The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that every day, 130 people die from opioid overdoses in the United States. Dealing with addiction is one of the most difficult tasks for anyone. Thats why we’ve come up with ’14 Rules You Should Never Break When Dealing With Addiction,’ to serve as a helpful set of guidelines for starting a difficult conversation.
We know it is not easy to watch a loved one suffer through addiction.
Fortunately, by laying down some ground rules, you can have a solid foundation from which you can help your loved one overcome their problems without getting hurt in the process.
Keep reading to learn what rules you should follow and how they can help you guide your loved one through rehab.
1. Listen for the Truth
Most people who are addicted to drugs aren’t ready to admit that they have a problem. That’s why this is the first step of many addiction programs.
They instead cover up the truth about how much they use, especially from those closest to them. Carefully listen to what your friend, relative, or partner is saying to find the truth buried in what they’re saying.
For example, they may frequently make excuses for why they’re drinking, whether they claim to have needed to unwind after a hard day at work or that they’re having trouble sleeping.
If it seems like someone is using drugs or alcohol more often than they admit, this is a red flag. It indicates that deep down, they know they have a problem.
2. Recognize the Signs of Addiction
As your loved one makes excuses, don’t let yourself give them the benefit of the doubt every time. And don’t ignore obvious signs that someone may have an addiction problem.
Some of the signs of addiction are:
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Bloodshot eyes
- Changes in personality
- Lack of self-care
- Poor work or school performance
- Sudden desire to keep secrets
- Unexplained financial problems
Keep in mind that it’s typically a combination of signs that can indicate drug abuse as most of these have other explanations when they present alone.
3. Don’t Enable Them
Once you know for sure a person has a problem with addiction, you have to be sure you’re not enabling them to continue.
The easiest way to do that is to never give them money or anything that can easily be sold for cash. Drugs cost money and many addicts will borrow money or even steal from loved ones to feed their habit.
You also need to be careful about how you speak to them. Be understanding as most people feel trapped by their addiction so you don’t want to condemn them. However, you also need to make it clear that you want to get better.
4. Watch for Actions
The old adage that actions speak louder than words is true. If your addicted loved one isn’t taking steps to follow through with what they say they’re going to do, then don’t believe them.
For example, if someone says they’re going to stop going to the bar every night but continues to do so, then you know they’re not being genuine. However, if they do start going only two or three times per week, this is progress.
5. Don’t Fear Confrontation
When you do see that your loved one’s actions aren’t lining up with their words, it may be time to confront them. Although a fear of confrontation can be difficult to overcome, you must do so for the sake of your loved one.
Keep in mind that sometimes, only a direct confrontation will help you properly address the situation and help your loved one realize they need to make some serious changes in his or her life.
A confrontation doesn’t necessarily need to be a fight. Often, simply sitting down with the other person to tell them how you feel is enough to get them to admit they need help.
6. Monitor Your Money
Although we mentioned this before, it bears repeating. Keep an eye on your wallet and bank accounts if they’re shared with the person who has an addiction problem.
Desperate addicts will do whatever they need to do to get drugs, and for many, nothing is off-limits.
7. Stay on Solid Ground
Something that often comes along with a person being addicted to drugs is a lot of drama. This could be with their relationships as the people around them are affected by their actions or with the law if they get caught.
As much as possible, avoid this drama. This will keep you from finding yourself in trouble with the law and allows you to be a firm foundation which they can rely on when they’re ready to get help.
8. Protect Your Values
Part of standing firm is protecting the things you believe in. Make it clear to your loved one that while you still love them and want to support them, you can’t condone their decision to abuse drugs or alcohol.
Let them know where the boundaries are and that you expect them to follow any rules you set down when they’re spending time with you.
This can help them begin to learn self-control and sets you up as a safe place to avoid temptation when they’re ready to start on their road to recovery.
9. Find the Right Rehab Center
When your loved one asks you to help them get into a rehab center, take your time to search for the right one. There are a number of different types of therapy, but not all of them are right for every situation.
Somatic therapy, for example, deals with past traumas that trigger addiction. If this isn’t something that your loved one is suffering from, it’s not going to help them overcome their issue.
10. Offer Support During Rehab
As soon as your loved one enters rehab, you need to step up your game as far as support goes.
For many, the drug detoxification process is the most difficult step as it comes with withdrawal symptoms and many other struggles.
Despite how difficult this step is, it’s also crucial which is why your loved one needs your support more than ever.
Continually remind them that what they’re feeling is temporary and help them focus on the good that will come out of rehab if they stick with it. Stay positive and don’t let them quit.
11. Don’t Lose Hope on Recovery
Sometimes, a loved one will have a relapse and find themselves doing drugs or drinking alcohol again after they’ve completed a round of rehab. Don’t get discouraged or attack them because they couldn’t stay clean.
Remain hopeful and positive. This attitude will show your loved one you still believe in them and know they can recover. If you need to, tell them you’re proud of what they’ve accomplished and that you know they can do so much more.
12. Realize You’re Not Alone
Being part of a support system for a recovering addict is extremely draining on you emotionally.
You may feel like the only person in the world that’s going through this and that nobody will understand your situation.
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are many support groups for people who have addicts in their lives. These support groups will show you that you’re not alone. You’ll be able to freely discuss your situation with others that completely understand you.
You can also get some tools that will help you continue to support your loved one while ensuring you don’t burn out emotionally. Overall, this will make you a healthier person who can better help everyone around them.
13. Recognize Your Role
At every point in your loved one’s recovery journey, you need to make sure you and they understand exactly what your role is. You should never be seen as their therapist since you’re not qualified for that position.
In most cases, your role will be a supportive one. You are there to help your loved one live their best addiction-free life. That will mean something different to every person and every situation.
14. Talk About Drug Issues with Your Children
If you have children, it’s your responsibility to talk to them about drug and alcohol abuse. After all, if you don’t show them the dark and dangerous side of these substances, they may be drawn in by those who only show the “benefits.”
Teach your kids that there’s nothing wrong with the safe and legal use of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription medications. Keep in mind if you focus too much on forbidding these substances, they can become more intriguing to kids.
Find a balance and encourage your kids to come to you when they have any questions about these things so you can discuss them with them.
Dealing with Addiction? Find a Rehab Program!
Now you know 14 rules you should never break when dealing with addiction. As you can see, it’s important for you to have a firm foundation so you can help your loved one overcome their problems.
If you’re looking for a rehabilitation program, we want to help you. Contact us today schedule an appointment.