Help for Friends and Family
Watching a friend or loved one struggling with alcoholism or a drug addiction can be emotionally overwhelming and physically draining. You can choose to let it overwhelm you, choose to ignore it, pretend if nothing’s wrong, or take action.
As you can imagine, taking positive action is not only good for you, it’s good for the person who needs you in their corner. And while there’s no perfect way to help someone manage, cope and take action in their life, there are certain things you can do to better prepare yourself for what the future holds.
Study Alcohol and Drug Addiction
It’s extremely important for you to understand not only about addiction and the effects of alcohol and drugs on the body, but what they’re doing to your friend or loved one and why they feel the way they do.
Offer Vocal Support
True support comes from people who are willing to go the extra mile to protect the person suffering from addiction. This comes in the form of simply talking about the problem, offering stable emotional support, and being willing to help them enroll in a rehab program.
Show them You Care
You’ll probably hear a thousand lies or out-of-this-world excuses as the addict tries to justify their behavior. Tell them exactly what it is you want them to hear and have examples of how that specific behavior is positively or negatively effecting you.
If you tallied up all the excuses or false promises you’ve ever about quitting, stopping or moving on you’d probably be fairly rich. The truth is that addicts often don’t now they’re making these claims and need both the direction and support to finally seek treatment.
When your friend or family member finally does begin receiving treatment or support, be it private or public meetings, it’s important to stay committed to their long-term success. Offer support by attending classes with them, listening to what they have to say, and ensuring they stick to their ongoing care.
Here are a few things you should avoid while helping someone:
- Avoid threatening, preaching or “over parenting”
- Don’t dig up past emotional states or behaviors and avoid reflecting on them
- Do not lie or make up excuses for their behavior
- Give them their responsibilities (they need the small wins to reach a big win)
- Avoid arguing if you’ve been drinking or imbibing in illicit behaviors
- Do not feel guilty for they’ve done; let them take ownership of their own mistakes