Being there for a friend or loved one who is struggling with addiction can be one of the most difficult challenges of your life. You may not know how to help an addict or how to approach the problem, especially if the person in question is in denial about their addiction. Furthermore, you may have noticed how their addiction is starting to affect different areas of your own life, which can be extremely frustrating.
However, with your support and encouragement, there is hope. You can be the catalyst for the person in your life to seek addiction treatment that leads to recovery. So, if you are unsure how to help an addict, below are some ways that you can get started. If you need more help, then contact an addiction treatment center in Texas today.
Maintain a Trusting Relationship
People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol may reach a point where they don’t know where to turn or who to talk to. Therefore, they need to feel like they can trust you. Establishing trust involves a delicate balance of being assertive but compassionate. Consider these suggestions including:
- Avoid criticizing or nagging your loved one
- Remain calm and gentle when addressing your concerns
- Get treatment for your own addiction, if necessary
- Provide support without attempting to control the other person
- Try to maintain a structured environment at home
Take Care of Yourself
It is almost impossible to take care of someone if we first do not address our own issues. So, if you are dealing with an addiction, depression, anxiety, or other issues, take some time out to get help. Self-care will give you the strength to help someone else, and you may serve as a positive example for them.
If an addicted person sees that you are taking care of yourself, it may inspire them to do the same. They may also lean on you for help if others around them are also dealing with problems.
Maintain Healthy Communication
Trying to reason with someone who has an addiction can often lead to greater conflict, even if your intentions are good. Therefore, you should try to maintain healthy communication at all times. Follow some of these guidelines for engaging with someone who has an addiction including:
- Try not to get emotional, remain calm at all times
- Verbalize support more than criticism
- Address the problem clearly with no ambiguity
- Suggest solutions that are non-threatening
- Do not allow the other person to manipulate you
Stage an Intervention
If all else fails and you’re through talking, it may be time to stage an intervention. This requires some careful planning and assertiveness. When you intervene, make sure someone else is with you. Pick a time and place where there are no distractions. Also, know what you are going to say in advance so that you don’t find yourself stumbling verbally.
If you want to learn how to help an addict, then you may want to contact an intervention specialist. The professional can help maintain smooth communication with all parties while encouraging the addicted person to get help. A specialist can also keep things calm and help your loved one work through their resistance.
Provide Support During Treatment
When your loved one finally decides to get help for addiction, then make sure you are reinforcing their decision by providing support during detox and rehab. By doing so, you can help keep their motivation up so that they complete the program.
Support includes visitation, calls, verbal support, and lots of encouragement. You may also show support by attending support group meetings or participating in family or couples therapy. Family therapy can teach you how to help an addict, as well as yourself.