The effects of addiction can be far reaching. While it doesn’t just affect the life of the person suffering, it can affect each relationship it touches. As an addiction progresses, typically, a person’s social, financial, spiritual, and familial life declines. For friends and loved ones, the onslaught of consequences that addiction brings can be devastating to watch – especially if the person is not accepting of help.
When a person is suffering from a behavioral health disorder, it can be natural to want to try and help. Though, when addiction is at hand, addressing the issue can be a touchy subject. For the person struggling, defenses can be on high alert, especially if a person has been trying to hide their addiction.
While broaching the subject can seem scary and uncomfortable, there are a number of ways to approach your friend who may need treatment and a number of things you may want to take into consideration before approaching them.
We’ve put a list together on how to broach the subject lightly without having to walk on ice:
Talk When They’re Sober
Be sure to initiate a conversation when your friend or loved one is sober. If they’re under the influence, there’s a chance that they may not remember the conversation or be less understanding about the issue at hand. Remember that a conversation is a two-way street and lecturing the person can raise defenses and create more anxiety. Be sure to give the person you care about time to address their own feelings as well. Instead of accusing them, it’s your job to bring light to the situation.
Use “I” Statements
By telling your family member or friend that “you need treatment,” it can raise defenses and create a feeling that something may be “wrong” with the person that is addicted. Today, we live in an individualistic society in which most people are expected to fix all their own problems no matter how unrealistic that may be. Instead, by using “I” statements, we put the feelings on ourselves to address genuine concern. A prime example of this would be, “I feel hurt when you use drugs.” Using this approach can help open up a deeper conversation, make you feel more heard, and can open up a door for the person to receive help.
Educate yourself by learning more about addiction and the disease process. By understanding more about how it may affect you and those around the addict or alcoholic, can ultimately help you understand what your loved one is going through. In today’s world, most people know someone who’s been affected by addiction. Reach out and ask for help from friends, family members, and others. Addiction is a disease, and shouldn’t be a shameful process in asking for help.
Have A Plan
Do your research. If your loved one says that they’re ready for treatment, don’t show up empty handed. Have a phone number, a friend, or a professional on hand that they can talk to and if they decide they’re ready to seek out the help they need. While entering recovery is their your preparations and actions can help them make the right one and ultimately make the process smoother.
Have Realistic Expectations
It’s frustrating when you approach a loved one and you continue to see them struggle, especially if they decline help. Patience is important. Even with treatment, recovery is a process and doesn’t happen overnight. While in the conversation, your loved one may promise to never use again, however, don’t underestimate the power of addiction. False promises can be common for families to hear from their loved one that is struggling. It’s important to continue to hold your loved one accountable for their actions and continue to offer help.
There’s no doubt addiction creates emotional suffering for all involved, because as friends and family members, there’s only so much that you can do. If you become controlled by your loved ones addiction, your own health will suffer. If you’ve approached your loved one about their addiction and they are still unable and unwilling to seek help, it’s important to set boundaries. Setting clear boundaries and expectations of your loved one can help alleviate any resentment, ill feelings, and codependency that may develop if they don’t seek out treatment. A couple of examples of boundaries can include:
- “If you don’t get help for your addiction, you cannot live in my house.”
- “If you are arrested, I will not bail you out.”
- “I will not lie or ‘cover’ for you anymore.”
Take Care Of Yourself
Watching someone suffer through an addiction can be devastating, frustrating and create negative emotional responses within yourself like resentment and strain. Though, focusing on our own behavior, patterns, and relationships is the best thing that you can do to help your loved one. Seeking out a support group or therapy of your own can help you address concerns and negative aspects that you may be feeling about yourself. By taking care of your own needs can help you better help your loved one when they do decide to reach out for help.
The important thing to remember is you’re not alone. There have been many who have and continue to battle these issues on a daily basis. If your loved one is ready to receive the help they need, Lumiere’s Ohio drug rehab provides a comprehensive approach to treating addiction can build lasting recovery.
Give us a call today at: 513-854-2197 We’re here 24/7 and all calls are confidential.