When a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, it can be hard. They may tell you that their drug or alcohol use has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. It may be hard to believe it but what they are saying is true — it’s not your fault. It is possible for your loved one to find recovery, but for most individuals it’s nearly impossible to do it alone. Here are the steps you can take to help them start their path to recovery — and a better relationship with for the two of you.
1. Don’t Enable Your Addicted Loved One
If you find yourself tending to your loved one every time they have a "come down" or are struggling with withdrawals, then it may be time to stop. Don’t turn your shoulder on them, but instead offer valid solutions to their ongoing problem. It may be hard to do, but you want them to realize the actions that come along with their drinking and using hurts you and you don’t like seeing them like this.
Something else you may want to consider is how you’re financially enabling their drug and alcohol use. It may seem right at the moment to give them money when they ask for it, but it’s not going to help them (or you) in the long run.
You want to stop supporting them in ways that will make the addictive behavior easy to continue. Setting healthy boundaries is important in any relationship. Remember that once your loved one finally finds their road to recovery they won’t be upset with you. They will thank you and value you even more.
2. Encourage Your Loved One’s Decision to Seek Addiction Treatment
There is a large difference between controlling a person’s decision and influencing it. Influencing it is a kinder approach and one that will generally resonate with your loved one struggling with addiction. If they feel like they are being controlled, then they are apt to push back even harder. If they feel that you're there to support them in getting substance abuse help, they will be more willing to stick with the program — no matter how difficult it may seem.
Though there is a stigma that a person struggling with addiction continues to, “choose” to use drugs and alcohol, that’s incorrect. Addiction is a disease and the brain of someone struggling with addiction in fact has a chemical imbalance. Though they may have been at a low point in life when they first tried using, they also probably thought that they could control their use — the truth is, for an addict or alcoholic, they can’t.
That’s why at Acqua Recovery, we use a dual-diagnosis approach to our customized addiction treatment program that also addresses underlying mental health issues. Oftentimes, people that have a drug problem or alcohol addiction are also suffering from a mental disorder, such as anxiety or depression. Treatment for both is necessary if you want your loved one to find a lasting recovery.
3. Be Patient With Your Addicted Loved One
Though you may not understand why they use drugs or alcohol, it’s important to be patient with your loved one struggling with substance abuse. A lot of the time they don’t realize how brash they are being and in the moment the most important subject on their mind is getting their next fix. You may have experienced your loved one saying some very hurtful things, but it’s important to remember that this isn’t them. It’s a sick person that needs help because addiction truly is a disease.
Your loved one may also be suffering from years of trauma fueling their co-occurring disorders. What that means is, your loved one may be drinking or drinking or using drugs because that’s the only way they know how to cope with traumatic events that they’ve experienced. Your loved one may not even feel comfortable revealing those traumas to you. Learn more about how Acqua Recovery utilizes a trauma-informed approach to addiction treatment by clicking, HERE.
4. Help Your Loved One Seek Residential Treatment
Sometimes a loved one can get sober and then fall back into the same pattern. In that case, it’s important to remember step three — being patient, and to start looking into residential addiction treatment.
Acqua Recovery is a residential addiction treatment center based in Midway, Utah. Our 12-acre campus provides the secure sanctuary your loved one needs to begin to work through their trauma and build a foundation for a lasting recovery. Every person is unique and that’s why we customize each client’s addiction treatment program, to cater to the most fitting modalities of treatment. Treating addiction is one thing but caring for addiction is another. Give our caring admissions team — Matt, Brian, and Ashlee — a call today. They are all alumni of Acqua Recovery’s addiction treatment program and will guide you through getting your loved one the treatment they desperately need.
Coping With an Addicted Loved One
After reading all of this we hope that you have a better idea of what you can do to help your loved one struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone and there are many support groups for family and friends dealing with an addict or alcoholic. Remember that a healthy relationship between you and your loved one won't be possible, until they’ve gotten professional addiction treatment. Take the first step and start your healing process, by reaching out to us today.