How to Support a Loved One with an Addiction
It can be so hard to see someone go through their day to day life with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. You may watch their health deteriorate, their cravings take over and their overall life spiral out of control. These things can be so heartbreaking, painful and overwhelming that you may just want to turn a blind eye and ignore the situation in front of you. However, in the long run, denying the truth will only lead to more problems and at the end of the day could cost the person you care so much about to lose their battle with an addiction.
Staff at our Thailand rehab center understands what you may be going through, and have a few words of advice to offer loved ones of an addict. If you don’t know how to healthily support a loved one with an addiction, try the following tips:
- Face reality
Thinking that things will get better “tomorrow” is only denying what is happening now. Although this magic cure can seem like the easiest thing you could do for yourself, accepting the reality of the situation is the first step in dealing with what is going on.
- Love yourself
The saying “you cannot help others until you help yourself” holds true when trying to support an addict. As much as you may want to be there for the user, you must be able to take care of yourself. Physically, this means to exercise, eat healthy and drink a lot of water. Emotionally, it means to find support in friends, engage in fun activities, write things down and don’t be afraid to vent. Remember that a drug and alcohol rehab may be able to offer you some advice if you’re not able to find it within you or your friends.
- Learn the difference between enabling and helping
You may love this person and want to do everything you can for them; that’s okay as long as you are really helping them and not enabling them. It’s understandable to have fears that if you don’t give in to everything the addict is asking for, he or she will end up in danger. But, by helping them out by giving them money, calling in sick, paying bills, buying food or lying for them you are actually enabling the addiction. Also known as a “rescuing behavior”, these actions are really not helpful and can worsen the situation. As difficult as it may be, try to recognize your behavior. By doing so, you may start to see things in a new light and therefore, make better choices. As upsetting to an addict as this can be, you have to understand that in the long run this will be the best thing you can do for them. Always make sure you let the individual know you are there for them now and whenever they are ready to resolve their addiction and go to a rehab treatment center in Thailand or elsewhere.
- Don’t let yourself be manipulated
It’s common for an addict to say things like “this is the last time, I promise”, “You are the reason I use”, or “If you give me money, I won’t have to steal it”. This is just one of many different forms of manipulation. This tactic is heavily practiced by drug and alcohol users, especially when they are told “no”. The fact of the matter is that the more you allow yourself to become manipulated, the more it will happen. This can only turn into enabling. Rather than that, hold your ground and stay true to what you really want. Eventually, the person will realize that you will not give into their addiction.
- Continue to offer love and support
It’s crucial for an addict to know that they have a system of support. Even if you are not enabling anymore, you will say no to manipulation and face the reality of what is going on, you can still show love and compassion. Both of these are vital, especially when many addicts are feeling, alone, lost and confused. The individual may say things that are hurtful and at times, it may seem as if they hate you. But, when they are ready to get advice and support, they will know they can come to you.
Actions you can take:
- Learn about the substance of choice.
- Talk to a rehab about a possible intervention.
- Help yourself by reaching out to others.
- Stay strong.
A few tips for things you should not do:
- Do not argue or yell, it will not make anything better.
- Avoid lecturing or preaching.
- Emotional appeals to the user to quit will only cause further guilt.
- Don’t lie for them.
- Don’t feel guilty.
- Don’t start using.
Rehab Treatment Programs are Available
If you know someone who is ready to get help for an addiction to drugs or alcohol, consider a private rehab center in Thailand. This cost affordable, yet world class treatment can help your loved one to work through deeply rooted issues, learn vital coping and recovery skills and find a balance between the mind and body.
Serenity Thailand Rehab Center is situated on a small island off the coast of Thailand. Rehab treatment programs are customized to the individual and all inclusive. Contact us today to find out how we can help.