Addiction can be a challenging condition to deal with, especially when it concerns a loved one. The addiction process is gradual, so family members or friends rarely recognize it till it’s too late. In most cases, they subconsciously adapt to these changes till the addicted individual begins to exhibit extreme behaviors.
Ignoring these signs or behaviors only makes everything worse and could potentially turn fatal in some instances. To prevent addiction from degenerating into a tragedy, here are five ways to deal with a loved one’s addiction successfully in no sequential order:
#1. Don’t Judge
Addiction is a disease, and the fastest way to get your loved one all clammed up is to act judgmental and patronizing. All they need at this point is your love and understanding. If your loved ones were struggling with Parkinson’s disease, you wouldn’t judge them.
So, apply that same attitude to their drug or alcohol addiction. It’s also easier for them to open up to you if they see that you aren’t judging them.
#2. Speak to an Expert
It’s dangerous to assume you are an authority on addictions. One of the first and most important steps you must take is to get a professional assessment of your loved, for example, like a professional at MCAM or any other addiction treatment center.
The centers have staff experienced at these sorts of assessments and can conduct it with the utmost professionalism. The evaluation will assess the addiction, establish a baseline, and help define the best treatment course to ensure a full recovery. However, before you suggest a professional assessment, ensure your loved one is willing and open to one.
#3. Have an Honest Conversation
To prepare and get your loved one ready for professional assessment, you need to have an honest and open conversation. This is never easy, but you have to do it because you might be saving a life. Keep your expectations low and your biases entirely out of the conversation.
Here are some guidelines to help you have a productive conversation:
– Ensure you speak with the person when they are sober.
– Make sure you come across as genuine, honest, and caring. Don’t blame or use words the individual might find hurtful or insulting.
– Highlight the addiction’s adverse effects on whatever the individual loves the most; it could be family, kids, or career.
– Ensure you bring a support person along with you while having the conversation. Never have this conversation alone.
– Create a conversation guide so that you don’t forget anything. Every point is vital to your loved one’s future health.
– Don’t feel bad or personally hurt if the individual reacts negatively, and the conversation ends on a sour note. You have achieved an important step, which is planting a seed of recovery.
#4. Shower the Person with Love, But Stay Detached
When dealing with a loved one’s addiction, you need to keep your head firmly on your shoulders. It’s okay to love them and shower them with attention, but you must never blame yourself or assume you can fix them. The best you can do for them is to support them on their journey to recovery, but they must take the first step.
Dealing with an addiction is a journey, one that needs patience, the right expert help, and unconditional love from you. Expect that some days, it’ll seem that nothing seems to be working. However, that’s all part of the process. Stay calm and keep supporting your loved one till they overcome their addiction and start smiling again.