How Can I Support a Loved One Struggling With Addiction?

Addiction not only affects those struggling with the addiction but also affects the friends and family around them. It can be just as challenging to support them as it is to watch them in active addiction. Learning to create a loving, supportive space without enabling can be difficult, but it is crucial to develop this space to help your loved ones through their recovery.

What are some things that you can do to help those struggling with addiction? How can you create successful boundaries while allowing them to feel loved and supported? Here are some ways to support your loved ones as they fight against their addiction.

Educate Yourself

The best way to support someone through their addiction is to educate yourself on the type of addiction your loved one is battling. Suppose they are struggling with opioids; this could be a good opportunity to research opioid addictions. Learn about the symptoms and what the recovery would look like. Research treatment options and what they will go through as they start their recovery. The more you learn, the better you will understand what they are going through, and the more you can assist your loved one.

It isn’t easy to help someone when you know nothing about what they are dealing with. Although you won’t know what they are going through as you are not experiencing what they are, you can learn about addiction to better serve them. Your loved one will feel more comfortable and appreciative when you take the time to learn about what they are going through and how to help them.

Compassion and Patience

Showing compassion to your loved one while facing one of life’s biggest battles is probably the most important thing you can do for them. They are already going through so much, and having love and compassion next to them will help far more than judgment will.

With compassion comes patience. This is a long journey, and there will be setbacks. They are going to have many hard days. Don’t expect immediate change from them as they navigate their new life without the use of substances. Recovery will not be an overnight change; as you practice patience, they will feel supported.

Don’t Enable

Love and support are extremely important to ensure your actions don’t turn into enabling behaviors. There is a difference between support and enabling; you want to ensure you don’t cross that line into enabling your loved one.

Along with not enabling their behaviors, it is essential not to fall into their manipulation. Some people struggling with addiction can’t control their behaviors, and ensuring that you don’t fall into their manipulation tactics will help create boundaries that will support their recovery and not enable them.

Get Involved

If your loved one is entering treatment, visiting the facility with them can help them feel supported. Going to 12-Step meetings with them can also help. Communicating with them to understand what they need and how to be involved will benefit them. Showing them that you are interested in their recovery will help them feel safe and supported.

Seek Counseling or Therapy

As a loved one of someone struggling with addiction, you are going through something. You are facing something that needs to be talked about. Guidance and support from a mental health professional will help you feel supported and make sure you are creating healthy boundaries as your loved one goes through this battle. It is just as important to take care of your mental health so you can be the best support system for your loved one.

What to Expect

Knowing what to expect when a loved one enters treatment can help you to support them. You may feel an array of emotions as your loved one starts this journey to recovery.

You might be glad your loved one is finally getting help and feel the comfort that they are making a good, safe choice. You may worry about the well-being of your loved one. You might feel resentment that your loved one has placed this burden on you for a long time. You might feel sad that this is part of your story and the story of your loved one. You might feel shame that addiction has infiltrated your life.

All of these feelings are valid and real. You are allowed to feel whatever emotions come to you during this trying time. Don’t try to stuff them down. Allow yourself to feel them. Talking with a therapist might help you manage all of these emotions.

Watching a loved one battle addiction can be very scary, and if they make the decision to enter treatment, it can be even scarier. Learning to support your loved one during this trying time can be the difference between keeping a healthy relationship with your loved one or losing that relationship. Take time to care for yourself so you can be the best version of yourself to support your loved one through their journey. Here at Excel Treatment Center, we want to help you be involved in your loved one’s recovery. We want to support you just as much as we support your loved one; you and your well-being are just as important. The client and the family can both benefit from family support and participation in the addiction recovery process. Call Excel Treatment Center at (833) 883-9235 to learn how we can support you and your loved one.