How can I help a loved one suffering from Addiction?
Your loved one will need treatment and support to overcome an addiction problem and you can play a crucial role in seeking treatment for them and in their recovery, provided they want to get better. For treatment to be effective, it’s important for the individual suffering from addiction to realize they have a serious problem and at least be open to treatment if not motivated to get treated. Forcing a loved one into treatment who does not admit he/she has a problem and/or does not want to get better might not be effective in the long run, since chances of relapse are always high. So, an important role in helping a loved one recover would be getting them to realize they have a problem. Treatment and recovery from addiction is a complex process and takes time. It involves addressing issues that lead to addiction and developing new coping mechanisms to deal with thoughts, emotions and circumstances which trigger use of addictive substances. An addicted person will not get better overnight and helping a loved one recover requires time, effort and patience. Both you and your loved one will need external help and support during the recovery process.
Part I: Becoming knowledgeable about the disease and treatment options
The first step in helping your loved one recover could be becoming knowledgeable about the disease and becoming aware of the different treatment programs and centers accessible to you. Whilst all the help you need for your loved one’s recovery is available, it’s important to make yourself knowledgeable about the disease and it’s severity before seeking treatment. Treatment varies, depending on severity. Whilst in severe cases your loved on might require hospitalization and detoxification, followed by admission into a rehab centre, in less severe cases individual therapy, joining support groups or even counseling might help. You could ask your general physician or family doctor to guide you in assessing the problem and treatment options, research on the internet or even talk to people who have suffered from similar problems. It’s important to know what you are dealing with and the treatment options available in order to help your loved one get the appropriate treatment.