What to Avoid When Helping a Loved One with an Addiction

If someone you love is struggling with addiction, it is natural that you want to do everything in your power to help him or her get better. It’s hard to watch the person descend into a life of addiction and you while you can see the obvious reasons why he or she should not be abusing a particular substance your addicted loved one may not be able to see things in the same light.

For most addicts, the only way to break free from the cycle of addiction is with a rehabilitation programme, supported by professional counsellors and therapists. However, it is important to realise that getting an addicted individual to accept help may be harder than you think. Trying to convince a loved one that he or she needs this help is tough, especially if the individual is in denial about his or her problems.

If you want to encourage a loved one to get help for addiction, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. Unfortunately, many family members make mistakes that cause the addicted loved one to become resistant to the idea of rehabilitation.

Do Not Attack Your Loved One

Although you may mean well, you should try to stay calm and reasonable when speaking to your loved one about why he or she should enter a rehabilitation programme. If this person feels under attack, he or she will just become more defensive and could walk away from you. This is a sensitive subject and one that must be dealt with in a sensitive manner. Avoid making your loved one feel bad about the situation – a common trait of many addicts is low self-esteem. Be factual about the situation and explain your concerns in a calm manner.

Do Not Make the Situation Appear Worse Than It Is

Addiction is a serious problem, so there is no reason for you to exaggerate the severity of how this person’s actions are affecting others. There is also no point in making things up to try to scare your loved one about the dangers of addiction. He or she likely already knows how dangerous addiction can be. If you attempt to sensationalise things, he or she may be more inclined just to let what you are saying go in one ear and out the other.

Make Sure Your Loved One is Sober When You Speak

Avoid suggesting rehabilitation to a loved one who is under the influence of a particular substance, as they will obviously not be thinking clearly. They either will dismiss the idea altogether or may appear to be amenable to the idea. Nevertheless, it is highly likely that when the effects of their high wears off, they will change their mind or not even remember that you had the conversation in the first place. It is far better to wait until your loved one is dealing with a particularly bad comedown or hangover as this is when he or she is most likely to be agreeable to the idea of a sober life.

Do Not Persist if Your Loved One is Becoming Angry or Aggressive

Your loved one may be so opposed to the idea of rehabilitation that he or she gets angry at the suggestion. If this is the case, you may find it hard to get your point across and, in these circumstances, it is better to wait for another opportunity.

Get Advice from the Professionals

When it comes to dealing with an addicted loved one, you may want to seek family addiction support from a professional counsellor or advisor. Addiction Helper has a number of expert counsellors and therapists willing to provide you with free, confidential advice and support. Call today for more information.

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