How to Help an Addict You Love
Having a relationship with an addict can be challenging at times, especially if they haven’t entered recovery yet. Any type of relationship with an addict, whether you are a concerned mother, beloved husband or childhood friend, has its own set of problems and worries.
When you love and care for someone who is actively using, it can often feel like an uphill battle. Sometimes we may want to quit and just walk away, but something always keeps you hoping and praying for them to “just figure it out.”
Unfortunately hoping someone struggling with addiction will just figure it out is dangerous. People who are struggling with substance abuse are at risk of overdose and death. Having a serious conversation with the addict you love could save their life and help give them the push they need to take the first step into recovery by entering a detox program.
We know having “the talk” with someone you love can be very scary and we don’t always know where to start. Here are some tips on how to start the conversation and begin healing your relationship with an addict.
1) Explain to them why your concerned. Don’t wait for them to hit “rock bottom.”
A lot of people believe someone needs to first hit rock bottom before they can get better, but when it comes to addiction rock bottom is a grave. Someone does not need to struggle for years to get better, someone does not need to go to jail to get better, and someone does not need to be homeless to get better, sometimes what people need is your support and love. Letting the addict in your life know that you are concerned about their choices and suggesting that they enter detox, could save their life.
2) Stage a mini-intervention.
If your loved one is in denial about their addiction, it may be necessary to plan an intervention—the keyword here being “plan”, as staging an impulsive intervention can oftentimes be worse than doing nothing. Speaking with a recovery specialist first can help make this go smoother for everyone involved and help educate you on the things that may be helpful versus unhelpful to say. Speaking to a recovery specialist will also be helpful so that when your intervention goes well, you’ll be ready to move fast and get your loved one into detox.
3) Use I Statements
Addiction is a mental illness, and like other mental illnesses many addicts feel ashamed to admit that they’ve been struggling, which is something you’ll need to keep in mind when confronting them about their using. You do not want to escalate the conversation into an argument, which is why using “I” statements can be so powerful.
For example, instead of saying “You are making me depressed, why can’t you just stop, I feel like you don’t care about me,” try saying “I feel sad because I know how amazing you are without drugs and alcohol” and “I want to help.” During the conversation you might begin to feel angry and frustrated, but do your best to keep a calm, stick to the facts, and set boundaries.
4) Admit You Don’t Know Everything
Many people tend to deny, deny, deny when confronted by a loved one about their addiction. They may not have realized it got so bad or may not have known that you knew what was going on. They may try to tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about, you don’t understand or your overreacting. These things are not completely false and keep that in mind.
Tell them that you don’t know everything, but you do know your worried about them, and want to be able to openly communicate about what is going on.
5) Do not ask your loved one to go to detox for you, ask them to do it for themselves.
While you may want to ask someone to enter detox and begin recovery for you, don’t. People who are suffering from addiction need to enter detox and treatment for themselves. Addiction often leads to behaviors that people are not proud of, leaving the addict with shame and guilt. Adding more guilt by asking them to get better for you and to fix your relationship may only make things worse. Ask them to get better for themselves, for their future that you hope to be a part of. Be supportive.
6) Take the fear out of detox, leave it to the professionals at Midwest Detox Center
The painful effects of withdrawal often scare addicts and keep them in the cycle of addiction. Stopping substance use can be hard on the body and mind when it isn’t medically managed. Some withdrawal side effects, such as seizures from benzodiazepines or alcohol, can be fatal.
Entering detox at Midwest Detox facility assures your loved one will have access to team of highly skilled professionals who make detox as comfortable as possible.
At Midwest Detox, you are under the 24-hour care, assuring your loved on a safe detox. Every person will experience detox differently depending on there drugs of abuse, and our staff creates a custom protocol for each person who walks through our doors. Detoxing may not be easy, but it is the first step-in long-term recovery for your loved one. Speak to a recovery specialist today about how we can help your loved one detox from drugs or alcohol.
Having a conversation with the addict in your life is one of the first steps in helping them heal. Don’t wait, call a recovery specialist at Midwest Detox to help guide you and your loved one towards the path of recovery.