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7 Tips To Help A Drug Addict Recover
LICR Blog

7 Tips To Help A Drug Addict Recover

Drug addiction does not happen overnight. No one story, or pathway to addiction is exactly the same. Each client has their own unique experience, reasons, and story. Recovery, the same.  No one recovers in the exact same manner, the path to recovery isn’t linear but ebbs and flows in ups and downs as individuals strive to reach a better life. And then there’s the story of loved ones and individuals who care vitally for their addicted loved one, partner, or friend. Rarely do you hear about their own struggle and journey through their loved ones addiction, but today, Long Island Center for Recovery (LICR) will aim focus on those individuals who care so vehemently but may not know which path to take. We’ll reiterate, there is no correct or absolute answer on how to help a drug addict recover, but guidance and tips is exactly what we will provide as help for you, the loved ones, to eventually help others.

Top 7 Tips To Help A Drug Addict Recover

Helping A Drug Addict: Tip #1. Get Educated

Before even starting a conversation with a loved one who may have fallen into addiction, you should focus on educating yourself on the subject. Each substance has its own history, a reason why it was used in the first place, societal factors that make them desirable, or the chemical construct that makes it so difficult to escape habitual use. You will hear this through several of our tips, but one the main keys to remember is to never make your loved feel attacked, but always try to understand and come from a place of positivity and help, and never judgement. It sounds simple but is a difficult theme to maintain, especially in the moments of disagreement or tension, however, educating yourself thoroughly will open your eyes and heart to the realization that every addict plays a part in their addiction, but also that no one falls into addiction wanting to become an addict, and they are never to blame. Blogs such the one you are on today, and also government websites such as SAMHSA.org, NIAAA.NIH.gov, CDC.gov, and Americanaddictioncenters.org will all be helpful resources for you to get educated and prepare for an eventual discussion with your addicted loved one.

Helping A Drug Addict: Tip #2. Have A Conversation, But With Compassion

There are a few things when trying to have a confronting and honest conversation with an addicted loved one that will get you nowhere, and one of them is coming into the conversation in an accusatory manner. In several instances (not all), addiction stems from an underlying issue, that one way or another, gets masked or avoided by the addictive substance, as a flight mechanism when placed in a fight or flight situation. Coming from a place of judgement and aggression will only induce further flight mentality, and may even promote further drug abuse. The key is to remain calm, and always come from a place of compassion and understanding, and when conversation takes a turn, save it for another day. Try and try again, but do not avoid having that conversation, to wait until your loved one reaches a low could mean that you’ve waited too long.

Helping A Drug Addict: Tip #3. Do NOT Rush Into An Intervention

Many feel that an intervention is a viable step in addressing a loved one’s addiction, and very well may be, but contrary to popular tv shows and opinions, interventions should only be used as a last ditch effort. In many ways, this is the ultimate sneak attack that will likely put an addicted loved one on the defensive. It’s very important that if you do decide to go the route of an intervention, that you seek the assistance of a professional to mediate and lead the conversation and that all member remember our the core of our second tip, to come from a place of compassion and understanding at all times, but please, think carefully and do not rush into an intervention as a first attempt to discuss a loved one’s addiction.

Helping A Drug Addict: Tip #4. Stop All Instances Of Enabling

When you feel confident that your loved one or family member is abusing addictive substances, it’s important to remain compassionate, understand their plight, but to stop all forms of enabling immediately. Requests for money that seem odd, coming up with lies so that they can retain their employment or avoid repercussions at school may seem like a good idea, but you are in fact teaching them that they can continue their abusive behavior without consequences. You can remain compassionate but also hold your ground and stop these instances immediately. There may backlash, yelling, demands, and accusations but stay firm, stay compassionate, and eventually they will begin to realize there are consequences and they are responsible for their own behavior, and that you and others are on their side, and here to help. It may not be immediate, but eventually this should begin to sink in.

Helping A Drug Addict: Tip #5. Be Persistent, And When They Are Ready Seek Professional Help

To help an addict, they must also want to help themselves. It’s a tipping point that necessary when seeking recovery. Continue with the tips above, but once that light bulb comes on and it clicks in their mind to desire a better life without abuse, you should continue to show that you are there for support and continue that journey on a pathway to treatment. Join them on calls with inpatient rehab and drug addiction facilities, attend a meeting with a psychiatrist or therapist, or even sit down with them at a meet up for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Just because they’ve reached a point there they want to become sober and seek treatment doesn’t mean your efforts as a concerned loved one are done. Continue to show them you care and will help them every step of the way.

Helping A Drug Addict: Tip #6. Make A Plan With Your Addicted Love One For Avoiding Cravings & Potential Relapses

The goal is sobriety, and that should be strived for every day, but if it was so easy, addiction wouldn’t afflict so many. There will be many hard times, and recovery is not linear as we said earlier, clients relapse, they get cravings, fall on tough times and roll in to old habits. It’s not a guarantee but these things happen, and it’s better to be prepared than it is to be surprised. Taking the time to have a plan, work on techniques to avoid cravings, starting a new hobby or interest, these are therapeutic areas that will help in the long run and you as a caring loved one should try to be a part of as much as they allow.

Helping A Drug Addict: Tip #7. Take Care of Yourself

This is the final tip, but perhaps the most important. Addiction and detox is hard work for your addicted loved one, but don’t forget about yourself. There will be fight, arguments, outbursts, things might be said or done that hurt in the moment, and for you as the non-addicted individual, it will take thick skin and hard feelings to get by each and every day, waiting, hoping and persisting with compassion and understanding. If it’s becoming too much for you, seek help, confide in someone yourself. This won’t be an easy journey, but two things are almost certain; you won’t be any help if you don’t focus on yourself and how you are doing, and it will be worth it in the long run.

We hope you found this information helpful and hope that these tips help you discuss matter with an addicted loved one. If you or a loved one needs any additional assistance with addiction treatment services, please reach out to Long Island Center for Recovery at 800-344-5427, and we’d be happy to assist you or your loved ones in any way possible.

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