Addiction is a disease that can be extremely difficult to recover from. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are very likely to also suffer from conditions like depression and low self esteem, which can make it even more difficult to make the decision to seek help because an addict may not recognize their own self worth or realize that they deserve the chance to be happy and healthy again. It can be very frustrating for the loved ones of an addict who appears helpless to watch the person they love spiral even further into addiction. Here are some tips for helping even the most desperate of addicts.
1. Make It Clear That They Are Loved
It is normal for the people who are in an addict's life to experience a wide range of emotions when it comes to an addict and their problem. When a person is addicted to any kind of drug, their personality often changes. They may become angry much more often and behave in a way that is hurtful to those around them. Though this can cause anger and sadness for the loved ones of an addict, it is important that a struggling addict knows they have people around them who are rooting for them and who will support them as they take the difficult steps necessary to get healthy.
2. Do Not Enable Them
As important as it is to be emotionally and psychologically supportive of an addict, it is very important that an addict's loved ones do not support an addict's addiction. It is extremely challenging, scary, and hurtful to watch a person one cares about put themselves in perilous situations or to see them be without basic needs like food and shelter, but sometimes this is the reality. Loving an addict does not mean enabling them. Ultimately only an addict can make the decision to get sober, and this often happens only when they have reached their own version of rock bottom. The longer an addict is enabled, the longer it may be before they realize they need help. In this way, one of the best things loved ones can do is to refuse to lie for an addict or to pay for things like their rent or bills.
3. Offer to Go Meetings With Them
Going to twelve step meetings can be a great step for an addict, not only because it may be the first time that they are able to admit that they have a problem, but also because they will meet and hear stories from people who have struggled in many of the same ways that they have. They may gain hope from hearing that even those who were in the depths of addiction did get the help they needed and are now living happy and sober lives. There is also a twelve step program cal Al-Anon which is specifically for the loved ones of addicts, and may help you cultivate the tools you need to be a strong support system.
4. Remind Them of the Good Things In Their Life
Every addict has a reason to be grateful and thus happy and hopeful, but sometimes an addict may lose sight of these things as they spiral further into addiction. Do what you can to remind your loved one about the people and things in their life that are dear to them; all of which are likely wonderful reasons to seek treatment so that they can enjoy and take part in the relationships, possibilities, and life activities that they are lucky enough to have at their disposal and around them.