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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Supporting a Loved one with Drug Addiction

Do you have a loved one in your life that’s struggling with drug addiction? This can be difficult for the addict and their loved ones, as you want to help but don’t know how. It is essential to be able to support this person without alienating them.

Talk without Judgement

Oftentimes, those struggling with addiction don’t want to talk about it because they are afraid of being judged. This can be frightening for an addict and it will ultimately make them feel more isolated. If you can, try to chat with this person about their issues without taking a judgemental tone.

Attempt to be a person that they can talk to about their problems openly, without fear of reprimand. This doesn’t mean you have to condone everything that they do in the course of their addiction, but don’t admonish them for actions they have taken in the past.

Encourage them to get Treatment

This can be a tricky tip to follow, as you don’t want to make the person feel like you’re making this decision for them. Only the addict themselves will be able to make the decision to get clean, but you can help them with information about the options out there. Often short term addition treatment programs can be a good place to start, as they’re not quite as frightening as a long term stay.

If the addict has tried to get clean in the past then they may be discouraged by the fact that they weren’t able to do so alone. These supportive programs can be helpful for addicts that find they can’t go it alone.

Don’t Give them Money

Although you may think that you’re helping your friend or family member, giving them money is not a good idea. They could end up using this to fuel their addiction with drugs they would not otherwise be able to afford.

If you want to help them, it is better to give them food or items which they can’t use for drugs. It is difficult to feel that you cannot trust this loved one, but it is possible they will use the money for all the wrong things.

Give them Emotional Support

Emotional support can be anything from a shoulder to cry on to a friendly chat, as you want to keep this person in your life. They may make it difficult, but if you want to be able to keep an eye on them then you have to be supportive. Remember it is the addiction and not the addict that can push you away at times.

This can manifest in a group intervention if there are a lot of people concerned about the person’s drug use. Again, in this setting you cannot be judgmental or else the person with the addiction may end up trying to escape the situation with more drugs.

Drug addiction is a tricky subject for many people to talk about, but supporting your loved one is essential. Don’t let them walk all over you, but do continue to love the person they are.

This is a guest blog entry.

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