Restorations Therapy Blog

What Not to Do to When Helping an Addicted Loved One

by on Saturday, September 26th, 2020

When you see someone you love damaging their life with the darkness of addiction, it is only natural to want to help drag them out of the hole.

However, not knowing how to properly help the person can be just as damaging. Even with the best intentions, approaching the situation in the wrong manner can cause more harm than good.

Make sure you educate yourself on addiction and the best strategies to help an addicted loved one get help. You should also remember to take care of yourself during the process. Here are some things you should avoid when trying to help your loved one.

Don’t Make It All About You

It is understandable if your loved one’s addiction catches you off guard. However, by approaching an addict with the response of how their addiction impacts your life, you will add to their feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment.

These feelings can serve as a trigger. You must keep in mind that addiction is a disease. Your loved one is not purposely choosing to hurt you or others around them. Try encouraging them in their process of recovery rather than focusing on how the addiction has affected others in negative ways.

Don’t Make Choices for Them

Recovery is not something that can be forced. Think about it this way. Even if you are successful in getting your loved one to go to treatment, they will just go through the motions until they can leave and continue using.

The addict must first realize they have a problem and make the decision to quit on their own. To aid them in this decision, try to help them see recovery as an attractive alternative to addiction.

Don’t Always Come to the Rescue

You may want to protect your loved one. However, you cannot enable their addiction no matter how damaging it may be. Don’t simply overlook their bad behavior or act as a buffer between the addict and their addiction. The person will be less likely to recover since there are no consequences to their actions.

Don’t Expect Immediate Recovery

Just as addiction doesn’t develop in a day, recovery doesn’t happen in a day. After rehab, recovering addicts still struggle with triggers and cravings. Give them space and don’t have unrealistic expectations for their healing. Help their recovery progress by not placing unnecessary pressure on them.

When someone you love is struggling with addiction, it is natural to want to jump in and help them in any way you can. However, not being educated on addiction and how to help an addict can cause further damage. It is important to show your support and give the addict the space they need for healing. Do not add to the negative emotions they most likely already have, but rather build them up and encourage their recovery. For more information on how to help an addicted loved one, contact Restorations Therapy at (720) 446-6585.

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