Are you worried that somebody you love has a substance use disorder? Addiction can be a frightening and insidious condition. When using their drug of choice, your friend or family member may seem like a different person altogether. A person under the influence of addiction may lie, manipulate, and deny that there is a problem. (That’s part of the disease, which can affect many aspects of the user’s brain. ) They also may refuse to participate in activities they once loved and the people they love.
Recovery helps to repair these relationships and teaches your loved one how to live in the world without the use of alcohol or drugs.
Even though your loved one is clean and sober, they may still have some problematic desires every once in a while. The desire to use and other uncomfortable emotions are a regular part of recovery. Your loved one can talk about these feelings with their support system. This is why 12 step meetings and treatment programs are so important. An ongoing disease needs ongoing treatment.
Give Your Loved One Space
When a person with an addiction craves drugs, the feeling may be overwhelming. This may be because they are psychologically or physically dependent. If physically dependent, there may be unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Some drugs are so dangerous that only a medically supervised detox program is appropriate for use.
Once your loved one has come home from treatment, they will need to spend time with their support network. People in 12-step programs often lean on each other heavily, especially in early recovery.
Your loved one is now ready to be responsible for their behavior. They know who to call when they’re feeling bad or blue, but you can of course help them by being supportive and listening to their feelings. As a bystander in the family or friendship circle, you’re not equipped to help your loved one with some of their ongoing problems. You don’t know what it’s like to be addicted to a substance – and that’s okay! It’s recommended that they lean on people who have years of experience in recovery.
When your loved one gets home from treatment, give them the space to get situated. You need to allow him or her to make space for their recovery, meet new people, and learn more about the tools in your community.
What is the best thing you can do to help somebody you love who is in early recovery? Offer simple help, like rides to AA meetings or a shoulder to cry on.
Getting Help for a Substance Abuse Problem
Do you, or does somebody you love, have a problem with alcohol or drugs? You’re not alone. Many people have walked the path from addiction to recovery. You didn’t become addicted overnight, so you can’t be “cured” of your substance use disorder overnight.
The first step is usually the hardest, but we assure you that we’re here to help. Just call us at 866-227-1437 to learn more about treatment plans and services.