Addiction is complicated and challenging for the person going through it and for you who is on the outside looking in. There is no magic formula for healing and getting to a better place.
What’s most important is that you do what you can to be there for your loved one and show them support. It may not be easy but your actions and encouragement will have a positive impact on the person over time. You may currently be feeling at a loss and are wondering the best ways to help and support someone struggling with addiction. Continue reading to learn tips and pieces of advice that will get you through this trying time in your life.
Learn About it
Your first step when wanting to help and support someone who’s struggling with addiction is to learn more about it. Educate yourself on the topic and matter and try to better understand it more in-depth. There’s a lot to it and everyone handles it differently. Learn as much as you can about addiction and the best ways to cope with it and also what your loved one may be going through and feeling. This will help you look at it from a medical and mental health standpoint instead of assuming the person is choosing to live this way.
Be There to Listen
One of the best ways you can help and support someone struggling with addiction is to lend an open ear. Be there to simply listen and hear them out when they feel like talking. You might learn more about what they’re dealing with and going through and be able to better relate and be there for them. Listen to their hardships and daily struggles without judgment or trying to fix the problem. Don’t focus on guilt or shame and instead be someone in their life who they can turn to and depend on to listen without feeling bad about themselves.
Encourage Them to Get Treatment
Another way to help and support someone struggling with addiction is to do your homework and research treatment options. Once you have a place in mind such as https://enterhealth.com/, you can present the idea to them and review all the benefits of them checking into a facility such as this one. There are many treatment options available so speak to an expert and see which path might be the most suitable for your loved one. If the person is open to the idea, then you can research the logistics further and try to set an initial consultation or appointment to discuss the details and next steps.
Promote Healthy Habits
You want to avoid enabling the person struggling with addiction at all costs. Instead, you can focus your efforts on promoting healthy habits. For example, maybe you go over to their house and cook a nutritious meal with them or you ask them to go for a walk or run in your free time. Show them how to live a healthy lifestyle by doing so yourself and through your actions. They may realize that it makes them feel better and want to do more of it as time goes on. If they’re struggling with alcohol abuse then consider getting takeout or doing another fun activity instead of hanging out at the bar.
It’s also essential that you practice compassion and are sensitive to what the person is dealing with. If you judge them because of their addiction then they may sense this and begin to shut you out or become upset with you. Try your best to hear their side of the story and get a better understanding of their perspective on the matter before you make assumptions. Know that they aren’t choosing this lifestyle but that they feel stuck in it and may not see a way out currently. Stay hopeful that they’ll begin to realize there are options for living a better and healthier life in the future. You can exercise compassion by asking open-ended questions, listening and acknowledging their pain, and working hard to better understand addiction in detail.
Take Care of Yourself
What’s most important is that you don’t lose yourself in the process of helping someone else with addiction. Take good care of yourself each day and practice self-care regularly to not let your health slip during these difficult times. You’ll be a much better listener and in a position to help your loved one when you feel well and are healthy. Give time and attention to the person and their issues but don’t let it consume you and take over your life. Remove yourself from the situation when you’re feeling overwhelmed and return to it when you’re in a good place and can be caring and compassionate. It can be emotionally draining so make sure you reduce and manage your stress by exercising, eating well, and getting plenty of sleep and rest.
Enjoy the Good Times & Days
Not all days will be bad or hard and there will be glimpses of hope and brighter moments ahead when dealing with someone who struggles with addiction. Remain positive, focus on the upsides and what’s going well, and enjoy the good days and times together. There may be instances when you two are laughing or doing a fun activity and getting lost in the moment. These are the interactions you should hold near to your heart and concentrate on throughout the process. Keep hope in your heart and remain optimistic that the person can get the help they need and heal.
This advice will guide you in knowing how to best help and support someone struggling with addiction. It may not be an easy road to go down but know that your efforts are having a positive impact on them and that there is a chance they will be able to get the treatment they need. Be proud of yourself for stepping up and being someone who they can rely on and depend on when the world and their situation may seem very uncertain and confusing at the moment.
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