Meeting someone who has an addiction isn't uncommon, but knowing the best way to help a loved one with an addiction can be confusing and even scary. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their life, as well as the lives of their loved ones. Inevitably, you'll worry about your loved one and it can be difficult to know what to do and what not to do, but it's important to remember that recovery is a solution. Part of practicing compassion for your loved one involves understanding that embarrassing your loved one can do more harm than good.
Instead, speak with positivity and encouragement, offering the idea of a successful long-term future recovery. Offer verbal and physical encouragement instead of lecturing or scolding. How do you help an alcoholic? One of the best ways is to be realistic in your expectations. Long-term recovery is not a quick fix.
It's an ongoing process for your loved one that requires time, effort, and ongoing support from both professionals and family. Some treatments may work for a while and then need to be changed. If one treatment doesn't work, it doesn't mean that all treatments will fail. It simply means that you'll have to find the specific one that works for your loved one.
Knowledge is power, and educating yourself about addiction and treatment is a benefit in learning to help someone with an addiction. If you're wondering how to help an alcoholic child, research alcoholism. Learn about the symptoms of an alcohol addiction, as well as the treatments available. Learn about the specific type of recovery your child is in, so you can better understand what your child is going through and the type of help they are receiving.
It's important to set limits and rules, both for your well-being and for the well-being of your loved one, and it's important to enforce those rules and limits. This is the only part of recovery where tough love is beneficial, as it is done for your protection and that of your loved one. When a person with an addiction is unwilling to seek treatment, they will resort to whatever it takes to continue to feed their addiction. This may include lying or trying to blame the people who care for them.
It's important to set limits and learn to say no. It can be very difficult not to react in a negative way or to comply with established rules, but it is necessary for everyone involved. Make sure the person is okay with talking about them and having their problems discussed. If you attend therapy with your loved one, make sure you don't reveal what was said in the session to others.
If your loved one is attending therapy or counseling on their own and doesn't want to talk about what they talked about in the session, respect them and don't pressure them for details. Supporters of people struggling with addiction often want to be able to do more to help, and it can be tempting to try. Allow the person to learn to gracefully reject tempting offers on their own. And let them develop the ability to talk about their substance use problems without shame.
Your role in your circle of support is to help them if they fail, in addition to giving them love and encouragement. A useful way to begin to understand good habits and address them is to attend a family reunion to follow a 12-step program. Being able to understand what types of behaviors allow drug abuse is the first step in eliminating them from your lifestyle. Helping the addict is a process that involves the whole family, not just the person with the problem.
The best ways to help a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may seem contradictory, especially for people who struggle with codependent relationships.