Addiction is a great and terrible force that works to destroy the lives of people. Not just the addicts themselves, but those who love and care about them. Those people can be some most hurt by addiction if they’re not careful. They can also be a tremendous force in helping those suffering from it. Addiction is unlike other mental disorders and diseases. So it needs a certain kind of treatment. In this article, we’re going to look at how you can help the addict in your life. How to approach and, if necessary, how to walk away. Being willing to help is the first step, however.
Be aware of the dangers
There are certain dangers that everyone needs to know in relation to addictions. Particularly those involved with drugs. First is recognizing the health dangers that it presents to the addict. Seeing the effects of drug use on the body. But you should also understand the tertiary dangers that come with it. The links to drugs and criminal activity. They may not necessarily apply, but having that awareness in mind is essential to your own safety.
Learning to talk to them
One of the hardest things about knowing an addict is how to even broach the topic of addiction. Particularly for those that are in denial. Kindness, not confrontation, is the key. Being willing to provide support instead of admonition and being there to listen, not just talk. If necessary, you might need to stage an intervention. If so, do it under the advice of a specialist and don’t try to cage them in. You’re there to support them, not trap them.
Helping them find ways to heal
Another aspect of an addict you can help them with is fear. Not just the fear of what might be happening to them. The fear of getting help. Of making themselves vulnerable to the different kinds of treatment available. Going with them to places like an affordable drug treatment center, for example. Or being there to ask questions to doctor that they might forget or be too nervous to ask.
Being there for someone facing an addiction doesn’t just stop when they agree to start undergoing treatment. Even if they’re in a treatment facility, they need support. They need connections and warmth to help them. If you’re living with them and they’re in recovery, staying educated and involved in the process can be a tremendous help to them. Brushing the matter under the mat won’t make it any less likely to appear again in future.
Taking care of yourself
There are dangers involved in being close to an addict. Not just physically, but emotionally. For example, enabling their habits or suffering abuse due to their addiction. You need to be prepared not only to help them but yourself. Whether it means seeking support groups or knowing when it’s no longer safe to be around them. Caring for yourself is not the same as being selfish. Keep support around you early, don’t wait until it’s too late.