According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing. In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older – 9.4 percent of the population – have used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002. These facts alone serve as proof that the number of drug addicts is increasing every year. But when a close friend or a loved one is addicted to drugs the numbers take on a whole new meaning. On a personal level, we are desperate to help and can make many mistakes along the way. But as long as we learn from our mistakes, the help our loved one receives is priceless. Here are some things you shouldn’t do when trying to help a loved one overcome drug addiction:
#1 Force your loved one overcome drug addiction
Dealing with an addict will drain your energy. Especially if you have a long history of constant ups and downs during the battle that always seems to end up on a dead end street. Failing to help a loved one overcome drug addiction might end with a need to take things into your hands. It is understandable that you are losing your patience and are unable to live your life under the shadow of an addict. However, forcing someone to do something, especially an addict, might cause the opposite effect you hoped for.
In reality, people object when they are forced to do something. An addict will most definitely start seeing you as an enemy. If you want to help, you can stage an intervention. But, if your loved one is in denial, or doesn’t want to accept the terms you offer and disagrees to take treatment, there is not much you can do. After the treatment is over – and your loved one didn’t agree to visit the facility – the chances are high that the person will return to their old habits. The bottom line is to understand that nothing depends on you, and forcing someone to do something they are opposed to might be a huge mistake.
#2 Support Unconditionally
As mentioned in the previous post, taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do. The path that an addict walks before (and after) overcoming drug addiction is long. If you let your physical and mental health suffer because of this struggle, you won’t be able to support and encourage your loved one. Don’t let this situation control your entire life. There are boundaries. It might seem hard, but you need to learn how not to let the addict consume your every thought. There are multiple examples of addicts that started their curing process after they got kicked out of their family’s house. Sometimes, tough love is the thing they need to feel:
“Perhaps the best thing that you can do at this time is to create distance between you (you keep your children….protect them) and your husband. The distance you create will allow him to see exactly where he wants to be. He will see you and your children, living life and pursuing the happiness that you deserve and he will confront choices. When he realizes that you are not going to be in the gutter with him, he will have some serious decisions to make. Let him see your progressions. Let him see that you are away, because you are protecting your children. Love your children with all of your might. The reflection of this love will shake him. Love is the only thing that can obliterate the beast of addiction and present the manifest destiny of “change” for the addicted. Don’t you give up….”
#3 Blame it on the addict
There will be times when you will say horrible things to the addicted loved one. Even if you understand the situation, you won’t be able to keep quiet about how you feel. Try to avoid repeating such situations. Try to keep your coolness. You should never blame the addict for his addiction, or for not being able to overcome the addiction. Remember that the addict can’t take control over their actions, and probably doesn’t want to depend on drugs. If you want to offer your support, always remind yourself that addiction is a disease that took over your loved one’s and your life, but together you can overcome it.
#4 Give Up Before The Real Battle Even Begins
It’s easy to say, “I can’t do this anymore, you need to find a way to overcome the addiction”, or even “I am fed up with this situation and it’s taking over my entire life. Never ask for my help anymore.” Dealing with addiction is a very difficult process. Not only from your side but your loved one’s as well. If you give up at the very beginning, without doing your very best to help this person, you will never know the outcome. You could be the key person that helps a loved one overcome drug addiction.
#5 Never Blame Yourself For Their Addiction
Every time you have one of those thoughts that force you to reconsider whether something you did in the past lured your loved one to start doing drugs, stop them immediately. First of all, feeling guilty won’t add any benefit to the situation. And second, none of your actions can trigger a person to do drugs. If the person feels doing drugs isn’t that serious, and they can be stopped at any moment, that is their incorrect perspective. That attitude leads to a decision which will ruin their lives. It is not their fault, but if they couldn’t find the right way to handle their problems, you are not to blame.
#6 Don’t Be Emotionally Blackmailed or Blackmailing
“If you love me, you will lend me some money. It’s the last time I promise.” or “You don’t care about me anymore. Because if you did, you would let me return to our home. Now, you can forget about me and let me die.” Sounds familiar? Drugs overtake the addicts’ brain, enabling them to think straight. All they want is drugs. And they will do anything to get it. They will lie, steal, and promise. All of these are false promises. Never compromise with a drug addict. It is never their last time. After you understand how the process works, you will feel less and less guilty. It’s never about whether you love them or care about them. Instead, it is always about the drug.
“If you love me, you’ll stop taking drugs.” How does this sound? If you want to help your loved one overcome drug addiction, understand that you always speak to the drugs. That person is not the person you knew. Emotional blackmail is a strong tool when you want to get something from the person you love. But things don’t work like that when you are talking about drug addicts. Blackmail might make them feel like they failed even more. Overcoming addiction is not easy. A person can’t quit drugs just like that. If you want this to work, you will need to stop using emotional blackmail, and instead, understand the problem, analyze the situation, and find something that works. Prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster that will lead towards a final station where your loved one will overcome drug addiction.
For more information please call this Toll Free 24/7 Addiction Treatment Helpline at (844) 439-4765. This is a completely confidential call. If you have health insurance it may cover up to 100% of the treatment cost. So please call now!