You know someone who is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. You feel helpless and don’t know what to do for them since they refuse to get help. It can be tempting to give up, but please don’t. Helping an addict requires patience, persistence, and compassion. You can help your loved one get the treatment they need and lead a better life. Here are ways to help an addict when they may not want help:
Stay in constant communication with the addict
If you think your loved one needs to get help, tell them. Try to be as non-judgmental as possible and offer hope that they can beat their addiction. Tell them it’s OK when they relapse if they try to stay clean. It’s difficult to admit you need help, but if you are honest about how you’re feeling and don’t evade the issue, your loved one will be open to getting help.
Limit your contact with the addict
If you don’t want to be around the number of drugs or alcohol they take, please limit your contact with them. Bribing them with money, clothes, tickets to the movie theater, or electronics is never a good strategy since it will make them want more and more of these things to compensate for the lack of affection or monetary support you provide. For instance, you could always say, “I know this sounds mean, but I don’t feel comfortable around you right now. I’m not trying to be rude. I can see you are doing your best to stay sober, and the fact is that it’s not working.”
Many people who are addicted to a substance lose touch with reality, and it can be hard for those close to them to remain calm and patient. Take care not to take out your frustration on your loved one or convince yourself that they are somehow responsible for their addiction. Try not to overreact when your loved one is struggling but show them support at all times.
Be supportive of their efforts to get help
If the addict thinks they need help, let them know that you will support them in their efforts to get help and are available if they feel like talking or going out for a drink/drugs. Even if they don’t want your help, it doesn’t matter. You can still be there for them and make it clear that you are there to support them in their time of need.
Stick by their side through thick and thin
Addiction is a disease that brings out the worst in people; those close to addicts often become mad and frustrated and may even feel like they are being taken advantage of. Stay by their side through it all and be there to hold them up when they fall. This will make them feel like they’re not facing the struggles of addiction alone and will be a huge source of support.
Be honest about your feelings and why you feel that way
Your loved one may not be open to hearing from you if they don’t think you will continue the support through their struggles. The best way to help your loved ones get the help they need is by being honest and open with them. If you think they need help, tell them. If they don’t think they do, tell them. It may hurt their feelings or even make them defensive, but honesty is a skill that has to be learned, and it will save you a lot of pain in the long run.
Offer other types of support as well
If the addict is interested in doing something positive for themselves, offer them a different type of support instead of just being there for them whenever they invoke the need. For example, try encouraging them to go out with friends and join in on an activity they enjoy while staying sober. Try to help them find a new hobby or something they are passionate about, which will help them stay sober.
Be patient again
If your loved one is seeking treatment and you believe it’s the right decision, be patient when they need it most. Recovery can take time and is often a long process. You might not see improvements right away, and you may even feel like they are getting worse or not trying hard enough, but remember that everyone heals differently, and some things may take more time than others. Is your loved one suffering from addiction? We’re here for you 24/7. We’re also a family of friends who love and support you no matter what. If you could use a helping hand and some guidance to get through this terrible time, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us at 954-523-1167.