How to Help an Addicted Loved One Recognize Their Problem

Methamphetamine addiction

When someone has any kind of addiction from alcohol addiction to cocaine addiction, the drug alters the way they see themselves. The brain can’t properly see itself for who it has become because of the alterations made to the brain. Trying to help someone get into an addiction treatment program when they don’t think that they are addicted is very difficult. It is not, however, impossible. Here are a few ways that you can help your loved one get into a treatment program even if they are not willing.

Know what addiction is.
It’s important to understand what addiction is before you start trying to convince someone they have it. If you come at them, blaming them for their addiction and insisting they stop, you will never win them over. You have to understand that addiction is a disease. Once you can start seeing it as a brain disease that causes the person to continue to seek out drugs despite negative consequences, then you will be able to show the support, patience and love that the addict needs in order to get better.

Take care of yourself.
You need to make sure that you are meeting your own needs. You should look for a support group for family and friends of addicts. Knowing that you are not alone in your struggles can be very liberating and helpful. You can all even share ideas and let each other know what has helped. If you aren’t comfortable with something like that, then you should think about talking to a therapist. It is important that you at least talk to someone. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else.

Set boundaries and stick to them.
You may have a hard time doing this because you love your struggling friend or family member. However, you have to stop putting the addict’s feelings and needs before your own. Not only will doing this allow you to be able to take control of your own life and continuing living despite the circumstances but it might force the addict to face the reality and consequences of what he or she is doing. If they can see that they are pushing their loved ones away, it might be a wake up call. You also should not lend money or pay bills if the addict is going to be using and do not allow them to come around you or your family when they are on something.

Have an intervention.
Interventions can be very effective if they are done correctly. An intervention could get a hold of the addict’s attention and help them see what is going on and how their destructive behaviors are affecting them and others. Make sure you properly research how to stage a good intervention otherwise the addict may walk out and you won’t even get to the treatment program part. Discussing alcohol addiction treatment or whatever they are addicted to can be a sensitive subject.

Set realistic expectations.
You may do all this and your addict may get angry and resentful and completely reject you. They may shut you out themselves and end up sinking lower. Or, they might even get into a treatment program and complete it but still end up addicted again once they get out. The truth is, according to statistics, your loved one, sadly, may end up going back to their old ways. While no one hopes for this to happen, you have to realize that it’s a possibility.

Don’t lose hope.
Despite statistics, experience and the rest of it, your loved one will never be free if you do not hope for them. There may be times where they cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel and will want to give up. You need to give them something to hope for. Encouraging them and being there for them will go a long way for an addict. Especially once they get out of treatment, they will need their loved ones around them a lot. The more that they can remember that they have to live for, the higher their chances of making it will be.

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