Supporting A Loved One Who Is Struggling With An Addiction

How to Support a Loved One Who is Struggling with an Addiction

Supporting a loved one who is struggling with addiction can be challenging. It is essential to remember that addiction is not a choice. Substance abuse is a complex issue that affects not only the person struggling with drugs or alcohol but their entire circle of family and friends. To offer meaningful support, consider these key points.

Supporting A Loved One Who Is Struggling With An Addiction

Drugs and alcohol ruin millions of relationships every year, and overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 44, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. If you know someone dealing with substance use disorder (SUD), you’ll need to give them the support they need to turn to rehabilitation for help with their problem. In this article, we discuss practical strategies on how to support a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

Educate Yourself

The first step in helping a loved one is to educate yourself about addiction and its effects. Understand that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. Learning about the nature of addiction can help you empathize with your loved one’s struggle.

Open Lines of Communication

Encourage open and honest conversations with your loved one. Approach them with compassion and non-judgment. Express your concern and willingness to help, while avoiding blame or criticism.

Suggest Treatment Options

Suggesting treatment programs is a crucial step in the recovery journey. Research various treatment options for substance use disorders, including inpatient and outpatient programs, and present them to your loved one. Offer to assist in the process, such as finding treatment centers or contacting a local mental health professional.

Consider Al-Anon or Support Groups

Al-Anon and other support groups are available to help the loved ones of individuals struggling with addiction. These groups provide a safe space to share experiences and coping strategies. They can offer guidance on how to navigate the challenges of loving someone in the recovery process.

Long-Term Support

Understand that recovery is a long-term process. Be patient and persistent in your support, even during setbacks. Celebrate their successes, no matter how small, and be there to provide a listening ear when they face challenges.

Encourage Professional Help

Encouraging your loved one to seek the assistance of a mental health professional is crucial. A licensed substance abuse counselor can help them address the underlying issues contributing to their addiction and develop coping strategies for a successful recovery.

Respect Their Autonomy

It’s important to remember that your loved one must ultimately make the decision to seek help and commit to their recovery. You can offer support and guidance, but the choice to change must come from them.

Supporting a person struggling with addiction is not easy, but it’s a vital part of their recovery journey. By offering understanding, empathy, and assistance in finding appropriate treatment programs and mental health professionals. You can play a significant role in helping your loved one on their path to a healthier and happier life. Remember, addiction is a formidable foe, but with your support, your loved one can find hope and healing.

Understanding the Impact on You

While the addict experiences a massive decline in their mental and physical health, the emotional toll on their loved one also leads to mental health issues in people with genuine concern for the addict.

Some family members or close friends might place the addict’s well-being over their own, resulting in extreme mental hardships ending in anxiety disorders and depression. Ensure you have someone to speak to and unload your thoughts. Book regular appointments with a mental health counselor to help you navigate this troubling time.

Blue Sky Counseling – Trauma Therapy Omaha, NE

I, Carly Spring, M.S., LIMHP, LADC, CPC, offer my specialized expertise to assist in the healing process to anyone who may be experiencing and suffering from a vast spectrum of mental health issues. Such mental health issues include behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, addiction issues, and life transitions. I believe strongly in applying a holistic perspective addressing your whole person not just the bits and pieces of you. Contact us with any questions or to talk with a mental health counselor in Omaha today.