Millions suffer from addiction, but with the current culture that emphasizes fun at any cost, it can be difficult to identify. We want to see the best in our loved ones, but it’s important to be honest with ourselves. If you suspect your loved one has an addiction and needs treatment, you need to know what actions you should take.
What Are the Signs?
Depending on the substance, signs may vary. If you suspect your loved one suffers from alcohol addiction, take notice of how often they drink and their tolerance level. Does your loved one have sudden bouts of moodiness or depression? While this may simply be its own condition, it may also be a sign of withdrawal. If someone you love would rather miss out on social interactions to indulge in their substance, it may be another indicator of addiction. They may lie about their problem. These lies are not about you in any way, and it is important for you to try to separate yourself from them for your own well-being.
If you are worried that a traditional approach to treatment may not be viable, whether because your loved one has had a bad experience in the past with a certain program or for any reason, take comfort. There are many treatment options that you and your loved one have at your disposal. Some focus on behavioral counseling coupled with medication, while others focus on spirituality or making steps toward wellness. Look into which type of program might best suit your loved one’s needs. There is the traditional 12-step program, religious-based programs like AA, new holistic groups that are gaining popularity, psychotherapy, and various self-help groups. Often, a combination can be used for better success.
Should You Suggest Treatment?
Planning an intervention can be a very difficult thing. It is in everyone’s best interest to approach the subject from a place of love and kindness. Sternness or trying to get someone to comply under threat may result in the opposite outcome of what you hoped for. They may become more self-destructive. If your loved one is using an illegal substance, turning them into the authorities is a notoriously dangerous situation. Jail is not a good place to detoxify and get counseling. This does not mean you should allow your loved one to keep feeding their addiction; it is simply a good idea to talk to them with compassion, and not force, to help your loved one understand how much help they might need. Present them with a variety of options to give them choice. However, no matter how your loved one responds, it is important to take care of yourself first and foremost. Sometimes, that means we have to leave dangerous situations. Your loved one may lie to get you to stay or to accept their continued addiction. Do not give into the world they present to you, especially if it seems unhealthy.
How You Can Cope
This situation won’t just be difficult for your loved one. No matter the outcome, it will most likely be a challenge to you as well. Don’t hesitate to reach out to family and friends for support. Educate yourself on treatment with information from trustworthy sources. It may be wise to seek counseling for yourself. You, after all, have gone through much emotional upheaval, and a professional may be able to help you process what you’ve experienced. If your loved one has agreed to treatment, you may be able to seek help through their chosen organization and even participate in family or couples’ therapy. This may be beneficial for you both and allow healing to begin.
If your loved one displays signs of addiction, it is important to try to support them so long as that does not affect your own well-being. You deserve a happy and healthy life, just as they do. If they are willing to get help, it is prudent to seek some for yourself. You, too, may have scars that need to heal.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com