In America alone, 23 million people are suffering from drug addiction with the majority of patients being teenagers. As such, lots of families find themselves trying to help a loved one with addiction or go through post addiction challenges. Family members are the greatest influences in the lives of individuals on the recovery process. For this reason, it is important for family members to acquaint themselves on the things they can do and things they cannot do to help their addicted loved ones.
Things you cannot do
Making them quit
It is important for family members to be creative and innovate ways of staging interventions, but they should not try to force it down their throat. Although one can initiate involuntary treatment, you can never make an addict sober. As a result, family members should always find ways of lifting the spirits of their addicted loved ones continuously. The trick is to always try to give them a reason to quit in a creative way.
Doing the recovery work for them
Despite your deep love and desire to help, avoid doing the recovery work for them or getting emotionally involved. There needs to be moderation and a sense or reality in order to avoid relapse from occurring. The best one can always do is offer a shoulder to lean on as they go through the process of full recovery themselves.
Research shows that patients who get a high level of protection often find themselves more deeply addicted. Hence, always give the patient room to do the recovery work themselves as it is one of the best forms of therapy an addict needs in the process.
Accommodate a patient’s behavior even if it violates your boundaries
It is critical to set limits on what you can and cannot take in regards to a patient’s character. Once boundaries are set, do not allow the patient to violate the limits as it will ruin your credibility and drive your loved one into further addiction.
When it is established by a patient that violating your boundaries is not followed by any consequences, then your word is like quicksand. But if you stand for what you say, they will eventually respect you in the long term.
Things you can do for your loved one
Educating yourself on addiction
It is very difficult to fight a devil you do not know or understand. The best is to learn all you can about addiction, the torments, signs, and triggers of a relapse. Talk to your loved ones about all forms of addiction at an early stage, as it is a good preventive measure. Although education does not offer any guarantees, it is an excellent tool in preventing drug abuse and making the recovery process easier.
Taking care of yourself
Though most people make this mistake, it is important to take good care of yourself by ensuring you are stable mentally and physically. Persuading another person can be difficult but making healthy decisions for yourself can help influence their decisions in a positive way.
Talking to yourself
Talking about the challenges you are encountering as you help your loved one helps overcome pressure from the whole process. Do not be reluctant to ask for help from your peers and most importantly from a drug addiction center as it is helpful both to you and the patient. By opening up, you can handle any manipulations that the patient is likely to throw at you making the recovery process more efficient.