Addiction is becoming one of the foremost public health issues in the World. In a society where addiction has become so prevalent, it is incredibly important for those who support addicts to know how they can best help them through their struggles. If you have a friend or loved one struggling with addiction, you can greatly impact their recovery by learning the most helpful ways to help. Here are several key tips for supporting an addict through their struggles:
Help Them Get Professional Help
While family and friends can be extremely influential in an addict’s recovery process, seeking professional help also comes in handy. By helping your loved one get help from addiction experts, you can play a key role in their recovery process by providing access to resources that can make a significant difference. Additionally, it is not only the addict who needs help. In order to help them overcome an addiction, you and your friend or family must also seek support from others.
Show Support with Attentive, Affirming Words and Actions
Many who struggle with addiction may initially look to the medical and legal systems for help, but in most cases, recovery is a process that can only be achieved through the support of friends and family members.
Instead of imposing your ideas about recovery on an addict, show understanding for their journey and be ready to offer them constructive and supportive advice. During the initial stages of recovery from addiction, it is important that you validate the person’s struggles and refrain from suggesting they should abandon their new lifestyle.
Offer Financial Assistance Without Guilt or Expectations
In addition to providing emotional support to your loved one, you can also provide financial assistance, as money can be an incredibly tight resource. Whether your friend or loved one asks for money for addiction treatment or other expenses, you should be willing to provide this assistance in a way that does not embarrass them or place any expectations on their recovery process. And if you can’t offer financial assistance, simple gestures like driving them to therapy or support groups can go a long way in showing your love.
Learn the Basics of Addiction and Recovery Processes
Another crucial step to effectively supporting someone through their recovery process is understanding the basics of addiction and recovery. Addiction is a chronic brain disease with genetic components that affect motivation, decision-making, and impulse control. While anyone is susceptible to addiction, some individuals have a genetic component that makes them more likely to become adverse to addictive substances.
In order to recover from addiction, a person needs to heal from the disease, which involves abstinence from the substance in question. Abstinence means that a person avoids the use of any addictive substances and replaces those substances with healthy alternatives that can help support their personal growth. As those in recovery work on healing from addiction, they need to form a new lifestyle where they become mentally and physically active and learn to enjoy life without needing an addictive substance to feel their best.
Help Them Set Goals
Setting goals and working towards them is essential for anyone trying to improve their lives. Whether it’s getting a job, visiting family for the holidays, or even getting sober for the first time, goals can be an effective way to get your loved one back on track and focused on their recovery. While at it, help them understand that the recovery process is not a one-day affair. It’s also helpful to praise their efforts, no matter how small they may seem. If they slip, they need you to be there for them, not mad at them.
Addiction is a devastating disease, and while it’s challenging to be there for someone you love with all your heart as they try to claw their way out of its grip, it’s important that you support them. By helping them with the basics of addiction, covering their tracks when they slip, and helping with their recovery process, you can make all the difference in their life.