Addiction can be a dark and psychologically traumatizing journey for a person to have to take, however, an often overlooked side effect of the cycle of drug addiction is the way in which a person’s closest friends and family can suffer as a result of their actions. More often than not, people who find themselves with an addicted loved one can feel as though there is nothing they can do to make a tangible difference in that person’s life and many quite frankly, don’t try hard enough.
What friends and relatives of an addict have to understand is that nothing they do will magically make that person stop being addicted to drugs, that is until that person admits to themselves that they have a drug abuse problem and make a commitment to change that. That being said that does not by any means mean that you can’t help somebody addicted to drugs, but the goal should be helping and supporting them to make a decision to change their life for the better and stop using drugs. So here are a few ways you can support an addicted loved one.
1. Don’t judge them for their addiction
While it can be very hard to understand or empathize with a person to use drugs let alone become heavily dependent on them, judgment is completely useless when it comes to helping this person. Try to realize that people are not only different but also have their own reasons for becoming dependent on a particular drug in the first place. People’s differing life experiences can drive them down a completely different path to that which you may have taken, and an attempt to empathize with their circumstances can go a long way to connecting with them enough that they might listen.
Instead of saying things like “Just stop using” and “why can’t you just give up?” try to change those judgmental statements into supportive questions that are likely to drive meaningful dialogue regarding their addiction. Try saying things like “why do you think you use drugs?” or “can you remember what first drove you to use drugs this heavily?” In this way, you can open up a conversation about where they are now and how their life has become worse through their drug use. This can then lead to them to self-realization not possible without an exterior perspective.
2. Don’t make everything about their addiction
People all deal with their problems, and subsequently, their addictions in different ways and while some may be able to keep this behavior to themselves, others may not. As hard as it may be, it isn’t great to constantly make everything you do with them or say to them somehow related to their addictions. Don’t forget that they don’t stop being normal humans just because they have developed a drug habit, all this kind of behavior is likely to do is discourage further interaction with you for fear of judgment.
Try to make your visits also about more normal things in this person’s life, like going out to eat somewhere you both enjoy and catching up on each other’s lives, or a visit to a sporting event where you can forget any issues that you may have in your respective lives and enjoy something IN the moment. Treating them as a regular person and doing normal things with them will make your conversations about their drug use more meaningful and impactful if they feel you respect them as a person.
3. Help them come to a realization themselves
It can be said to an addict until the break of dawn all the pitfalls of using drugs, the negative effects it has on their (and your own) life and how their life would be better without them, it is very unlikely to mean much to a person. That is until they have decided for themselves that they need to make this positive change to better their own life. Oftentimes addicts get so used to hearing the recycled and quite frankly useless catchphrases and advice people give to them regarding their drug use that eventually the meaning behind it is lost.
The only way to make people self-reflect is to engage in meaningful dialogue about their addictions in a positive and constructive way. Constantly bombarding a person with hollow advice is not enough, you must be able to sustain a conversation about this person and why they became an addict. Introspection is something that can be very difficult to achieve, particularly with another person present and you may find a range of emotions on display, anger, sadness, regret or even disappointment in themselves, and helping them work through these emotions can really help them see the error of their ways.
4. Helping them find a good rehab
Once you, or another course of action or treatment, has helped the persons understand they have an addiction issue that needs addressing, they have officially taken the first step on their road to recovery. Next comes the slightly more challenging aspect of their recovery which is going through the necessary medical and psychological processes necessary to improve their lives and leave their drug addictions behind. There are many different avenues of receiving this support and treatment, however the most popular one by far is to enter a residential drug rehabilitation center.
Now there are so many options available when it comes to choosing an individual drug rehab center that for somebody also going through the stresses of dealing with their addiction could become slightly overwhelmed with information. Therefore, a good way to help them would be to do the proper research on their behalf and draw up a shortlist of the most viable solutions for them. Clarity Thailand offers professional drug rehab in Thailand, using a combination of counseling and therapy we help addicts kick their addictions and make a better life for themselves, to find out how call us on +66 64 492 2208