A larger number of people than you might think would be able to admit that a loved one of theirs is suffering from alcoholism or from an addiction. Though it’s difficult enough to watch people you care about struggle with anything, substance abuse can be especially painful, confusing, and dismaying to watch. What can you do, if anything, to help your addicted loved one?
Practice Understanding with an Addicted Loved One
Really, what can you do depends on the situation. Your loved ones can completely deny their addiction, completely accept it and seek change, or anything in between. You may have experienced an array of emotions throughout this process (likely negative), and the person in question has, too. Everyone who is affected by their addiction has to find their own way to make sense of it and to offer their support and understanding to the patient.
That may not be easy by any means. You may feel responsible for their state even if it isn’t at all your fault. They may speak or act unkindly, or their addiction may drive you to speak or act unkindly. You may have had no exposure to addiction before, and upon going through this experience, you aren’t sure how to relate to them anymore. It may drive you away, or push you to be a badgering presence. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with an addicted loved one, but the process of finding out what ‘works’ for you might take a long time.
“No matter what they say, addicts aren’t drinking or using because of you, nor because they lack morality or willpower.” There is still the widespread misconception that those with addictions are simply ‘not trying hard enough’ to stop, but that is a gross oversimplification. It takes much more than willpower to overcome an addiction, and understanding this, along with other details on the subject, is vital. There needs to be much more widespread education about the nature of addiction, especially for those who are close to an affected person.
If you suspect that your friend or family member has a substance use disorder but aren’t sure, then it may be especially distressing. If they have been acting strangely, or distant, then you may be hurt and confused in the interim. Knowing the truth may not make you feel better, but it’s the first step toward helping them to recover. There are a number of signs and symptoms that could clue you in to what they are going through, so do some research, and speak with a professional, in order to make the most educated call possible (if the addicted loved one won’t talk to you about the situation).
“It’s said that at least five other people experience the effects of a drinker’s alcoholism” and the same can likely be said of other additions, too. Put simply, that person is not alone in their struggle, and they shouldn’t be alone in finding a way to sobriety, either. There are no easy answers when it comes to substance abuse, but if you practice patience and understanding, then you can work alongside your addicted loved one to help them (and to ultimately help yourself).
If you or someone you care about needs help recovering from drug use or abuse, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction. We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.
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About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]