There’s a lot of information on how to deal with addiction yourself — but what should you do when a loved one is affected? The situation is especially challenging when they don’t want help at the moment as it can make you feel hurt and helpless. We know how painful these feelings can be and how impossible the situation may appear. Here, we’ve compiled some of the ways you can be of service to the addict in your life without compromising your safety and mental health.
Set Firm Boundaries
You might be tempted to try to do all the work for the addict in your life — especially if you’re very close to them or they’re a family member. However, you need to remember that you can only do so much. If they don’t show an authentic desire to make a change, then all your love and effort won’t be enough to make a difference. Because of this, you need to set firm boundaries in order to protect your own mental health. These shouldn’t focus on changing the addict — instead, they should be all about what you’re willing to tolerate and what the consequences of crossing them will be. For example, you may decide that you won’t allow them to live with you if they’re actively using or they’re keeping drugs or alcohol in your home. You may refuse to give them money or to lie on their behalf.
Do Your Research
If you’re trying to help the addict in your life, you may find yourself desperately reading everything on the topic. While you may not use all the information, it’s not a bad idea to inform yourself about what addiction is and how it manifests. You may find that you believe some of the common myths around the topic. For instance, you may think that addiction is a choice despite there being ample evidence that it’s an illness. You may also learn about the specifics of how their substance of choice affects the body and what the symptoms of withdrawal are. Also, look up what an overdose looks like so that you’re prepared if you need to get them medical attention.
Consider Staging an Intervention
When all else fails, staging an intervention might be a good option to get to the addict in your life. Get their loved ones to express their concern and care for the addict. You may also let them know how their addiction is affecting everyone around them. For some people, an intervention can serve as a wake-up call that gets them on the path to recovery. However, don’t despair if it doesn’t work — they may just not be ready yet.
Looking for addiction treatment for yourself or an addict in your life? We’d be more than happy to welcome you to Baystate Recovery Center. We offer a wide range of science-based treatments and both inpatient and outpatient services. Please get in touch and we’ll discuss the best options for you.