What Can I Do To Help The Addict In My Life?  - QuitOpioids.com


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What Can I Do To Help The Addict In My Life? 

Chanda LynnTrying to control your loved ones addiction is impossible. I know this because I have tried. Loving an addict is terrifying and often leads us to feel desperate and frantic. Calm down, I know time is of the essence, but worrying yourself into a chaotic mess will not help you. I used to do that too. I watched my brother pick his face apart, screaming about helicopters flying around above him, when there where no helicopters in sight. I watched my brother try to conceal his track marks with cover-up in my bathroom. I watched him nod out on my couch. I’ve seen it all. The pain is indescribable. The panic is nearly unbearable.

Watching someone you love whither away before you is a devastating experience- I understand and I am sincerely sorry that you are going through this. But there ARE things you can do to try to help.

1. Set Your Expectations Aside

Addiction breaks down all of the walls we’ve built and disintegrates our expectations of how it should work. With that being said- keep your HOPE. Hope is a very real thing that changes everything. It was the only thing I had to hold on to for the better part of 10 years as I fought this with my brother. Understand that you can only control you. You cannot control your loved one. It’s the most heartbreaking part of addiction.
But you CAN enable your loved one to get help.

2. Start by asking yourself: Am I enabling their addiction?

Here are some examples of enabling:

  • Bailing them out of jail
  • Paying their bills
  • Buying their groceries
  • Covering up their addiction in front of others
  • Buying them drugs/alcohol
  • Giving them drugs/alcohol
  • Allowing them to live with you while they’re actively using

These are not all of the characteristics of enabling, but they are a few of the important traits. If you find that you are enabling, you are helping to kill the addict in your life. I know this sounds harsh- but it’s the reality. If you don’t stop, they won’t stop. Often times enabling can be the difference between life
and death. You’ll come to realize that most times we are just as sick as the addict in our lives, just in a different way. If we don’t address our enabling behaviors, they will have no reason to address their addiction.

Personally, after I decided to quit enabling my brother, he called me a month later and went to rehab without being forced. If I wouldn’t have stopped, I would’ve never got that call and he wouldn’t have decided to go to rehab. I can firmly say this now, because I understand the role that I played in his addiction.

3) Have a Heart to Heart conversation

Don’t start by being confrontational, you will end up shutting down the conversation before it even begins. Accusations cause an addict to become defensive. Instead, bring up how you may miss things about them, that you’ve started noticing some changes, that you’re concerned and you want to help and support them. If you have tried this before and it hasn’t worked, consider an intervention. You can research interventionists in your area and begin the process of setting up an intervention.

4) Make sure you have the support and resources to offer

Finding resources for treatment can be difficult for some people. Most people have never had to find a rehab before and don’t know how to go about it. You can click the sidebar on this website and pull up “contact us” and give us a call and we can help you find resources for treatment for your loved one.

After you have the resources to help, frame the conversation. Tell them that when they are ready to get help you have A. B. and C. set up for them (detox, treatment or what ever they may need). You have to understand that they MAY not accept the help when you offer but I can assure you that when they ARE ready, they will come to you for that help. I know it’s frustrating and difficult, but it has to be their decision.

5) Lastly, you need to start practicing self-care

Often times we are so wrapped up in the chaos and panic that loving an addict causes- that we forget to take care of ourselves. You cannot expect to help someone when you are not taking care of yourself. Most people who find themselves in the situation that you’re in have been practicing self-neglect for a long time. We lose sleep, we play out terrible scenarios in our minds, we’re up all hours of the night worrying and that means
we have our own issues we need to address. Start by getting a counseling appointment. It is so vital that YOU have someone to talk to about what you’re going through and I cannot stress this enough. You can also look into Al-Anon meetings in your area and connect with other family/loved ones of addicts and find the support you need.

It is imperative that you begin healing, so that when your loved one decides they want to heal too, you are well enough to provide a relationship that is conducive for
their recovery.

We cannot control most of what happens with their addictions, but we can control what we do and how we choose to react. By practicing these steps we can increase the chances that our loved one will get help.

I personally want to say, just breathe. I completely understand the pain and panic and I can promise you that self-care will help with some of that. I wish you the best of luck and sincerely hope that your loved one chooses to get help.

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  1. Frank
    Frank September 27, 02:46

    Wow this was something I need d to read. Your such an inspiration and have helped me stay clean and move on with my life. You came in my life just in the nick of time. I was losing everything from my kids to my husband my home I mean everything and because of you I still have what most important to me. I can’t thank you enough. I truly love you.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Reeka
    Reeka September 27, 04:32

    I’m working on all of your suggestions! After enabling my daughter for 20 years, I’ve decided it’s time to stop. You’re right. It was killing her and me. Please pray for us!

    Reply to this comment

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