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How Can I Support a Loved One with Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that not only affects the sufferer, but also their friends and family. When we have a loved one suffering from addiction, it may be difficult to determine the best ways that we can be supportive of them. We can easily fall into enabling behaviors that exacerbate their drug or alcohol use because we want to shield them from harm, so we must find a balance between being supportive, encouraging recovery, and not being so overly supportive that we do more harm than good.

One of the defining features of drug addiction is continued use despite negative consequences. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids explains, “If you are noticing problems in friend or family member’s work, health, family, finances, relationships, social functioning, legal issues, self-esteem or self-respect, you are not overreacting. Continuing to use substances in spite of the fact that such behavior is causing problems, is a problem in and of itself. It shows that substance use has become more important than the problems it causes. Someone who is unwilling to discuss the issue or consider whether there might be a problem is a strong indicator that a problem exists.” Recognizing that a loved one’s use has developed into continuing addiction despite consequences is the first step toward being able to determine a course of action to encourage their recovery.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence suggests educating yourself about alcoholism and drug addiction, speaking up and offering support, expressing love and concern, not expecting a person to recover without help, and supporting recovery as an ongoing process. Men and women suffering from addiction have lost the power of choice, and commitments to stop using drugs or alcohol will fail without proper help. The NCADD explains, “No doubt, you have heard it before — promises to cut down, to stop, but it doesn’t work. Treatment, support, and new coping skills are needed to overcome addiction to alcohol and drugs.” Anger, guilt, preaching, and enabling are often reactions to a loved one’s addiction, but do little to help and can often make the problem worse.

Your loved one doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction and alcoholism. You can encourage them to seek help now and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to addressing the disease of addiction from every mental, physical, and spiritual angle. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call today: (833) 242-6431