If you have a loved one who is suffering with an addiction, it can be difficult to know what to do or say. Fear not though as we’ve rounded up our six best tips so that you can help them through recovery and beyond. Plus, if you need any additional help, the team at Rehab Clinics Group is always here.
Be Patient and Understanding
Drug and/or alcohol addiction is a serious health condition that affects the body and brain. It’s never someone’s fault if they become addicted and just as you wouldn’t criticise someone for their physical disease, it’s important to not blame someone struggling with addiction. It can also be incredibly scary and confusing for the individual, which is why they need compassion and understanding.
There may be external factors that have resulted in addiction such as mental illness or trauma. Or, it could have resulted because of stress. Either way, if you really want to help your family member, it’s important that you recognise that addiction isn’t a choice or a character flaw. Explaining this to your loved one can help to build trust too, which is essential if you want to be involved in their recovery long-term.
Learn About Their Addiction
It’s easy to look for something or someone to blame when it comes to addiction but, as mentioned above, addiction isn’t as simple as that. By educating yourself and learning that addiction stems from changes in the brain, you’ll be better able to understand what your loved one is going through.
There are plenty of ways you can educate yourself too – either by using online resources, reading books or speaking to professionals. At Rehab Clinics Group, we have a family referral service and our team is always here to answer your questions, discuss any concerns and outline what treatment is available.
Cook or Prepare Nutritious Meals
While alcohol and/or drug addiction can’t be treated by diet alone, a family meal is a great way to bring everyone together; this sense of community and belonging will do wonders for your loved one’s recovery. Sitting down together is an opportunity to talk – either about treatment or something entirely different – and helps everyone to reconnect. Perhaps you could make a family occasion out of cooking and take your loved one’s mind off recovery for at least a few minutes.
Moreover, a healthy and balanced lifestyle is essential for your loved one to stay resilient in their recovery and will often help them make better decisions. If you can show your loved one that you’re all in it together, it’s likely to inspire and motivate them to focus on getting better.
Don’t Become Codependent
In a bid to help your loved one, it’s easy to want to do anything, but there’s a fine line between helping and enabling. For example, perhaps your loved one suffers from alcohol addiction. Stopping them from drinking and driving is helpful, but always offering to pick them up could enable them further.
Or maybe you have a loved one with prescription drug addiction. You might think that by helping them get a prescription now, you can work together to reduce the dosage they are taking in the future. While you might think you’re protecting them, in reality, you could be allowing them to continue with destructive thoughts and behaviours.
Those with addiction are typically more likely to seek treatment when they face the consequences of their actions. So, while it might be difficult initially, you must highlight that you won’t and can’t always be there to rescue them.
Manage Their Expectations
Recovery is a journey for the whole family. It can be scary, confusing, daunting and even exciting, so it’s important to sit down and discuss how everyone is regularly feeling. It can be helpful to note down expectations too. Recovery won’t always be easy and there will be bumps in the road but if you can guarantee that everyone will support each other, that’ll make the more difficult days more bearable.
Relapse is also, unfortunately, a common part of recovery. Doing so doesn’t mean that you’ve failed, but by talking about it before and after, you can ensure that your loved one still feels supported and inspired to continue. Mistakes will happen, but together, your family can take those all-important steps towards a life away from addiction.
Seek Professional Help
The road to recovery isn’t easy, but it can be done. But often, you need the help and support of medical professionals. That’s exactly where Rehab Clinics Group comes in. With private drug and alcohol rehab centres around the UK, we can help your loved ones to access the treatment they need. While every centre is different, we’ll find a programme that suits their needs and treatment preferences and treats both the physical addiction and psychological symptoms.
We’ve done exactly that for hundreds of people and families around the UK. Families who came to us not knowing what to do and individuals who had given up. But, with the help of our leading addiction recovery centres and a team of medical professionals who are there every step of the way, it can be done.
Plus, we even have a referral and intervention scheme which ensures your loved one gets the treatment they need. Simply pick up the phone today on our free phone 0800 470 0382. Alternatively, you can drop our friendly team a message and take the next step towards helping your loved one to get their life back on track.