6 Tips for Helping a Loved One Battle Addiction

The feeling of powerlessness involved in watching a loved one battle a drug or alcohol addiction can be hard to come to terms with. You want to be able to help them, but you don’t have a clue where to begin. You shouldn’t fool yourself into thinking that you can save them and turn around the addiction. There are plenty of ways in which you can help, but only the addict can kick the addiction once and for all.


If you’re struggling to cope with a friend or family member’s addiction problems, here are 6 tips that might be able to help you help them.


  1. Don’t Expect Miracles


There are hundreds of problems, difficulties and disappointments you’ll face when you try to help someone get over their addiction. So, don’t expect the road to be smooth, it won’t be. They may refuse help, show signs of progress only to relapse, feel unable to discuss things with you or simply reject your attempts at help. But no matter how bad things get, keep offering them help and support.


  1. Encourage Them to Get Help


There’s only so much you can do by yourself. Eventually, if they’re going to beat the addiction, they’ll need to get expert help. You can’t force someone to seek out this kind of help, but you can point them in the right direction. Introduce them to ideas like rehabilitation centres or organizations such as A Fresh Start to Sober Living. They might reject your suggestions, but keep bringing up these issues.


  1. Win Their Trust


You will never get through to an addict if you don’t have their trust. This doesn’t mean that you should let them treat you badly or do what they say. Just do everything you can to help them in a way that resonates with them. That way, you’ll eventually gain their trust.


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  1. Talk Regularly


Communication is key. You have to understand how they’re feeling if you want to help. It’s no good assuming you know best and telling them what to do. You won’t get through to them by shouting or arguing, you can only do that by calm discussion. It’ll help you to better understand how they’re feeling too.


  1. Don’t Become an Enabler


A lot of people fall into the trap of enabling a loved one’s addiction. This can be disastrous though. You should be trying to help them, not making it easy for them to stay dependent on substances that could eventually kill them. People tend to think that it’s better to give an addict money for drugs or drink, rather than have them steal the money or do something illegal. That’s no justification for becoming an enabler though.


  1. Don’t Blame Yourself


If you’re close to the person suffering addiction, it can be tempting to see it as somehow your fault, but it’s not. Blaming anybody is a waste of time, but only the addict can be responsible for their addiction. Focus on what you can do to make the situation better rather than feeling sorry for yourself.

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