Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens in loving families, relationships and supportive communities. This means that it’s not only the addicted person that is affected by their problems, and that it has an impact on all of those that they are close to.
While this can have a negative and often-hurtful effect on loved ones, it also means that there is a support network for addicts. Loved ones, family and community, can rally together to ensure that they can help those in need.
This doesn’t however; mean that it’s going to be easy to help someone that has addiction problems. In fact, recovery is a long and arduous process that has the power to tear families apart if not dealt with in a sensitive and strong manner.
Here are some tips on dealing with a loved one with addiction problems:
Educate yourself as much as possible
It’s almost impossible to understand addiction unless you have been through it. The next best thing that you can do is to learn as much as possible as you can about addiction and the particular addiction that your loved one is struggling with.
Educate yourself, and you will be able to pick up signs and signals about addiction that may allow you to catch it before it descends into its worst phase.
Make connections with others going through the same thing
It’s incredibly hard to live with some or support someone who is an addict. It’s also important that you need to get our own support. The best thing to do is to create connections with peers or other families that are going through the same thing as you.
They will have a better understanding of your circumstances, and by supporting each other, you can get through the worst of it with a shoulder to lean on.
Don’t enable or let yourself be abused
Addiction makes people act in crazy, selfish and often harmful ways. It’s important that you don’t allow yourself to be on the receiving end of physical, mental or emotional abuse from the person you are trying to support.
The same goes for enabling them in their addiction. Never hide, make up excuses or turn a blind eye to their addiction, or abusive characteristics that allow them to continue down the path unabated. This just enables them to continue with their addiction and behaviours as if nothing is wrong at all.
While having family and friends supporting you is great for everyday needs, you should also go and get some professional help to assist you.
Professionals will help you maintain your mental, physical and emotional strength that you will need in order to support your loved one in the ways that they need.
You can’t deal with addiction alone, and you should definitely seek professional care for your loved one. For the best support at such a difficult time, you should look to social care job agencies that have professional social workers on their books that would be only too glad to lend a listening ear. There are also therapy groups and rehabilitation facilities that you should look into in order to get the best advice and assisted care for your family member.
Your loved one – whether it’s your partner, a family member, a friend or a neighbour – might not always agree with your decisions, but you can’t take on your loved one’s road to recovery alone and he/she will thank you for it in the end.
Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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