Addiction is a terrible disease and it can take a tremendous toll on not only the addict but the rest of the family as well. When someone first agrees to get help for drug abuse and addiction, they often think that detox is the only step during the recovery process. People who are addicted to alcohol might even come out of the detox process and think they can drink socially. This is not the case. Sobriety represents a lifelong commitment and people need to embrace this commitment every day. Having support from friends or family is one of the main factors that keep a recovering addict determined and disciplined. It’s a great idea for friends and family members to familiarize themselves with ways they can help an addict through the recovery process.
How to Tell if Addiction is Taking Hold of a Loved One?
In order to be able to support someone throughout the recovery process, you’ll need to be able to spot the signs of addiction. There are a few key signs that someone is suffering from addiction:
- Defensive behavior: Addicts tend to become defensive during their addiction. If you start to ask them why they don’t have money or why they’re losing weight, they’ll get angry and most likely try to turn the conversation around on you. Although this can be hurtful, remember that they aren’t doing this maliciously.
- Hiding their use: People drug and alcohol abuse are generally not socially acceptable, addicts hide their use. An addict may stash alcohol or drugs in their car so no one can find them. They’ll often lie about what they’re doing as well to hide their use. If you ask an addict to come over for dinner, it’s common for them to make up an excuse because they want to get high.
- Mood swings: Drug and alcohol use can cause unstable moods. Someone using a stimulant will be down one minute, then up the next. Someone who is addicted to alcohol may start their day out feeling happy and normal, but the more they drink, the more depressed they can become.
- Financial problems: Sustaining an addiction can become very expensive. If you suspect someone is struggling with substance abuse, and they ask to borrow money, they might have a problem. If you find someone going through your personal belongings to steal money, they most likely have a problem.
When is it Time for Help?
It’s never too soon to get help. Once you recognize that someone you love is suffering from substance abuse, it’s time for help. Addiction is a progressive disease, the longer it manifests, the worse it gets. It is critical to stop addiction in its tracks as early as possible to limit the collateral damage that might result.
How To Help Someone with Addiction
It may feel hard at first to try to help someone who is suffering from addiction. It’s normal to feel angry, or sad, or confused, especially if someone’s addiction has impacted you directly. The most important thing to remember is your loved one is sick. If they did something to hurt you, it wasn’t purposefully. It’s important to approach someone who is suffering from addiction with care and compassion. If they feel like they’re being attacked or misunderstood, they may resist getting help.
There are different ways to approach someone about their addiction. Because everyone is different and every addiction is different, it can be hard to determine what is the right thing to do. If your loved one is struggling and is an introvert, try having a private conversation with them. They may get overwhelmed if too many people confront them at once. If your loved one gets agitated easily, you may want to confront them with someone else present.
After you confront the addict, the most important thing to do is let them know you’re here to help them. You can offer to help them with researching different treatment options and even help by calling different facilities to learn more about their program.
The best thing to do when helping someone during the recovery process is to not judge them and lend a shoulder to cry on. You’d be surprised at how much it can mean to someone by just saying “I’m here for you if you ever need to talk”.
Let Us Help You With Your Addiction Treatment
At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a complete, dual-diagnosis enhanced addiction treatment program, designed specifically for women, by women. This program provides a variety of levels of outpatient services, which include a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), a traditional Outpatient Program (OP), and long-term recovery monitoring. Our goal is to help women overcome addiction and mental health disorders. If you are interested in learning more about how our professionals can help you overcome the bonds of addiction, please contact us today!