Helping a Loved One With Addiction

Addiction is a complex disease. The addict isn’t the only one affected by the disease. Friends and family can struggle with an addict’s behavior, legal issues, and daily support. These are seven ways that friends and family can support an addict friend or family member.

Stay Informed

Learn more about addiction. Learn about the symptoms of addiction. Learn about the effects on family members and friends. It is possible to gain knowledge about your loved one and yourself. There are many resources for finding this information: SAMHSA.gov (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration) has all types of educational and informational resources. There is a lot of information available in the public library and on the internet about education, groups, treatment, support, etc.

Helping a Loved One with Addiction

Get Assistance

It can cause a lot of distress in your life if you have a loved one with an addiction problem. There are many support groups available that can help you cope with addiction, offer resources, and help the addict, including Al-Anon for alcohol addictions and Nar-Anon for drug addictions, both prescription and illegal.

Helping a Loved One with Addiction

Find Counseling

Specific therapy might be beneficial to you. Counseling is not just for addicts. You will be able help your loved one if you can manage everything in your life a bit better. There are many resources available to help you find counselors. You may be able to access mental health benefits through your insurance or the Employee Assistance Program of your company. Talk to someone you trust about the resources that you require and conduct a search in your area.

Helping a Loved One with Addiction

Look For Resources That Provide Help

It may be beneficial to speak to attorneys who are covered if you require assistance with legal or financial matters. You can find organizations that offer services at a sliding-scale fee by calling your local Mental Health Agency, or United Way. You may also find counseling at a local church that is free or low cost.

Stop Enabling Your Loved One’s Addiction

Family members can find it difficult to cope with the effects of the disease. Family members often support the addict’s addiction, even though they don’t realize it. Do not try to save the addict. People are often unable to change until forced. Do not financially support an addict or their addiction. Family members and friends often buy groceries or provide financial assistance to pay court fees or attorneys. However, this only prolongs the disease since addicts can avoid them.

Set Sensible Expectations

Do not lecture the addict. You must hold them responsible for their expectations. Do not expect addicts to keep their word. They are not capable of doing so while they are battling addiction. Do not react with anger or pity. You will only be a part of the addiction. If your loved one is ready to get help, you can contact Legal Aid programs in your area to see if you qualify for those services or they may be able to direct you to someone who can assist you in the recovery process.

Helping a Loved One with addiction

Look After Yourself

To help an addict, it is important to focus on your life. Stress can lead to resentment, strain, and even worse, a mental illness like depression. It can be difficult to offer help to someone who has caused so much distress in your life. You can help your addicted loved one by taking care of yourself. This includes getting enough sleep, exercising, socializing, and seeking support when you need it.

Helping a Loved One with addiction

It is important to remember that you are not alone. These issues are not unique to you. It is important that you get the support and resources you need.