Nobody naturally knows how to help an addict. While many former addicts and support workers have found effective ways to communicate with addicts, it can be affected by the confusion addiction creates. On top of the physical symptoms of addiction that are apparent, there are also a variety of mental health issues that can be brought on by the addiction.
Because of that, many addicts’ families may not know how to help their loved one, or where they can get support for themselves. But first, it’s important to note how you can communicate with and help a loved one with an addiction.
Always Be Kind
With the stigma associated with addiction in society, many addicts expect to be treated poorly; often, they expect insults, belittling and criticism. This fear can often lead them to believe that they’ll be rejected by their families. Showing that you care, regardless of what you think of their behavior, can be the first step toward their sobriety. Furthermore, it can end up keeping them on that journey forever.
A number of studies have shown that compassion is a great way to help you support a loved one. Because of that, many have suggested that loved ones become involved in the recovery process. A high-quality rehab center in Tampa, or any other major city, will offer information about how families can get involved in the recovery process.
Show That You’re Willing To Support Them
Speaking of becoming involved in the recovery process, it’s vital that you show that you’ll be there to support your loved one throughout the process. This can include the likes of coming with them to counseling. While your motivation for the process may be larger than your loved ones, this will change once they start seeing the benefits of the journey.
Because of that, they may end up relying on you somewhat less and being able to attend support groups themselves and showing off even more improvements.
While it’s necessary that you stand firm on what is and isn’t acceptable, you can be flexible in how they make these changes. Instead of dictating how they should be acting or what they should be doing, offer to help them in ways that they may like. Once you’re getting a good result, whichever way you went about it doesn’t matter too much.
Be Consistent & Predictable
Part of the journey to sobriety is the build-up of trust. With that in mind, you should always be consistent in your message, both in your words and in your actions. A good example of this would be not to suggest your loved one has a drinking problem and then offering a bottle of wine over dinner. Sticking to your word and following through with your actions not only builds trust but sets an excellent example for your loved one.
This also means that you should be predictable. Addicts can be known for their unpredictable behavior, so setting a precedent may make them follow in your footsteps. There’s also the little-known fact that surprises can be stressful at the best of times, and this stress can feed an addiction.
Listen At Least As Much As You Talk
Building trust with an addict means communicating with them effectively. That means you should listen to them at least as much as you talk. Someone who is addicted should know that they can confide in you, so you’ll need to listen without criticizing or interrupting. Being able to speak to someone and confide in them plays a significant part in the journey to sobriety, regardless of where they are in the journey.
Know Where To Get Help
Instead of merely telling an addict that they need to get help, offer to find and share information about help with addiction. This can also benefit you as you’ll also be able to research support groups in your area.
If your loved one declines, you’ll still have the option to focus on yourself. If your loved one sees how you’ve benefited from support groups and therapy, it may inspire them to want to seek help themselves. After all, many addicts’ journeys to sobriety don’t work until they want to seek help. Seeing that change is possible and may also provide some much-needed hope when they begin their path to sobriety.