Very few addictions only affect the person who is taking drugs, drinking, or gambling their money away. Their addictions also affect their friends and family too. If someone you love is abusing drugs, alcohol, or is gambling, use these ideas to help them.
Know the Difference Between Enabling and Helping
Well-meaning family and friends can sometimes hurt their loved one more than helping them if they don’t know the difference between enabling someone and helping them. Supporting or helping someone means assisting them with things they may not be able to do.
Being supportive also encourages addicts to seek help to get better control of their lives. Enabling someone can keep them from dealing with the negative consequences of their addiction. If you’re lying for someone or making excuses for them, then you’re enabling them.
Learn about the Addiction
Being addicted to alcohol, drugs, or gambling is a disease, and the more that loved ones learn about it, the more helpful they can be. Take the time to learn the signs of addiction and what drugs or alcohol can do to the body.
Find out how your loved one can get help and where the nearest 12-step program or rehabilitation center is, so they don’t have to wait another day to start recovering.
Family members can also get help by going to a therapist or a program like Al-anon, Alateen, or Nar-anon.
Helping Spouses Recover
Leaving rehab after getting help with an addiction can be a frightening prospect, especially since the person may be around the enablers in their lives. As their spouse, you should learn how to assist your wife or husband with their recovery and be supportive of them.
It can be stressful living with an addict, especially if abuse or other problems that occurred during the time your spouse was using drugs or alcohol. However, you don’t need to learn how to live with an alcoholic or a drug abuser if you can get them the help they need.
Hire an Intervention Professional
It can be frustrating when someone refuses to acknowledge their addiction and get help for it. While an intervention can sometimes get through to the addict, you shouldn’t stage one without help. Speak to an addiction or intervention professional to get help with planning one.
You should also get help from people close to your loved one who is willing to be on the invention team. There will be a treatment plan set-up for the person who needs help, so it’s important to do an intervention properly.
Attend Couples Therapy
Drug, alcohol, and other addictions can destroy relationships with friends and family and ruin marriages. If you’re having a tough time reconciling with a spouse after they’ve been to rehab, consider going to couples’ therapy to try to save your marriage if you want to salvage it.
Couples’ therapy will allow both of you to openly express the feelings and issues you both have concerning your relationship. With a therapist helping, the discussions are less likely devolve into shouting matches because you’ll have the tools to get all the issues out in the open calmly.
Having the knowledge to help a friend or family member admit their addiction and seek help to get better can make their recovery successful.
However, it’s important to learn the difference between supporting someone and enabling them, so they don’t fail and start using or drinking again.