Helping your loved one who is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction can be overwhelming and painful. However, with the help, it will be extremely rewarding. You have to understand that you aren’t in control of your loved one. You didn’t cause the addiction and you can’t fix it. While you are a huge influence on your loved one, the decision to become sober is ultimately up to them.
Here is some advice for anyone helping their loved one through an addiction:
You can’t help your loved one recover if you don’t know about the addiction. Learn about addiction signs, treatments and relapse triggers and make sure to talk to children or other loved ones about drugs and alcohol at an early age. While education is not a guarantee for healthy choices, it can be a powerful tool in preventing addiction. It’s a good idea to participate in any family programs if your loved one enters treatment. Education and encouragement offered by a drug rehabilitation center supports your loved one and will help you at the same time.
Look after Yourself
If you want to support your loved one, you need to take care of yourself. Eat healthily, exercise and get an adequate amount of sleep so you can remain physically and mentally strong. Support groups can also be extremely helpful when a loved one has an addiction problem. Consider joining one if the stress of addiction is difficult to cope with.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk
Talking about the problem is beneficial for everyone involved. A person with a drug problem might hesitant to ask for help, but it is necessary for you to be available to them. Silent shame is toxic, so encourage your family to be up front about struggles. The realities of substance abuse are painful, but the consequences of silence can be even worse.