What to Do When Someone You Love Struggles With Addiction

According to ADrugRehab.org, “Addiction is tricky and calculating, and it’s the only disease that can take more than one person down with it, if it is left unchallenged. Addiction dramatically alters the lives of not just the addicted person, but of everyone within his or her vicinity, namely family and friends.” If you believe that a loved one is showing signs of succumbing to addiction, you’ll want to act as soon as possible.

Addressing the Problem

We all try to hide our problems from the world, but sooner or later the façade begins to falter. By the time your loved one no longer can conceal their addiction, chances are that the addiction has advances to the point where it needs to be addressed. It can be difficult to confront someone you love about their personal issues. Sometimes friends and family may even try to ignore the problem after the initial discovery of a loved one’s addiction. However, the longer action is delayed, the worse the problem will become. If you really care for the health and well-being of your loved one, you need to address addiction sooner rather than later.

Sometimes a smaller, more intimate confrontation can be more impactful in the early stages of addiction. Photo Credit: Pexels (Source: Pixabay)

Sometimes a smaller, more intimate confrontation can be more impactful in the early stages of addiction. Photo Credit: Pexels (Source: Pixabay)

Finding the Right Words

There are different ways you can handle confronting your loved one. You can sit down and have a one-on-one conversation, or alternatively, you can host an intervention with a larger group of people. The approach you choose should factor in your personal relationship with the addict, as well as the nature of their current state of addiction. Sometimes a smaller, more intimate confrontation can be more impactful in the early stages of addiction, while a larger intervention might be necessary when the addiction has started to get out of control.

Whatever approach you choose to take, you should still enter the dialogue with the same compassion and understanding. Being open and loving will help your loved one feel safe and give them an opportunity to really open up and have a dialogue about a part of their life that they have been trying to hide or deny. This isn’t the time to point fingers and antagonize, but rather to shed light on the issue and help the struggling individual come to terms with their current situation.

Recovery, Treatment, and Moving Forward

Talk can only get us so far. When you confront your loved one about their addiction, you need to be prepared to discuss what needs to happen next in order to set things right. Simply addressing the problem will not be enough; there will have to be some sort of action to follow up with the conversation. For many, the next logical step is to seek some sort of treatment.

There are many forms of treatment available, and the best treatment for one addict may not fit another’s needs. Traditional treatments such as 12-step programs use spirituality, community, and positive peer pressure to help addicts abstain. Rehab clinics take a similar approach but also include a mixture of relaxation and recreational activities to help reorganize lives broken by addiction. There are also other holistic treatments such as art therapy and meditation which seek to address the underlying problems of addiction to help those suffering better understand how and why they became addicted.

Whatever path your loved one ultimately takes, it’s important to stay involved. Addiction recovery is not always an easy and straightforward process. There will be ups and downs along the way. There will be wounds that need to be healed before things ever get back to some sense of normalcy. As long as you remain honest and open, then you can serve as a rock for your loved one.

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