If you have a loved one that is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, you may be feeling a mixture of feelings, including worry, sadness, and even anger. These emotions are normal and valid. Talking to someone you love about addiction isn’t the easiest conversation to have.

Here are some tips to help you talk with your loved one about their addiction: 

  • Avoid Public Settings. Make sure you find a quiet and private place to talk.
  • Set Boundaries. It is important to set boundaries in order to protect yourself, as well as your home, finances, and relationship.
  • Avoid Blaming or Shaming. When talking to your loved one, be clear that the addiction is the problem, not them as a person.
  • Share Your Concerns. Talk about the effect that their addiction has on various things, including their relationships, their career, or even their kids. While addicts often are not concerned about their own addiction, they may stop and think about how their problem is affecting the people and things that they care about most.

Tips for Being Supportive While Your Loved One Tries to Overcome Their Substance Abuse Disorder

If you are planning to help your loved one and support them while they overcome their substance abuse disorder, keep these tips in mind:

1. Make Sure to Take Care of Yourself Also

Addiction not only affects the person who is struggling, but it also affects those close to them, including family, friends, and coworkers. When family and friends are trying to help a loved one through a problem, it is common for them to place the needs of their loved one above their own, which can result in a lack of self-care, increased illness, and struggles with anxiety and depression.

Make sure to take care of your own needs (physical, emotional, and mental) first before trying to help someone you love through their recovery journey. There are also many support groups for family and friends that provide care and support as you navigate this new role.

2. Don’t Use Your Love and Support Against Them

Having a loved one who has a substance abuse disorder can be quite challenging. Make sure that you don’t say things like “If you really cared about me, you’d quit.” Instead, try talking about your concerns by saying something along the lines of “I love you and I’m here for you; how can I help in your recovery?” Continue to remind them that they are valued and that they are not alone on this journey.

3. Don’t Enable Your Loved One

When an individual is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, it can often lead to financial and potentially even legal troubles. While you may think you are helping by protecting your loved one from those consequences, it usually has the unintended effect of enabling their addiction to get worse. Provide them with emotional and material support, while focusing on your loved one’s future goals.

4. Keep in Mind that Recovery is a Lifelong Process

Throughout this process, it is important that you remember addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Research has found that nearly ⅔ of recovering addicts will relapse within their first year of recovery. Relapse may occur once or several times before finding an effective treatment method that keeps your loved one on track. Stability is hard to achieve for anyone, so try to continue to be supportive of your loved one’s efforts as time goes on.

If your loved one is trying to overcome their addiction and is open to help, there are a number of ways that you can do to support them on their journey to recovery, including the following:

  • Offer to help find a treatment program for your loved one. 
  • Attend a support group or therapy with them.
  • Assist your loved one when possible with any obstacles that may make it difficult to get help, such as childcare, financial, or transportation issues. 
  • Help them to identify their triggers, find health coping mechanisms, and identify ways to avoid using again. 
  • Avoid using alcohol or drugs in front of the person.

How Can I Find Help for an Addict?

If you are seeking help for someone you know who is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, there are a number of support groups that may be beneficial to you, including the following:

  • Al-Anon: a support group for those who have loved ones suffering from a substance abuse issue
  • Codependents Anonymous: a support group for individuals who want to break free from any codependent behaviors
  • Therapy: You can try cognitive behavioral therapy or another form of therapy that best fits your needs. Therapy can help you deal with codependency and trying to help a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

Contact Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center Today

If you notice any of these signs in your loved one, they may be suffering from addiction but there is something you can do to help. Don’t hesitate to call our trained addiction specialists to find out more about conducting an intervention and getting your loved one into the proper treatment program. If you believe your loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, our team of professionals at Palmetto Addiction Recovery Centers are here to help! Our team will work with you to develop a recovery plan that works best for them. Call or visit Palmetto Addiction Recovery Centers Today!