How to Help a Loved One with a Drug or Alcohol Problem
Believe it or not, one of the most important things you can do to help a loved one with a drug or alcohol problem is to take care of yourself. Whether this means visiting one of the Orange County treatment centers to attend or learn about an Al-Anon group, or just tending to your nutritional needs, you come first.
Addicts are driven by the need to feed their addiction. This means they will say and do just about anything to meet that need. You can hardly decipher truth from lies when you have no idea what the true facts are. Learn about the signs of different types of drug use, like the smell of meth being smoked or some of the indirect signs of alcoholism, like shaky hands in the morning.
Keep Firm Boundaries
It’s never healthy to have flexible boundaries in personal relationships, but when it comes to those with an addiction, it can be downright dangerous. When you say no, mean it, and maintain it. Don’t lend money today and wonder why they come back tomorrow for more. Addicts need to see that the boundaries are firm on more than one occasion before they take them seriously.
- Don’t excuse curfew violations. Addicts are going to have excuses, but you have rules. If you don’t enforce them, why would anyone follow them?
- Don’t pay allowances until the chores are done lest the chores get skipped altogether.
- Never lie to a spouse, child, or employer to cover up for an addict. Otherwise, you only enable him or her to continue to repeat the behavior with the expectation that you will back them up.
Offer Solutions and Support
Fair warning: No addict is going to see your suggestions as supportive while they are in the depths of addiction. When you suggest an affordable drug rehab, they only hear that they are being taken away from all that they enjoy. You want to offer them help, but they don’t want to face the fact that they need help.
In some cases, it helps to have an intervention, where everything is laid out and the terms are clearly understood. During these times, the addict is offered the option of going to an affordable drug rehab or moving somewhere else (or whatever other options you offer), but the idea is that a change is necessary. Naturally, these suggestions are backed by offerings of support and love. The bottom line is that you have to take care of yourself. When your own world is in jeopardy or upheaval because of an addict, things have gone too far. Sometimes that’s what has to happen before people take action because it just isn’t that easy to deal with addiction. The professionals at rehab centers like Yellowstone Recovery can help. You just have to be willing to stick by what you say and take care of yourself before you try to take care of other people. When you stop doing that, the addiction rules your life as well as the addict’s, which means that everyone loses.