When a loved one is addicted, things can be dysfunctional. You live with the chaos and the confusion. There are no easy answers, but it’s best you open your eyes to these seven truths.
It’s devastating and heartbreaking to see someone you love change into a stranger. Right before your eyes, your addicted loved one deteriorates.
A person you love may truly be a great person. However, there’s a lot to unpack as the drugs or alcohol or behavioral addiction threaten their health, relationships, career, finances, sanity, and even their life. It can be pretty overwhelming.
This said, if you want to truly help them, you have to understand the truths and realities of addiction:
- It’s not about you. You may think that it’s something you did that caused them to use. You may wrack your brains thinking about what you could have done differently. But know this—it’s not about you. However, you are instrumental in their healing. Forgive yourself and work on a better future with your loved one by getting them help.
- Abstinence or detox doesn’t equate to treatment. Just stopping using or getting them away from their addiction won’t cut it. Addiction is a disease that changes the person’s reward circuitry, making them unable to make the right decisions. Getting better doesn’t happen overnight or just a few days. They have to replace old patterns with new, healthier ones. It takes time, effort and a daily renewed commitment to oneself.
- Addiction is not a moral failing or a character flaw. They can’t just snap out of it. Addiction is a disorder and no amount of will power can just easily reverse that. Perhaps it has worked for some, but not for everyone. Many are still struggling and even dying. People didn’t choose to be addicted, and there are several patterns involved to determine who is more likely to be addicted compared to others.
- Be prepared to be manipulated, deceived, betrayed, lied to, and even hurt just so they get what they want. Addiction can change a person. They would do anything to protect their addiction. This isn’t easy. But all you can do is to keep communication open. However, you have to avoid enabling them. Set clear boundaries and stand by them. Take care of yourself and encourage them to get treatment.
- Even if they agree to treatment doesn’t mean they are committed to quitting. Many go to treatment just because they have hit rock bottom. Or because this is the consequences of their addiction. However, this is only the first step. The real challenge is to sticking by this commitment and making changes everyday to help them overcome addiction.
- Professional help is necessary for many cases. There are instances when addiction comes along with co-occurring disorders. These include insomnia, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and many more. It’s important to get treatment that treats both and really goes down to the root of addiction, which are the behaviors, attitudes, and patterns.
- You can’t do it for them. Seeing someone you love deteriorate because of addiction is really painful. However, they have to face the consequences of their addiction. They have to also see their addiction for what it is, and decide for themselves that they want thelp.
As a loved one of someone addicted, what you can do is:
- Speak to an addiction professional
- Look after yourself
- Let go of what you can’t control and focus on what you can
- Don’t give up hope
At Bridges of Hope, we closely work with families to help them understand how their loved one is addicted as well as come up with ways to support them, both within the residential rehab and once they go outside upon completion of treatment.
Talk to us to learn more: 09175098826