If you know someone dealing with addiction, it’s easy to turn a blind eye and let them be. After all, it’s often tempting to judge people battling addiction as toxic or up to no good. But, the truth is, many addicts want to change but have no idea how to get out of their situation. Alcohol and drug addiction typically come with physical and mental health issues which make the situation harder for anyone struggling with it. Although it’s hard work, you can help. Here are some of the best ways to aid a family member, friend, or loved one in these trying times.
Dos and Don’ts
Before anything, here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to dealing with people suffering from addiction:
- Try to build trust both ways. It may be tough for you to trust them or vice versa, but it’s an essential step in helping them.
- Be honest and tell them the real reason you’re helping them and how you intend to do it.
- Respect their privacy, and don’t push them to say anything they don’t want to.
- Don’t ever threaten in any way.
- Never criticize them for becoming an addict; most of the time, you don’t know the full story.
- Don’t expect an immediate change. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, and some people spend years before they can truly call themselves healed.
- Once you decide on helping someone, you should expect difficulties.
There may be times that the person you are reaching out to will not accept your help. It’s usually because they are afraid or they don’t know how to react. But, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to get help. They may accept your help one day, then reject it the next. Or, they might say they will get help but will end up going back to their old ways.
If you decide to help a loved one or a friend, you need to have endless patience with them. But also, make sure that you are not slipping into co-dependent behavior.
Communicate with Them
Try to communicate with the person you are reaching out to in a way that does not threaten them or their privacy. Encourage them to get help, but also remember that it should be their choice.
If you don’t know how to communicate appropriately with them, then you should seek advice from the experts. You can approach a counselor and ask them how to effectively talk to someone suffering from addiction.
Learning is a huge aspect of helping others.
Find a Good Treatment Process
The treatment process isn’t always the same from one person to another. It will depend on their overall wellbeing and how severe the problem is, as well as other factors.
If you’re helping a younger person, for instance, you can approach a youth inpatient rehab in your Utah locale or wherever you’re from. They specialize in helping young people. Their approaches are often different compared to methods used for older patients. There are also outpatient rehab centers, but these are usually for the later part of the treatment process.
In the whole process, there will come a time that you, yourself, may feel down and depressed. It’s common, especially if you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. Once this happens, seek help as well. You need to be in your best shape to help others, especially people battling addiction.