woman in brown sweater covering face

3 Tips to Help Someone Struggling with an Addiction

Addiction is a major public health concern. According to recent studies, almost 21 million Americans struggle with at least one addiction. 1 out of 10 Americans is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Addictions can worsen existing mental and emotional health problems or contribute to the development of new ones.

Addiction is a disease. Most people struggle with addiction because they become so dependent on drugs or alcohol that they cannot quit indulging even while being fully aware of the negative effects of their bad habits. Family and friends have an important role to play in addiction recovery. They can help create a positive environment for recovery. If a loved one or friend is struggling with substance use disorder or alcoholism, they need all your support to get out of the abyss of addiction.

Here are some ways to help a loved one struggling with an addiction.

Educate Yourself

Take the time to understand how the addiction your loved one is struggling with affects them. Find information on the specific addiction your family member or friend is facing. The more you can understand the effects that a substance has on your loved one and why it’s difficult for them to quit, the better equipped you will be to help them. You will find information about different types of addiction on our website. Research different types of addiction treatments.

Do Not Enable the Person

Do not fund their lifestyle, let them see how far their poor decisions will take them. Hold them accountable so they know their actions have consequences. Do not cover up for them. Set boundaries and urge the person to change their ways. By enabling an addict, you unknowingly allow the unacceptable behavior to continue. If your loved one is not ready to enter a treatment program, let them come to terms with the consequences of their actions, and realize on their own that they need help. Our recovery program for addiction in Sonoma County has helped many learn to live without substances through guidance, love, and structure.

Do Not Shame or Criticize Them

Supporting a loved one with an addiction could be mentally and emotionally exhausting. You may feel frustrated at times and blame your loved one for their circumstances. Blaming or shaming addicts can do more harm than good. It can sabotage their recovery. Instead, try to have productive conversations with your loved one. Let them know you are always accessible and willing to lend an ear. Encourage them and congratulate them on achieving recovery milestones. You will be surprised to see the difference that positive reinforcement can do.

Many people are so busy taking care of the needs of their loved ones with an addiction that they ignore their physical and mental health. Taking care of yourself is as important as caring for and supporting your loved one. Make time for your hobbies. Partake in your favorite activities and stay socially connected.

Life-Rock offers a sober living environment for recovering addicts in Sonoma County. We have put processes in place to maintain a healthy sober environment at our transitional homes. To make an appointment, call our men’s helpline at (707) 575-9100 or our women’s helpline at (707) 575-9599.