Drug addiction is a frighteningly malicious disease-yet there is hope: Over 75% of addicts recover eventually.
And while addiction might start with voluntary actions, it quickly overrides a person’s ability to choose. As the brain chemistry changes, it becomes quitting hard-or even dangerous. Watching a loved one struggle with an addiction is painful.
You want to reach out, to answer their cries for help-yet you don’t know how.
Read on to understand how you can continue loving a drug addict while supporting their recovery.
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Loving A Drug Addict: See The Person, Not The Addiction
Loving a drug addict is an emotional rollercoaster.
It’s easy to feel angry and frustrated. It’s normal to feel scared, hopeless, or desperate. But it’s crucial to remember that, beneath the addiction and beneath the destructive behavior, there’s still a person you love.
They may have changed because of their illness. But they are not their addiction.
Seeing the person means acknowledging their struggle and recognizing their humanity. It means being there for them and empathizing with their plight. It means showing them they aren’t alone.
And it means doing so while setting boundaries and demonstrating that you don’t condone their actions. Loving an addict is like walking an emotional tightrope.
You’re loving somebody who is fighting an unseen battle every day-and that’s why it’s just as important to take care of your own well-being at the same time.
Challenges of Loving a Drug Addict
It’s no easy thing to love a drug addict.
It can strain your relationship and it will be demanding. But it’s crucial to remember that, however they got there, your loved one is dealing with a disease they didn’t choose.
The challenge lies in striking a balance between supporting them and ensuring you aren’t enabling them. It’s easy to cross the line without realizing it.
The stigma and half-truths that come with the territory certainly make your job harder. Fear of judgment and misunderstanding make it harder to seek help or talk about your own struggles.
So always remember that you aren’t alone and you don’t have to navigate this journey without support.
Reed more about drug charges.
Types Of Addiction: A Closer Look
Addiction is a deeply personal affliction. Understanding the type of addiction your loved one is struggling with will help them in their addiction recovery and you in navigating it.
There are many types of addiction every kind is unique to the person.
Some people might be addicted to prescription drugs. Others are dependent on alcohol, while others still use illegal substances to escape from their traumas and avoid confronting their problems. Each type of dependency has its own set of potholes and may require different addiction treatment approaches.
Prescription drug addiction, for instance, is troublesome because it’s generally socially acceptable. Doctors (usually) prescribe prescription drugs for legitimate medical concerns, justifying the use of the medication in the addict’s mind, even if it’s being used in a destructive manner not initially intended.
Alcoholism and illegal drug use both involve a potent mix of physical and psychological dependence that makes habits hard to break. People addicted to any such substance find it difficult to control their habit and often continue to consume drugs or alcohol in spite of obvious negative consequences.
How to Show Love While Helping
Loving a drug addict involves more than providing emotional support. And it doesn’t mean “looking the other way.”
It requires action. Here are some ways you can help with addiction without coming across as overbearing:
- Be patient
- Encourage healthy behaviors
- Stay informed
- Support their treatment
- Set boundaries
Recovery is a long and difficult process. Relapse is common, and old, bad habits will rear their ugly heads. Show patience and understanding during these difficult times.
Helping your loved one find coping mechanisms can help. Exercise, healthy diets, and adequate sleep are a good place to start. And finding emotional anchors-activities they enjoy-gives you a thing to return to when the going gets tough.
Educating yourself about addiction and recovery is another way to help. Encourage your loved one to seek professional help, and support them in their recovery efforts.
Finally, always set boundaries.
It’s important to make absolutely clear what is acceptable-and what is not. Setting boundaries can protect your well-being while ensuring that you’re not enabling their addiction.
What Does Addiction Treatment Involve?
Addiction treatment involves a combination of many techniques, and the specifics of the treatment plan will vary depending on the nature of the addiction and the individual’s needs. Addiction recovery can involve medical intervention (detoxification), therapy (coping strategies), and self-help groups (social support).
This rehab center in Phoenix, for instance, combines educational with recreational activities to broaden the mind and untangle the body from the grip of addiction. Spiritual support, peer support, and professional support all blend together to maximize the chances of recovery.
The Importance Of Professional Help
While your love and support are vital, they aren’t a substitute for professional addiction recovery. Professionals provide diagnoses, counseling, and therapy that help a person cope with cravings as they rebuild their life.
It can also benefit you because, while you’re not suffering from addiction, you’re still impacted by it.
Therapists can provide you with the tools and strategies you need to support your loved one. They give you an outlet to vent frustrations and concerns without judgment. And they will help you understand your own feelings and cope with stress.
A Trying Journey of Hope and Healing
Loving a drug addict is a demanding journey of hope and healing. It requires patience, compassion, and professional help.
And most importantly, it’s a journey that requires love.
Remember, the person is not the addiction, but a person struggling with a disease. Understand that, and you will be able to help your loved one overcome their addiction for good.
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