Watching a loved one suffering from the grips of addiction can be one of the most helpless and painful feelings there is. While it is true that there is only so much you can do to help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves, there are steps that can be taken to encourage a friend, relative, spouse, or child to seek help.
Attempting to force a loved one to enter treatment against their will can be frightening and usually results in a negative outcome. It is crucial to approach this sensitive situation from a place of love, understanding, and compassion. For an individual struggling with addiction, having a team of supportive friends and family members is a critical part of the treatment and recovery process.
Know the Signs of Addiction
The first important step is to being able to recognize that your loved one may be battling addiction. While different types of addiction present different physical symptoms, there are many general warning signs of addiction.
Drug and alcohol addiction interrupt every aspect of an individual’s life, including school, work, and family life. Addiction causes people to neglect their responsibilities and isolate themselves from friends and family.
The most obvious sign of addiction is sudden dangerous behavior. When an individual is an addict, they put their addiction above their own safety. This includes driving under the influence and other situations that could potentially put their lives at risk.
If you notice stark appearance and lifestyle changes in your loved one, it may be time confront the issue at hand. Being able to identify the signs of addiction is a key point in helping your loved one get into a treatment program.
Keep Their Best Interest at Heart
When approaching this touchy subject, it is important to come from a place of love and understanding. Emotions tend to run high from both ends during this time, and it can be easy to let them overpower sensibility. Becoming overly emotional can come across as blameful and will not end in a peaceful resolution.
Spend time researching and becoming familiar with your loved one’s addiction. Try to consider their individual emotional needs and medical history. Are they also suffering from co-occurring disorders or trauma that could be impacting their addiction? If so, it is best to look into options that could also treat these disorders.
Present your concern in a way that lets your loved one know that you understand and support them. Use your own best judgement when it comes to your loved one to determine what might make them want to help themselves by entering treatment. Find out if they are open to the idea of entering treatment by letting them know that they have your support if they choose to get help.
Discussing someone’s addiction with them can be difficult. If they become hostile or unwilling to talk about it, it may be in everyone’s best interest to consider an intervention. During an intervention, a group of close friends and relatives can communicate their concerns and incite a change effectively with or without a professional interventionist. By bringing in an interventionist to organize and oversee the intervention, not only will it run smoother but preparations will be made should they choose to accept help.
Educate Yourself on Treatment Programs
Like any situation, it is always best to come prepared. When attempting to help a loved one that is struggling with addiction, be prepared by educating yourself on local resources and treatment programs that can assist them.
Some individuals can benefit from local resources such as support groups. Support groups present the person with the opportunity to confront their addiction in an understanding environment. Often times, individuals in support groups encourage one another to seek treatment and achieve recovery.
Outpatient programs are geared towards those with low to moderate risk. Clients in outpatient programs can still participate in usual daily life activities like work and school while living at home. There is a risk in outpatient programs, however, as individuals still have access to people or situations that could trigger substance use.
Inpatient treatment programs, or residential treatment centers, are facilities where patients reside full-time while being treated. Although this treatment option is more drastic, it is beneficial by allowing clients to fully immerse themselves in recovery. They also give men and women 24/7 access to highly-trained professional staff members and therapy options. With less contact with outside negative influences and more in-depth treatment methods, residential treatment centers can be a huge factor in your loved one’s long-term recovery.
It is important to research and understand the various options that are available to those battling addiction. Each individual and addiction is different, so it is essential to find a treatment option that caters to their specific physical, emotional and psychological needs.
Residential treatment, outpatient programs, support groups? The amount of treatment types and programs out there can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are resources available to friends and family members faced with the task of helping an addicted loved one. Our free 24/7 live help line and expert trained coordinators can assist you in selecting the best and most effective treatment option for your friend or family member.
We’re Here to Help
We understand that watching a loved one, whether it be a close coworker, friend, parent or child, suffer from an addiction is devastating. We also understand that while you may desire to help them, you may just not know how. At Recovery Resource Group, we’re here to help. Our trained professional staff is available 24/7 to discuss treatment options and help guide you in creating a plan that will effectively get your loved one the help they need.
From determining what type of treatment your loved one needs, planning an intervention, to arranging aftercare treatment, we’re here for you every step of the way. While it may be overwhelming, educating yourself and getting the guidance you need is important in helping your loved one to treatment and ultimately, recovery.