Addiction is a difficult thing to accept and understand in anyone, these difficulties are made harder when we discover addiction in a loved one. Despite the anxieties, addiction is something which does need to be addressed. Although it is hard to address it in a loved one, to ignore it could do more damage in the future. There are various things you can do to confront addiction in a loved one.
The Addict First
Addicts very rarely come to accept their situation alone, therefore confronting them is the first big step. When we have to deal with someone who we are close to it is very easy to put ourselves at the heart of the issue but before all else, when we confront an addict whom we love we must not forget that it is them who is at the heart of their suffering. Once we understand that it is their problems we are primarily trying to help, and not our own, we can move forward in tackling their addiction.
When confronting someone for the first time about addiction, communication is central. Talk to them when they are sober, this enables them to focus on their problem and analyze it in a clear state of mind. Also talk with them in a comfortable environment, a surrounding which will put them at ease for discussing what is an uncomfortable topic, yet one which needs to be addressed.
In discussions about addiction it is genuinely the case that acceptance of their condition is a quantum leap in recovery. In order to achieve this one has to be honest while at the same time sympathetic. With all this in mind, it becomes apparent that a close friend or family is pivotal for an addicts recovery. As people who know and understand the addict, you can be honest to them yet not warm to their concerns.
Remember that communication is a two way street, although you have to inform the addict of his/her problem, you must also listen. People who are addicts often suffer from being lonely and feeling inadequate, so rarely have someone who will listen to them. Try to listen to them openly and don’t be judgmental. Affirm them that you will be confidential, let them know that you can be the person who they can admit anything to or come to talk to without them having the worry you may go gossip about it with others.
To recover from an addiction is not a short term thing. It takes a lot of time and effort from everyone involved. You should be honest about this with the addict. In tackling their addiction both physically and mentally, to be in the know of the difficulties they are going to face is helpful. By this they are aware of what they are about to face and can move forward feeling less apprehensive about their recovery, as they are aware of the demands.
As already stated it is the addict who is the victim and whose interests should be put first in all this. Therefore, to accept you are an addict can be an extremely scary thing to do. As a loved one understanding this is key. Offer support and reassurance. No one can deal with addiction alone, it demands time, energy and care from those who are able to give it. The care you are able to offer to an addict is of great value, as addiction usually springs from feelings of insecurity and lack of care. To make an addict feel cared for and to offer them security greatly encourages them in fighting their addiction.
Tell them about the support out there. Ensure them that they are not an exception, to know many other people have suffered from addictions before and have recovered is hugely encouraging. Let them know about the groups out there which can provide experienced security and assistance in helping them.
Remember that in all of it, to keep yourself stable. Dealing with a person who is themselves emotional and unstable can project onto you. Where you can: be positive. Constantly encourage them about the progress already achieved rather than focusing on the failures. It is a difficult process which takes time and most likely will suffer some setbacks.
In all of it remember that it is the trust love and support you can give which is going to help them.