6 Tips for helping a loved one overcome addiction

An addiction is a multifaceted illness. By that, we mean that it impacts multiple areas of life, of the body and mind, and can be brought on by a multitude of triggers, associations and emotions.

Through the layers of addiction, many different individuals can also be affected; from the user themselves to loved ones and friends.

Are you affected by addiction, by attempting to support a loved one, by worrying about their quality of life, or by feeling responsible for enabling drug and alcohol abuse?

Witnessing the damaging results of addiction is extremely tough. You’ll likely feel drained, you’ll likely long for the consumption of drugs and alcohol to stop, and you’ll likely experience ongoing concern over money worries, over health worries and over legal worries.

While you cannot fix the addiction of a loved one, while you cannot control their addiction recovery journey, and while you cannot force the idea of rehab upon them, you can support them.

Support can be expressed in many different ways, with the aim of helping a loved one overcome addiction. However, before you reach this aim, there are some steps you should take, from boosting your knowledge to understanding the right approach to offer support on a realistic basis.

As your relationships are very important, neutering them while learning how to support a loved one through addiction is encouraged.

Here are 6 tips for helping a loved one overcome addiction, along with the importance of doing so, standing as a motivator, as a career, and as a supporter.


The importance of offering help

An addiction can be an extremely lonely illness to experience. It is a highly stigmatised condition which already reduces the level of support in which users will likely encounter.

With this in mind, while you may feel disappointed, while you may feel angry, while you may feel responsible, or while you may feel incapable, it is very important that you offer your support, as a loved one.

It’s understandable that sitting back and enabling substance abuse may feel like the easiest option. It’s understandable that you may not want to touch on the sensitive subjects of addiction.

It’s understandable that addiction recovery may come across as complex and lengthy. However, by witnessing an addiction materialise, you will be enabling this unhealthy and uncontrollable habit. Disable it, by offering support, perspective and direction for overcoming addiction.

Your support matters. It can change how your loved one will respond to the idea of rehabilitation, it can reduce the pressure of loneliness, and it can help to strengthen your relationship, provide insight and also allow for a united addiction recovery process.

While currently, you may feel out of your depth, we have 6 tips for helping a loved one overcome addiction which is a great starting point. By understanding the best approach to take, by committing to helping a loved one, and by also looking after yourself, together you can overcome addiction.


6 tips for helping a loved one overcome addiction

1. Boost your awareness around addiction and addiction recovery
Down to a lack of experience, many loved ones have limited awareness of addiction as an illness, along with the process of addiction recovery. As addiction is complex, with many different layers, understanding the basics of substance abuse, of the addiction cycle, of the realism of addiction and of the uncontrollable condition that it is will benefit your awareness. This should also be the case when considering the addiction recovery journey, helping you figure out how to help a loved one overcome addiction effectively.

2.Source support for yourself
Helping a loved one overcome addiction can be a difficult process for yourself. It can be emotionally draining, nerve-wracking and tiring. By sourcing support for yourself through the likes of Al-Anon, by looking after your own mental health, and by making sure you’re in the best position to offer support, you’ll feel confident and capable to remain persistent.

3.Learn how to approach your loved one
Approaching your loved one about your concerns will likely be one of the hardest steps. You need to find the right balance of protecting your relationship and trust and promoting a change of lifestyle for them. You should always aim for an understanding, compassionate and empathetic approach when looking to help a loved one overcome addiction. Yet, in that, you should also be encouraging, knowledgeable and aware of push backs.

4.Disable addictive behaviours
While easier said than done, so far you may have enabled the addiction of a loved one. You may have purchased their drugs or alcohol, you may have helped them through their habit, or you may have fuelled their emotions to abuse such substances. Instead of enabling their behaviours, it’s time to still support them, yet by disabling the acceptance of drug and alcohol consumption and their consequences.

5.See the realism of addiction recovery
Addiction recovery is a tough process. By approaching your loved one, you must understand the realism of what’s ahead, how you’ll likely experience push backs, and that the process is indefinite. Being patient and persistent is very important, standing as one of 6 tips for helping a loved one overcome addiction.

6.Look into professional support
One of the best ways to helping a loved one overcome addiction is by considering professional support through a referral or intervention. This is doable through a reputable rehab clinic, which combined with your care and support will provide proactive steps towards addiction recovery.


Professional support for overcoming addiction

The above 6 tips for helping a loved one overcome addiction will be a good starting point for you. Yet ultimately, many users do struggle to accept the support of loved ones on an initial basis. Through this, you may need to look into and invest in professional support, boasting addiction treatment services and recovery programmes.

At Step One Recovery, we can help you secure this level and type of support, in place to contribute towards helping a loved one overcome addiction. We appreciate the turbulent times as a family you’re likely experiencing.

We understand how hard it can feel to help a loved one through such a damaging condition. We are here to guide and support, helping you as a family win your battles of addiction.