Addicts often don’t realize that their disease affects everyone close to them, not just themselves. Drug addiction causes people to say and do things that they would never normally do if they weren’t addicted to drugs. It can be hard to know how to support an addict who has hurt you or someone you love if you have never suffered from an addiction personally. It’s important to give them the help that they need right away so that they don’t become yet another statistic. In 2016, 343 people overdosed from opioids in Alabama alone. Those lives could have potentially been saved if the addicts had a better support system. The following guide provides some insight into addiction and what families can do to help someone they love to get clean and sober for good.
Have a Forgiving Heart
Most addicts don’t even realize that they have hurt people that they love and some simply don’t care because their addiction has taken over their life so badly. It’s important to be willing to forgive the person for the wrongdoings that they have done against you without them even apologizing for them.
In order for you to be able to help someone overcome an addiction, you can’t have animosity in your heart toward them. You have to understand the way that they react to certain situations, the things they say and even some of the things they do are impulsive and not done out of malice.
They need to get their drugs and it’s the only thing that is important to them. If you really want to help someone overcome a drug addiction, you have to be willing to forgive and support them, even when it’s difficult.
Don’t Support Their Habit
There are many times when you could be supporting your loved one’s habit without even knowing it. Giving them money when they say that they can’t pay a bill or simply want to get something to eat isn’t helping them. They can use the money to go buy drugs rather than eating or paying their bills. If you want to help them you could take them out to eat and spend time with them one on one.
Going out with your loved one provides you with the opportunity to discuss what is going on in their life and for you to let the person know that they are loved no matter what. There are many addicts who feel horrible about themselves and need reassurance to take the steps to get clean.
Drugs can make people feel very depressed because they’re ashamed of the poor decisions that they’ve made in the past. Seeing that you are willing to support them could help to push them toward sobriety.
Be Willing to Step in When Things Get Dangerous
Reporting someone you love as an unfit parent or unfit pet owner can be hard to do, but there are times when it’s necessary for the safety of children or animals in the addict’s life. If you notice that children or animals are being put in harm’s way, you have to do something to protect them.
There are many times when addicts will neglect those around them because they are too high to give them the proper care or because the drugs warp their thinking so much that they are no longer able to think rationally and provide the person with the love and attention that they need.
You need to call the authorities if you feel that anyone is in danger based upon the choices that the addict is making. They may be upset at you in the beginning, but you have to realize that it’s better to provide children or pets with the loving atmosphere that they deserve rather than live with a life of regret that you didn’t do anything when you could. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, nearly 2.5% of everyone over the age of 17 is addicted to some sort of illicit drug in Alabama. There are guidelines put in place to ensure that all children and animals surrounded by drug addiction are taken care of properly and kept out of harms way.
Most jurisdictions provide addicts with the ability to get their life back on track and regain custody of their children or pets once they can prove that they have made the necessary changes. Having their children or pets taken from them could be the spark that the addict needs to get help for their addiction.
Be Willing to Support the Addict During Recovery
When someone gets help for a drug addiction, they may need to go inpatient treatment in order to get the care that they need. When trying to find rehab centers, it’s important to make sure that you look for a center that is close to the addicts support system. There are times when rehab centers offer people the ability to have visitors and being close enough for people to come visit can make all the difference in the world to their recovery.
You can help them out by offering to take care of their children while they are detoxing. You can maintain their home and their yard for them so that they don’t have to come back to a messy environment when they get out of rehab. Setting them up for a happy and stable environment will make it easier for them to stick to their sobriety.
Ask What You Can Do
Talk to your loved one openly and honestly. Let them know that you want to support them through their recovery, but don’t know what you can do to support them. There are many people who want nothing more than to have a shoulder to cry on when things get rough. Knowing that they have someone to fall back on if anything goes wrong can make getting help seem less scary.
Addicts battle their addiction for the rest of their life. Many go to support groups after they get done with their rehabilitation so that they can have accountability and so they can constantly be reminded why they made the change. Give the person rides, watch their kids during the meeting or even go with them to show that you support them and are willing to do whatever it takes to help them get clean and sober.