Drug addiction takes an unimaginable toll on people and their families. In the United States alone, it is estimated that 20.6 million people suffer from substance abuse issues, making the disease one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Addiction negatively affects health and social relationships and financial instability for addicts and their families. Moreover, it can lead to employment difficulties or interruptions in schooling and careers. As a result of these struggles, family members often feel rejected, angry, or helpless. Talking to others about their addiction can be isolating, and families often don’t know how to provide support or control. For those struggling with addiction, it’s essential to know that help is available. Here are ways to support family members who are struggling with addiction.
1. Avoid Intimidating or Lecturing Them
People suffering from addiction often feel as though they are alone or they have disappointed or let down their families. If this describes your loved one, avoid scolding or intimidating them. This will only convince them that they are alone and helpless. Instead, offer a safe environment where they can openly discuss their addiction. Be patient and allow them to express their feelings.
2. Encourage Them to Engage in Treatment
Once you’ve found a program that your loved one is comfortable with, encourage them to attend. You can do this by calling the facility, speaking with a counselor, or requesting that they meet with you in person. If your loved one agrees, offer your support and encouragement through phone calls and visits, sending gifts, and being patient.
Numerous addiction treatment centers, centers for recovery, and other resources can help your loved one. There is no shame in asking for help or assistance. For instance, you can access affordable online suboxone treatment through professionals and counselors at a facility that can help you or your loved one.
3. Alleviate Their Financial Stress
Addicts can easily make poor financial decisions, turn to criminal activity to obtain financing, and rely on drugs or alcohol rather than food. As a result, it’s common for addicts and their families to experience financial hardship. To help alleviate these issues, you can work with your loved one and their counselor to set up a written budget and agree upon boundaries regarding spending. In addition, you can monitor your loved one’s spending habits and give them small amounts of cash as needed.
4. Encourage Them to Join Support Groups
The 12-Step program is often featured in movies and on television, yet many people struggle with addiction. If you are struggling with addiction, it’s essential to seek professional help. However, many support groups exist for family members and friends of addicts, such as those suffering from codependency. Finding support is not easy, regardless of the cause of your loved one’s addictions. However, reaching out to struggling others can help build confidence and resilience.
5. Make Sure They are Taking Their Medications
Many people suffering from addiction neglect to take their medications as prescribed by their doctors or to avoid withdrawals. If you notice that your loved one is not taking their medication, speak with the physician who prescribed it or contact a counselor at a facility that can provide additional recommendations.
6. Talk to Them About Their Personal Development
Addicts are often focused on their addictions rather than their advancement. Encourage them to think about their future and how they can start taking steps to improve it. To help them begin thinking about this, a counselor or therapist can set small goals with your loved ones and regularly evaluate their progress.
7. Promote Self-Care
Addicts often neglect their health in favor of drugs and alcohol, leading to problems such as stroke or other medical conditions long after they stop using. It’s important to encourage your loved ones to take care of their health through exercise, proper nutrition, and other practices. In addition, you can help them monitor their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other health concerns by taking them to their doctor’s visits. This can help them later address medical issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Addiction can lead to emotional and physical struggles and financial difficulties. Encouraging and supporting your loved ones in their recovery can help them move forward and create a better life for themselves. Your relationships with family members are meant to be loving and caring. Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be difficult because of the physical, emotional, and financial difficulties involved.