An addiction to alcohol or drugs can be devastating to not only an individual, but their loved ones as well. The family of someone struggling with addiction may feel helpless and unsure of how to help them through it, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait around and hope for the best. If you have a family member or friend who needs help with their addiction, here are some things you can do today to start helping them find their way out of their problem once and for all.
Know your role
When someone you care about has a serious addiction, it can be difficult to know how best to help. The tricky part is not knowing how they got into their addiction, but knowing that they are there and need help getting out. It’s a hard job for many people to realise that addiction is a real disease, rather than simply a behaviour someone should be able to control.
Start by asking questions
Starting a conversation is difficult, and it can be even more challenging when you know someone is struggling. Asking questions allows you to feel out whether or not your loved one is ready for help. Here are some questions that might get things started: What’s going on? How has alcohol been affecting your life? Is there anything I can do? If not, how can I help you if and when you’re ready for it?
Don’t be judgmental
If you’re dealing with a loved one who is suffering from addiction, know that it takes a lot of courage for them to admit they have a problem and ask for help. Even if they don’t want your help, it’s okay to show your concern by being there for them without judgement.
Know the warning signs of relapse
Many people think that their friend or family member will know if they’re struggling with addiction, but while some addicts know they have a problem, many simply don’t. If you notice your loved one exhibiting warning signs of relapse (e.g., isolating themselves from family and friends, working less and socialising more), it might be time to intervene—not only for your sake but for theirs.
Stay up-to-date on your loved one’s progress
It’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged when a loved one is struggling with addiction. It’s normal—but it’s also important that you work on managing your frustration so you can help your loved one stay motivated on their journey towards recovery. By staying up-to-date on their progress, you are helping them stick to their plan of action and know that they have someone who is supporting them along the way.
Seek professional help if needed
Because addiction is a disease, it’s important that you don’t try to deal with it alone. If you have a family member or friend who is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, we urge you to get them help. It might be best to locate addiction rehab centres near you. Don’t wait until it becomes too late.