Addiction is a word that scares people. It has a stigma around it, and most of us have an idea of what addiction looks like. What many people don’t understand is the struggle someone faces with addiction daily.
They are often deeply ashamed and feel as if they have lost control over their life, which can cause them to withdraw from society or lash out at those close to them.
If you are certain that your loved one is struggling with addiction, be open about it and be courageous towards a better recovery plan.
In case, you’ll be searching for professional assistance in this struggle, we spoke with Cara Sandweiss of profound addiction treatment to give her view on best practices for addiction recovery.
After approaching complete agreement, let your friend know that you are concerned for their well-being and suggest they seek help through counselling or rehab. This will not be easy for them because they might try to deny the fact that they need it.
However, the complete guide to conveniently handle such cases is explained below!
1. Recognize the signs of addiction
A lot of the signs of addiction are the same for a range of drugs. Look out for changes in behaviour and mood, loss of interest in work or hobbies and relationship issues. The person may also try to hide their substance abuse and any evidence, show withdrawal symptoms, and likely have a neglected appearance and diminished self-esteem.
- Make a list of the warning flags that someone is struggling with addiction and share it with their friends and family
- Withdraw from social events where there might be a risk of getting too drunk or high
- Question them about their drug use- speak in a non-judgmental way and make sure you believe what they say before going to an intervention meeting.
There is never an excuse for someone who abuses others, but they may lash out because they feel ashamed or experience paranoia from withdrawal symptoms. Some people need to be physically close to objects such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or other items to use them when they get cravings. This behaviour can lead to stealing supplies from friends or family members, which can cause tension
2. Listen to the Person’s story and ask questions
Be receptive to their story. This means listening without judgement and asking them questions like; what would it be like if they didn’t have to worry about becoming high or drunk? How does their life look now that they are addicted to something? What are their struggles with addiction? Not all questions need to be answered the first time they are asked, but it is important to be open and approachable.
Also, create boundaries with your loved ones – this means setting limits on what you can do for them and what they can do for themselves.
You can further ask: What is the hardest part about addiction? How do you feel when you are struggling with addiction?
It makes them feel more connected with you. By finding a comfortable and protected zone, they will start sharing their stories and feelings, which can consequently help find appropriate solutions.
3. Discuss how you can help them
Talking about how you can help them is a crucial step. This means being specific about what they need from you and what you can do to support their recovery.
It will also give the person a chance to tell you if there are things that they don’t want from you or would rather have from someone else instead.
In addition, try to avoid being a part of the problem. If you have been enabling your loved ones to continue the addiction, this can be very harmful to them and yourself since it’s not going to help your relationship in any way.
4. Be patient with them; don’t be judgmental or critical
It is necessary to be patient with them throughout the entire process. By being supportive, not judgmental or critical, you are helping to set the foundation for a successful recovery journey.
By following these simple steps, you can help your loved one recover from addiction and get their life back on track.
- Assure them you’re providing support – be there when your friend needs someone to talk to or offer physical assistance.
- Tell them “take care of yourself” – make sure that you take time out for yourself in order not to become overwhelmed by taking on more than you can handle
- Take some time for yourself – whether it is going for a run, getting together with friends, watching TV etc.
This will help you be in a friendly environment with them even conveniently.
5. Offer your time, love, and support
Offering your time, love, and support is the best thing you can do for someone who has an addiction. It’s essential to be there for them during their tough moments and not give up on them quickly. Also, help them around with everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning etc. They may need assistance at this point in their lives because they cannot do these things independently. Offer moral support that will help them get through tough times and act as courage to avoid negative habits even more strongly.
Before you know it, your addicted friend will be back on track towards a better life!
6. Help them find treatment for their addiction (counselling, rehab)
If you are sure that your loved one is struggling with addiction, be open about it to them. Let your friend know that you are concerned for their well-being and suggest they seek help through counselling or rehab. This will not be easy for them because they might try to deny that they need treatment, but you have to understand that this is just their way of coping with the addiction.
7. Offer them alternatives to drugs and alcohol
Offer your addicted friends some different ways to enjoy their time without getting drunk or high such as joining a sport, hiking or going out for a run. Also, suggest that they try meditation and yoga, which will help them relax their body.
It’s important to be there for your loved ones who look around for someone who can get them out of addiction like a friend during their tough moments. Also, help them around with everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning etc. They may require assistance at this point in their lives because they cannot face these things individually. Offer moral support that challenges will help them get through tough times and act as courage to avoid harmful habits even more strongly.