It's difficult to watch a loved one battle with addiction. Seeing someone you care about struggle with addiction, whether to drugs or alcohol, can bring up a range of feelings. After all, you want them to succeed, but they won't be able to do so until they seek treatment.
Sobriety is a lifelong process, and while it isn't always simple, it's possible with the correct resources and skills. Treatment may begin at a rehab facility, but the initial discussion you have with your loved one will set the wheels in action. You should approach this conversation with care because how you approach it and what you say will significantly impact the outcome.
Here are some suggestions for how to approach a loved one about their addiction
Arm Yourself With Information
It's critical to educate yourself on addiction and the drug use disorder your loved one is dealing with before starting a conversation. You will better understand your loved one if you understand the science of why your loved one is addicted. There are numerous misconceptions about addiction, therefore you must educate yourself on the realities to dispel the falsehoods. Educate your family members and loved ones; so you all are on the same page.
Put yourself in their shoes for a moment.
You may believe you're acting out of love, but others who are addicted may interpret your actions as inciting or assaulting. Gaining empathy is key, which is why putting yourself in their shoes is so vital. Consider what kinds of words might motivate them and which ones you should avoid at all costs.
Because of the stigma associated with addiction, your loved ones are likely to face insults, criticism, and attacks. Instead of approaching the dialogue with anger or criticism, try approaching it from a place of concern and caring. When it comes to addiction, feelings of low self-esteem and worthiness are frequent, so try to be as kind and compassionate as possible.
Derogatory language should be avoided
When talking to a loved one about addiction, be cautious of the language you use. They've undoubtedly heard a lot of derogatory remarks, so try to avoid using language that reinforces the stigma associated with addiction.
Terms like junkie and clean are frequently used, however, they can affect a person's perception of themselves if they have an addiction. Self-acceptance and compassion are two of the most crucial aspects of rehabilitation, so strive to promote them by utilizing medically acceptable language and words that inspire rather than degrade.
It's crucial to remember that your loved one has a life outside of addiction, even if it can feel all-consuming. Don't make addiction the focal point of every talk; they're still people with hobbies, aspirations, plans, and objectives. You can express your concerns and inquire about their well-being, but try to start the conversation with something more mundane.
Take an interest in their lives and communicate with them like you would with any other individual. When they see that they are being treated unfairly, they may become defensive. This also entails paying attention more. Allow them to reply and talk it out rather than just talking into their ear. Allow them to express themselves; it's likely taken a lot for them to open out in the first place. Take them to the nearest Sober living house for a consultation and proper counselling.
Establish Clear Boundaries
You must set boundaries and stick to them once you've expressed your worry to them. This entails refraining from drinking or engaging in activities that trigger or enable their addiction. If you used to buy beverages for them when you went out, now is the time to quit. Showing worry and then allowing them to get away with it only gives them the incorrect impression.
Make an effort to persuade them to understand how you feel and how their addiction impacts you. Use the term I feel instead of criticizing them to divert attention away from them. This is especially true if your loved one is actively addicted; you must maintain your limits, no matter how painful it may be.
It's fine to talk to your loved one about addiction and your concerns, but there's no sense if you don't follow through. You must set an example and demonstrate that you are willing to put in the effort. This might be as simple as accompanying them to support groups or family therapy sessions or even taking them on tours of rehabilitation facilities. This will not only demonstrate that you genuinely care, but it will also demonstrate that you are serious about their addiction.
To sum it up
Addiction is treatable, with up to 75% of persons who are addicted achieving full recovery. It's vital to remember that recovery is a lifelong process, even if it can sometimes feel overwhelming. It may take some time, but your loved ones can fully recover with the correct services and techniques. While alcohol and drug rehab are essential for long-term recovery, sufficient support is just as crucial, which is where you come in. It's never easy to have these conversations with your loved ones, but demonstrating that you care could be the catalyst for them to get treatment.
While it's critical to provide your undivided attention to your loved ones, don't forget to look after yourself. Dealing with addiction in the family can be difficult, so don't put your mental health on the back burner. If you're having trouble, try going to a couple of support groups to learn from people going through the same thing. After all, you won't help your loved one unless you first help yourself.
Serenity Falls is a safe and sober living house located in Colorado. Our staff provides a supportive, structured environment for individuals that are struggling