Trying to help an addict can result in a long, challenging, and painful process for friends and family members. Drug addiction and alcoholism usually deceitfully affects every part of our lives. Information on how to help an addict is not intuitive knowledge or something which is taught in school. It is an extremely perplexing and delicate matter for those involved or affected by the addiction. To assist you in approaching and helping an addict, we have prepared some tips.
Help an Addict Tip #1: Educate Yourself on Drug Addiction and Alcoholism
Whether the substance being abused is drugs or alcohol, learn to recognize the signs and effects of the addiction. Addiction Rehab Toronto offers many online resources to help you educate yourself. To access our online addiction resources, please click here.
If you are looking to confirm whether your loved one has an issue with alcohol or drug abuse or a possible addiction, you can access our self-help assessment tools by clicking here. Please note that these self-assessment tools are not designed to provide an accurate diagnosis on alcohol or drug addiction, and, therefore, you should follow up with a professional assessment. You also need to educate yourself on possible treatment solutions for the addict. Contact Addiction Rehab Toronto for assistance on this.
Help an Addict Tip #2: Try Talking
Once you have confirmed that there is a possible addiction, try speaking with the addict about your concerns.
Find a time where you can be alone with the addict, in a private and calm environment. Somewhere that the addict feels comfortable and relaxed. Talk to the person about your concerns and offer your help and support. This includes reiterating your willingness to go with them and get help. You should offer your support in a non-shaming and non-blaming way. Do not lose your temper and ensure you stay calm. You should also try referencing specific incidents where the addiction has directly affected you.
Depending on which way the conversation goes, will determine what your next steps will be. If the addict is receptive to the conversation, then present some treatment solutions. Confirm with the addict that they are willing to receive help. If the addict is not receptive to the conversation, you can start planning an intervention.
Help an Addict Tip #3: Plan & Stage an Intervention for Addiction
If an addict will neither seek nor accept help, an intervention for addiction might be necessary. It is imperative that this be done correctly. Otherwise, the individual may feel like they are being attacked and become defensive. Addiction Rehab Toronto offers expert intervention assistance if required. Advice and guidance from a trained professional from our team will be useful in determining the proper strategy, timing and execution for your particular intervention.
The goal of an alcohol and drug intervention is for the addict to hear objective feedback on their behaviour, accept the reality of their addiction and to agree to seek help. The intervention must be facilitated through a non-judgmental, non-critical and systematic intervention process, where the individual will gain insight into the impact of their lifestyle choices. When one truly understands the strain that their addiction has on others, they will begin to see that they are hurting those around them and themselves. Some pointers to a successful intervention include:
- Hold the intervention in a quiet place where the addict feels safe. You can do this at a family member’s house or the addict’s home.
- DO NOT try and block the addict in by locking doors or blocking the addict’s exit.
- Let the addict leave at their will. If they want to leave, they are not ready to accept the reality of their addiction.
An intervention will only work if the addict is willing and ready to accept help. You cannot force an addict to listen or to start a recovery program against their will.
Help an Addict Tip #4: Maintain Ongoing Support
If the addict agrees to accept help and is admitted to an inpatient treatment facility, stay involved in the process. Do not send your loved one off and make them feel like they have been abandoned. Let the addict know you are willing to be part of the recovery process in any way you can, and maintain that affirmation.
At Addiction Rehab Toronto, we involve loved ones in the recovery process by allowing scheduled phone calls, scheduling visitations, facilitating family counselling and organizing family program sessions. Research has shown that if the addict has the support of those closest to them during recovery, they are more likely to maintain recovery in the long-term.
Help an Addict Tip #5: Know Your Role & Let Go
What is important to remind yourself of, whether the addict is still using or in addiction treatment, is that the addict is responsible for their own recovery. Loved ones can only do so much to help, and must know their role and when to detach themselves from the situation.
If the addict has refused help or continues to use, ensure the addict knows your boundaries and the consequences that their behaviour will have on your relationship. You also own the responsibility of breaking the cycle of enabling, by protecting the addict from the consequences of their substance abuse. You might need to cut off all contact and support. You must also end the possible codependence, where the family or loved one’s well-being is in jeopardy because the focus is always on the addict. You cannot help someone if your own well-being is not in a healthy state.
If you are concerned about a loved one’s addiction contact Addiction Rehab Toronto today to see how we can help. Our addiction specialists are happy to assist you with a free assessment and provide you with the resources required to start recovery. You can call us at 1-844-740-4357 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.