How to Help Someone Struggling With Drug Addiction
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When a friend, loved one, or family member is struggling with drug addiction, there are certain strategies that you can employ to help them achieve recovery. But common pitfalls can also lead to frustration, anger, and resentment. Following the steps of this guide can help you help your loved ones and ultimately guide them on the path to starting a drug rehab in Arizona.

Educate Yourself

The first step in helping family and friends who are living with a substance use disorder is to educate yourself on the nature of addiction. By understanding the challenges that people with substance use disorders face, you put yourself in a better position to help them overcome them and achieve sobriety.

Addiction is a complex and severe mental health disorder that you should be careful not to write off as a choice or moral failing. People who develop substance use problems experience lasting brain changes that make it difficult for them to stop on their own, even in the face of debilitating consequences.

Recognizing a few key elements of how addiction affects people will put you on the right path to helping your loved ones.

First, remember that people with substance use disorders experience brain changes that make it difficult to enjoy hobbies or activities outside of substance use.1

When a person with a substance use disorder suddenly stops using drugs or alcohol or cuts down, they may experience severe mental and physical withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms can be fatal if not treated by addiction professionals.2

Achieving sobriety is difficult partly because drug cravings are invasive, outside of an individual’s direct control, and can appear anytime. Additionally, people often use drugs as a coping mechanism to deal with stress or mental health symptoms. They may not have any healthy coping skills to use as alternatives.3

It may help you to prepare for the possibility of relapse. Addiction is a chronic condition, and relapse is often a part of the recovery process.

Learning more about addiction, with a particular emphasis on the type of substance your loved one is using, can help you gain an even deeper understanding of their challenges.

Offering Support

Supporting a loved one with addiction can be a tricky balance to maintain. On the one hand, you want to be able to support their efforts to achieve recovery, but on the other, you don’t want to enable their substance use by solving their problems for them.

The best way to support a loved one in achieving recovery is to help facilitate the process of them entering addiction treatment programs when they are ready. This could mean taking up a responsibility they won’t be able to uphold while in treatment, offering emotional support for recovery, or even reaching out to a drug rehab in Arizona if they are unwilling to do so themselves.

What you don’t want to do is support them in their addiction. They may ask for favors, such as:

  • Loaning them money
  • Driving them to pick up drugs
  • Paying their bills
  • Lying on their behalf

Doing these favors for them protects the person with a substance use disorder from the consequences of their actions. It allows them to continue using drugs without experiencing the negative effects that addiction can bring, which can prolong their struggle with substance use.

Having the Conversation

Having a direct conversation about your loved one’s substance use can often be a turning point in their addiction. But for this conversation to succeed, you must be prepared beforehand. Common pitfalls in talking with your loved one about getting help for their addiction can put them on the defensive and lead to poor results.

When talking to your loved one, following these steps can ensure you have a productive conversation that can help them find recovery:

Choose an Appropriate Time and Place

Ideally, the conversation about helping your loved one find treatment should happen while they are calm and in a clear state of mind. Find a place where you can both be free of distractions and where you are both comfortable talking openly. Avoid public places.

Avoid Blaming Your Loved One

When you point the finger or blame your loved one for their addiction, they can put their guard up, get defensive, and attempt to shut down the conversation by leaving or starting an argument. Instead, use “I” statements to tell your loved one how their substance use affects you.

For example, instead of saying things such as:

  • “You’re ruining your life with your drug use.”
  • “Your addiction is harming our relationship.”
  • “You need to stop using drugs or else ____.”

Try using “I” statements, such as:

  • “I feel worried that you’re going to hurt yourself when you use drugs.”
  • “I feel like we’re not as close as we were before you started using.”
  • “I feel like if you don’t get help, things are going to get worse”

By changing the shift of conversation from pointing the finger at your loved one to talking about how their drug use makes you feel, you allow them to see how their drug use affects others, which can motivate them to make a change.

Be Prepared with Resources

If your loved one agrees to seek help, you must be ready to act. Be prepared to call a treatment center as soon as they are ready to accept, as the motivation for change can be fleeting.

Call Wolf Creek Recovery to Start Drug Rehab in Arizona

Wolf Creek Recovery’s drug rehab in Arizona provides evidence-based services to help people overcome addiction. Call our team to start treatment today, and get your loved one the support they need to recover.