing to. In reality, addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs and alcohol change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. We now know more than ever about how addiction affects the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction or alcohol addiction and lead productive lives.
The realities of addiction are painful. It’s hard to hear that a loved one’s life is at risk and you can’t seem to fix it. But once you accept certain realities, you may realize that there’s empowerment beyond the powerlessness. There are steps you can take to help your addicted loved one, and once you’ve taken those steps you can take solace in knowing you did all that you could in the face of a devastating disease.
The services offered by Right Path Treatment Centers can help you support your loved one and take care of your own needs at the same time. Then you can continue to be a source of support and accountability post-treatment when drug or alcohol cravings and triggers heighten the relapse risk.
Remember that as much as you support and encourage addiction treatment and recovery, you will never be able to force an addict to change. No matter how much or how well you try to love an addict, the choice to change and fight their addiction must come from within themselves; you are merely there for support. The sooner you accept your role as a support system to your loved one, instead of their coach or savior, the better.
Who Can Develop an Addiction?
Anyone can develop an addiction. There are some things to keep in mind throughout this process. When supporting your loved one, it is important to understand that everyone, including yourself, can develop an addiction. It can happen to people of all backgrounds, rich and poor, and even all ages. You can’t help fight an enemy you don’t understand. Learn about addiction — the signs, the treatments, the relapse triggers — and talk to your loved ones about drugs and alcohol from an early age. Of course, education is no guarantee of healthy choices, but it can be a powerful tool in preventing drug or alcohol abuse and finding a way to recovery.
General Resources For Loved Ones
It’s natural to be afraid to approach your loved one about drug or alcohol use, because of the uncertainty of how he or she will react. However, it could be a life-changing effort for you to overcome your apprehensions and work towards finding the substance abuse help he or she needs. There are several resources that can help your loved one overcome addiction, including roughly 4,000 board-certified physicians who specialize in addiction treatment in the United States. Below are some general resources that will be helpful to you as you start down the road to recovery with a loved one.
- Alcohol Addiction Treatment
- Opioid Addiction Treatment
- Frequently Asked Questions About Suboxone
- How Addiction Counseling Can Help
- Rethinking How you Talk About Addiction
- Is Suboxone Treatment Right for You?
- Buprenorphine & Suboxone FAQs
- Talking with your Doctor, One on One
If you are worried that your loved one may have an addiction and you are unsure of what steps you should take, call Right Path Treatment Center at (757) 321-0795 or make an appointment online and we will recommend treatment options that will work for you and your loved one.