How To Support a Family Member Struggling With Addiction

Having a family member that is struggling with addiction can be difficult to deal with. Here are a few ways you can help support their recovery.
Written by Fritz

More than 37 million people struggle with addiction. Some might struggle with alcohol, while others use illegal or prescription drugs. In any case, breaking an addiction isn’t a simple feat.

Most families today know someone who is struggling with addiction. Some families have a child struggling, with others might have a spouse, cousin, or parent with an addiction.

If someone close to you has an addiction, you might wonder how to help them. You can do several things to help a loved one, and you can learn about these by reading this guide.

Accept That You Can’t Change Them

One of the challenging parts of watching a loved one struggle with addiction is the helplessness you might feel. Loved ones feel helpless because they feel there is not much they can do to help. 

You can do some things to help a loved one with drug addiction, but you must accept that you can’t change them. In addition, you must accept that they won’t change until they’re ready to change.

Many families fight for their loved ones by trying to force them to get help. While this might work in some cases, those cases are rare. Addicts won’t seek help until they reach the point where they’re ready for help. 

Accepting these truths is difficult, yet it’s necessary for your sanity. After all, you’ll feel disappointed all the time if you try to change them unsuccessfully.

Offer an Ear

Secondly, one of the best forms of family support is listening. Offering an ear to your loved one is vital, as they need people to talk to about their feelings and struggles. 

Additionally, allowing them to talk to you offers opportunities for you to interject some truths, ideas, and options. 

So you should let your loved one know you’re available if they need to talk. However, you might need to set some boundaries for this offer, which we’ll discuss later in this article. 

Some people don’t know how to deal with an addicted family member or friend. As a result, some people choose to shun their loved ones.

For example, they might tell them they won’t talk to them until they straighten out and seek help. This method is common, yet it’s not the most helpful. 

Provide Treatment Options

You can also help someone with addiction by providing information about treatment options. Of course, you’ll need to spend time researching this to offer information.

You can start by looking online for addiction centers and treatment options to learn about the various techniques and strategies. Additionally, you can contact rehabs to ask questions and learn more about the treatment plans.

Another good way to learn about addiction and treatment options is by attending support groups. You can find support groups for all kinds of things, including groups that support families of addicts.

These support groups offer educational resources for addiction, but that’s not all. They also provide people you can talk to for encouragement and help. You won’t feel alone in a group like this, which is essential in this situation. 

Avoid Enabling

What else can you do to support a family member with addiction? First, you can learn how to avoid enabling

Enabling is something you might do without realizing it, yet it’s not helpful for addicts. When you enable, you assist the person with their addiction, making it easier for them to continue using drugs or alcohol. 

You might think you’re helping the person with your actions and offers, but it might not be helping. 

So how do you avoid enabling? First, you must learn what it means and the ways it happens. Secondly, you must do everything in your power to avoid it. 

The opposite of enabling is empowering, which is what you should aim for when helping an addict.

Empowering involves doing things that help the person break their addiction. Conversely, enabling helps the person continue the addiction.

Set Boundaries

Next, it would be helpful to set healthy boundaries when helping an addict. Boundaries are lines you put up that you refuse to let the addict cross.

For example, you might set a boundary that says you won’t talk to your loved one when they’re high on drugs. Therefore, you offer to talk to them with the condition they can’t be on drugs during the conversation.

When they decide to come talk to you, they’ll know they have to be in their right mind before coming to you. 

Another example might be that you’ll offer them a meal to eat if they’re hungry, but you won’t give them money to buy food for themselves. 

You can create as many boundaries as necessary, but you must abide by them. In other words, make sure you enforce these rules, as they’ll likely try to push the lines. 

Take Care of Yourself 

Finally, you must work on caring for yourself. You won’t have the energy or strength to help your loved one if you don’t care for yourself. 

Therefore, you might want to eat healthier meals and start exercising. You might want to spend time meditating daily or start going to church. 

Additionally, you should seek support from your friends and family. You might also join a support group to have support from people who understand what you’re going through. 

Caring for yourself is vital, yet this essential principle can get lost as you spend time trying to help an addict you love. 

Help Someone Struggling With Addiction

Helping someone struggling with addiction is a tough place to be, yet many people find themselves in this position. These tips might help you have an idea of what you can do if you’re in this situation.

Would you like to learn more about helping your loved one with their addiction? Contact us at Find Rehab Centers. We can help you find the right addiction treatment center for your loved one. 

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