Witnessing a loved one exhibiting the signs of alcohol addiction or drug use is often very hard, and friends and family members may feel unsure about being able to help.
The love you have for the person combined with their addictive behaviors, which often have a negative impact on close relationships, may create an emotional conundrum.
Fortunately, there are practical ways that you can help.
Educate Yourself About Drug And Alcohol Addiction
There is a lot of stigma surrounding addiction, including that it is something a person can control through will alone.
The fact is, substance use disorder (SUD) is a mental health condition, not a choice. Knowing this can help you approach your loved one’s situation as an ally.
Search the internet for information from trusted sources, or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) free, 24/7 helpline for people seeking guidance.
Express Your Concern
When a loved one resorts to substance use, it is usually driven by outside circumstances. Your loved one may be struggling to cope with mental health symptoms or difficult life experiences.
As a caring party, there are ways to offer support that take care to remain sensitive to the reasons why they are using. If possible, find some time to sit down together to talk about how they have been feeling.
Listening more than you talk shows your loved one that you care, but simple, supportive words of encouragement also go a long way, such as “I love you, and I don’t want to see you in pain.”
Find Addiction Support
As a friend or family member, there are ways to help your loved one move toward the path of addiction recovery and reestablish health and well-being.
Because of the vulnerable state they may be in, it may take your having to step in and find the professional help they need to move forward.
If possible, offer to go with your loved one to a behavioral health facility, where treatment providers can help determine the severity of the addiction and the level of care required.
Levels of care in addiction treatment include:
- residential treatment programs
- inpatient programs
- detoxification services
- outpatient treatment, including partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient (IOP), and standard outpatient programs
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- aftercare programs
Many effective treatment approaches are available at both the inpatient and outpatient level through individualized treatment plans.
These include evidence-based treatment approaches, or those proven by science to work, as well as holistic options, such as adventure therapy.
Peer support groups are another option for your loved one. These include 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for alcohol use, which can be found in many communities.
Participate In Their Recovery Process
Although not always possible, participating in aspects of your loved one’s care can be a great way to show support for their recovery.
There are several options at addiction treatment centers for family members to consider, including family therapy, family education, and family services such as workshops.
Friends and family can find support for their own needs as well, which in turn can also support their loved one’s recovery, through groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.
Find SUD Treatment Today
Caring for a loved one with an SUD starts with small acts of compassion that add up. Help find the right healthcare for your friend or family member by contacting Detox Rehabs today.Article Sources
- HelpGuide.org - Helping Someone With a Drug Addiction
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) - Research Topics “Treatment”
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - SAMHSA’s National Helpline