7 Ways to Support Someone Who has An Addiction
If you have an addict in your life, you’ve probably struggled with just what you should do to help them stay sober. As someone who is close to them, your actions matter.
Let’s look at 7 ways to support someone who has an addiction to help them kick that habit.
1. Don’t Judge Them
An addict needs your loving support, not your judgment. There are various reasons why someone develops an addiction, and it’s best to practice the philosophy that “there but for the grace of God go I.”
Give them your love rather than your judgment, and you’ll help them stay sober. When you judge them, you only drive them further away and closer to a relapse.
2. Learn About Addiction
Educate yourself about addiction, and you’ll find that there are many things you didn’t know. You’ll learn about the physical changes in the brain that happen with addiction that make it so very difficult to quit.
You’ll also learn more about just how you can support them and the tactics that work best to keep them from using again.
3. Support Their Sobriety
If you’re a friend or family member of an addict, you want them to stay sober. So don’t take them to places where they will be tempted to use again.
Encourage their sobriety with activities that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. If you live with them, consider giving up using yourself so that you won’t be a source of temptation for them.
4. Go to Therapy with Them
Most addicts have underlying psychological issues they need to work through to understand their reasons for using. These may include past trauma, painful physical conditions, or mental health conditions that cause them inner turmoil.
Therapy helps them find healthy coping mechanisms for life’s struggles, but often they need to go with their family members to work through everything. Go with them, and you might find it’s helpful for you, too!
5. Don’t Enable Their Use
Addicts need to fully realize the consequences of their addiction. If someone is always bailing them out of trouble, they won’t feel like they have to quit.
Don’t pay for problems the addict in your life caused, don’t bail them out of jail, and don’t provide them with their substance of choice. This only enables their addiction.
6. Keep Your Expectations Realistic
Most addicts will relapse, particularly in the initial stages of sobriety. In fact, the statistics show that up to 85% of addicts will relapse within the first year of sobriety.
If your expectations are too high, when they relapse, it’ll show, and that will make it more difficult for them to get back on track. Adjust your expectations so that you can support them in the most loving manner possible.
7. Get Support for the Addict and Yourself
Support comes in a variety of forms. Therapy is one form of support, but so are peer communities like AA and Al-Anon. It’s helpful for everyone to talk to other people who are going through the same thing.
When you and your addicted loved one realize you’re not alone, that sense of community can provide extra motivation to succeed at sobriety.
Sober Sidekick: A Peer Community that Cares
Sober Sidekick is an online social media platform and app that has more than 150,000 members. The platform offers help in the form of accountability partners, access to virtual AA meetings 24/7, and supportive, nonjudgmental community members. You can even reach out to a professional in times of crisis. Give it a try today to increase the chances of success!