Is your loved one living with addiction? Witnessing your friend or a loved one battle substance abuse can be upsetting. You cannot force them to quit abruptly. The challenge with drug abuse is that it does not affect the addicted person only. Whether the abuser is your spouse, friend, child or any other close family member, there are chances their addiction can impact your life. It may test your patience levels, accumulate stress, and leave you with feelings of sadness, fear, guilt, and frustration.
If one of your friends is suffering from a drug problem, you might be thinking about the ways you can help. It’s never easy to decide to support someone living with addiction and even initiate a conversation about their drug abuse. However, your friend will probably have a more chance of overcoming it with your love and support. You can follow a few tips below to help your loved one/friend ease their addiction recovery journey.
1- Get Your Friend Professional Support and Encourage Treatment
When you find out about your friend’s substance abuse, it can be challenging to confront them. Before talking to them about it, research all possible treatment options. There are various treatment options available. Depending on the addiction level and type of substance, you can find the best drug addiction center for your friend. With addiction recovery centers throughout the US, you might want to take your friend to Delphi Health Group because of their unique individualized treatment plans. Their treatment techniques come from their commitment to wide-ranging clinical therapies, on-demand care, and compassionate professional staff.
2- Don’t Delay
You will never want your friend to reach rock bottom. Before they get arrested, suffer a serious health condition, publicly embarrass themselves, or surrender their job, you have to help your loved one out. The sooner you find ways to treat their addiction, the better it is.
3- Listen to Your Loved One Carefully
One of the simplest yet rare things you can do for your loved one is to listen – even when they talk peculiarly, and you disagree with them. When you listen to your friend attentively, it will show your genuine concern to them. It may also reduce the stress caused by excessive drug intake. Take time to listen to them, see what they are trying to express without judgment and arguments. The more they feel heard, the more they will trust you.
4- You Should Be Prepared For Refusal and Blame
Your friend may become angry or annoyed and deny talking about their substance abuse. Many people hide drugs, and when you confront them, they feel a sense of embarrassment. Your friend may refuse to accept that they have a problem. Also, sometimes they may blame you and tell you things you’ve done are conducing to their addiction. Don’t argue, stay calm, change the topic, you can revisit the problem next time you meet up.
5- Have a Healthy Conversation with Your Friend
It is essential to discuss substance abuse issues with your friend. Make sure your friend is not under the influence of drugs when you initiate a discussion. They will probably not understand the matter if they are not sober during it. Try to build a two-way conversation so that it doesn’t look like you’re lecturing your friend and may annoy them. Also, avoid any threats and punishments while discussing. Meeting for a conversation in a neutral, calm place would work better.
6- Be Honest and Talk About Your Concerns
When your loved one is addicted to a substance, you may experience stress. Try to talk about the negative consequences of substance abuse. Show your concern, tell them that their addiction is not only affecting their health, but close ones are also suffering because of them. This way, even if your friend doesn’t care about their health, they will worry about their loved ones and consider quitting.
7- Respect Their Privacy
Your friend is going through addiction, although it is your prime duty to help them in whatever way you can. However, if they choose to go for treatment independently, you should respect their privacy. Without your friend’s consent, never tell anybody like mutual friends or family members about addiction and treatment. Don’t push them even if they take your help and don’t want to talk about their therapy session.
8- Motivate Your Friend to Explore Their Interests
Once your friend commits to quitting substance abuse, it can leave them with additional time to fill. You can help them refrain from old habits and remind them of their favorite hobbies. Encourage your loved one to get involved in new activities that don’t include drugs. This may include their favorite sport, writing, painting, volunteering, camping, or exploring nature. The hobbies will help them cope with addiction and relieve stress during the recovery process.
Seeing your loved one suffering from addiction can be highly distressful, whether it be your close friend, a relative, parent, or child. You might face difficulty with the person’s behavior, legal and financial problems and the struggle of loving and supporting them. You often wonder about the ways to help them. Try following some tips like finding the best treatment options for them, discussing, listening attentively, respecting their privacy, and encouraging them. You may feel hopeless at times, but with consistent efforts, you can help your loved ones get back to their happy and healthy lives.