How to Help Someone with a Drug Addiction
Are you trying to help someone with a drug addiction, a loved one, a friend, family? Remember this about addiction: It is a complex illness that potentially consumes, hurts, destroys, and intoxicates everyone in its trail. Here are a few starting points towards a more effective way to support that person.
What NOT to Do
- Denying, covering up, justifying, blaming, ignoring, and all the “combat interventions” you can possibly think of will not do any good. To the contrary, it will contribute to the maintenance of the problem.
However, if you know someone who you think might be using drugs or behaving addictively and you are reading this, you are probably putting things into action. In recovery, ACTION is a magic word. You are on the right track.
What to Do
- If you are trying to help, consider that healthy boundaries will represent a powerful tool throughout your journey. Boundaries are not a punishment for the addicted person, they are actually a manifestation of love and respect towards each other. They are meant to serve as “road maps” in a relationship and as guidance around what is constructive and what is not. Because you can’t control the other person, and because a boundary is more effective if you implement it on yourself, an interesting question to think about is: what can I do today if my loved one is or stays active in addiction?
- Seek help for yourself. Family members, and people in the close entourage will often point at the addicted person as the only one responsible for the solution…or the problem. But addressing your own needs, physical and mental health issues, co-dependency, or sometimes even your own addictive behaviours, is the best way to be fully present for others.
- Reach out for help. It is the right direction to go. You don’t have to, and probably cannot do it alone anymore; and neither can the addict. But remember it is not an issue of weakness. Addiction has very particular, specific and concrete dynamics, all together considered as an illness. There are people out there across different types of treatment options trained and ready to give you and your loved one the tools necessary to engage in recovery and walk again towards a happier, more fulfilling life.
Don’t let yourself be discouraged by the undeniable whirlwind-like façade of recovery, even if your initial goal is to help someone else with a drug addiction. This potentially life changing experience is worth it. At Clinic Les Alpes we will put all our efforts, knowledge and experience together to make this possible.