Addiction, whether it’s to alcohol or drugs, is much harder to fight, alone. At Help4Addiction.com, we know that and help those under the influence of a dependence find the best drug & alcohol rehab options in Gateshead that can build a sustainable, cost-effective road to recovery.
If you have a partner, family member, or loved one who is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you may wonder what role you can play in helping them. Here, we’re going to look at steps you can take and support you can provide that can truly bolster their chances of success.
Communicate your concerns
If your loved one is not yet fully aware of their addiction or if they simply don’t see or refuse to see the impact it is having on their life and relationships, then you may be able to help them come to better see the situation. Establishing trust during the process is crucial. It’s easy to react in anger or fear, falling into habits like criticizing or lecturing, name-calling and shouting, or enabling them. However, that only makes it more likely to break their trust. Do not protect them from the consequences of their own addiction, but don’t seek to actively punish them, either.
When the time comes, honest communication about your concerns without threat is the most likely way to help them understand your feelings. You cannot force them to seek treatment, the decision to change has to be theirs. You can only provide an honest perspective that can help them better see their addiction when they are ready to see it.
Learn more about the treatment programs out there
Though there is little you can do to actively convince them to get to this stage, when they admit their addiction and are willing to change, there’s plenty you can do to facilitate it. Many may feel ashamed or frightened of treatment, but you can help by learning more about the different drug & alcohol rehab options in Gateshead and what they involve. For instance, you can help them learn about the differences between outpatient treatment and residential therapies and help them weigh up those options.
You can also learn more about what they can expect from detox, therapy, counselling, and the other treatment paths available to them. Again, you cannot pressure them into choosing one form of help over another. You can, however, learn about resources by getting in touch with Help4Addiction. When they are ready to take that step, you can have them get in touch, too, so they can feel much more active in their recovery.
Become educated on their condition
It’s easy to look at addiction with a simplified perspective when you are not in the middle of it. It can seem like a choice that your loved one is making time and time again, which can lead you to become overly critical or negative about their behaviour. However, addiction is as physical as it is mental. It’s a condition that affects our brain chemically, meaning that dependence can feel like a vital need.
Learning more about the mechanisms of addiction can help you better understand your loved one. You can learn about the strong links between addiction and mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and past trauma, for instance. Many addictions begin as self-medication for mental health issues before spiralling out of control. You can also learn about triggers and how environment, people, and other factors (potentially including your own behaviour) may serve to further facilitate an addiction. The more you learn about addiction, the better you can help your loved one keep to a healthy routine and lifestyle after their rehab program.
Help to repair the relationships damaged by addiction
The onus of repairing the damage caused by an addiction is, to some degree, on the person who is recovering from it. However, if you’re both invested in the recovery and repair process, you can both be more closely involved in it, too. Family and couples therapy are often recommended for those who have relationships that have suffered the strain of addiction. They also look at how relationship dynamics can factor in the addiction in the first place. For instance, do not be surprised if your loved one suggests or states that your own behaviours or reactions in the past may have served as a trigger or enabled them to feed their addiction in the past.
The process is not about blame, so try to put aside feelings of being attacked and avoid being highly critical or humiliating your loved one during counselling. It’s about better understanding the role that every facet of life, including the closest relationships we have, play into addiction. If you want to help your loved one change, you may have to undergo some change yourself.
Take care of yourself, too
Loving someone with an addiction to alcohol or drugs can be difficult. It’s important that your first priority is taking care of yourself. Sacrificing yourself for another does not help you or them in the long-term, it may simply serve to further enable their addiction or cause feelings of guilt and resentment that contribute to their dependency. Furthermore, you have to place value in your own wellbeing for your focus on theirs to be effective. Learning how to manage your own stress, when to keep your distance, and when not to help is just as important as learning how to help. As mentioned, for instance, don’t actively help them evade the consequences of their addiction, especially at risk to yourself. There may be a time you have to consider walking away if you feel threatened or like your trust has been broken.
If you or a loved one are seeking help with addiction, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Help4Addiction. We offer free, independent advice on alcohol & drug rehab in Gateshead, with strong links to local treatment centres, professionals, and support groups. We’re here to help you find the best road to recovery that works to your specific needs.