When someone you care about is struggling with addiction, it’s natural to want to help them and, of course, feel the need to reach out for help and guidance in your efforts. However, it’s also good to keep the old trope in mind here: You can only help someone as much as they want to be helped. While their addiction may be causing you to suffer, you have to remember that they’re also suffering.
As you strive to help them, you can:
Take the Time To Listen Without Judgement
Connection is one of the best remedies for addiction, and knowing they have someone who genuinely listens to them is one of the easiest ways to build a connection.
Recognizing the Connection Between Addiction and Struggles
Though an addict may wish it so, drugs and alcohol aren’t solving any of their problems. Instead, they often create new ones. If you can slowly help them come to this realization, they’ll be more likely to reach out for help when they’re ready.
Build a Support Team
Very few people overcome addiction on their own, and nobody can achieve long-term sobriety without a support system. Build a team of supportive, positive individuals who can help the person you care about cultivate a meaningful, fulfilling life without the need for drugs or alcohol. It’s also important to recognize that not everybody should be a part of that team. People who are struggling with their own addiction or promote enabling behavior shouldn’t be a part of that support team.
Prepare for Setbacks and Relapse
Addiction is a lifelong disease, and the struggle never really ends. When recovering from addiction, relapse is common, but it’s important not to be discouraged. An individual may have to relapse several times to develop the awareness, experience, and insight they need to not only desire sobriety today but also sustain it for tomorrow. When you aren’t discouraged in the face of setbacks, the person you care about will feel more confident.