Addiction is difficult—and not just for the addict. It also takes a toll on family members and friends. It is something we see all the time: Someone is grieved by a loved one’s addiction, but unsure of what to say or how to help.
It is definitely something that requires sensitivity. Sometimes being too pushy or aggressive can just lead to tension—not results. At the same time, it is even worse to remain silent, or to keep all of your concerns to yourself.
So where does that leave you? And what can you do when you know a loved one needs rehab treatment for drug or alcohol addiction?
Helping a Loved One with Addiction
There are actually several things you can do to help a loved one:
- Learn everything you can about addiction. Read books, check blogs, speak with an addiction recovery specialist—do what you can to cast aside misconceptions and really develop empathy for what the addict is going through.
- Speak up. Offer your support to the person struggling with addiction. Let him or her know that you are willing to do anything you can to help with recovery. Understand that many people who struggle with addiction are in denial, and may not readily admit to having a problem.
- Express your love and concern—not judgment. Do not accuse your family member or loved one. Instead, dress your language in I statements: I am worried about you. I care about you deeply. I want you to be well.
- Remember that addicts typically need help in their recovery. Do not expect your loved one to do it solo; instead, gently encourage him or her to seek treatment at Above It All.
- Remember that recovery is an ongoing process, and your support is important every step of the way. Recovery is not over just because your loved one completes an inpatient program.
Help for Families of Addicts
Family members can play a significant role in addiction recovery. In fact, recovery is best pursued within the context of a broader support system—and ideally, that support system will include family members. It may also include the expertise and support of advocates here at Above It All and our facility partners.
Above It All and our facility partners are pleased to welcome family members into the recovery process—and in doing so, we do not just help the person struggling with addiction, but also help family members, providing encouragement and education as needed.
As you seek to guide your loved one toward recovery, it can be difficult—but you are not alone. Enlist our expertise and our support.Contact us at Above It All today, and learn more about the best practices for helping your family member with addiction.