How to Help a Loved One Struggling with Addiction

Written by Journey Pure Staff

How To Help A Loved One Who Is Struggling With Addiction

There are few experiences more painful than watching someone you love struggle with addiction. If you happen to be living with that person during his or her active substance abuse, the stress is compounded. Whether this loved one is a spouse, partner, child or parent, the situation can be agonizing and precarious and must be handled with tact and care. So, what should you do if you suspect you are living with an addict?

The first step to take if you believe you may be living with someone struggling with addiction is to contact a professional for guidance. Your conversations will be held in confidence and experts can help illuminate the reality of the situation you face. Often times, the answer is obvious. Erratic or secretive behavior, irregular hours, and borrowing or stealing money are hallmarks of active drug use. Facing and coping with the reality of the situation can be very difficult for the addict and his or her family. Family members are just as likely to be in denial about the gravity of the circumstances. Addressing the situation directly with honesty and care id the first step towards healing.

As mentioned above, the active user’s behavior will often be unpredictable. Therefore, you need to be firm, yet understanding. Many people struggling with addiction additionally suffer from co-occurring disorders such as trauma, PTSD, etc. By consulting a professional, you will be better prepared to interact with your loved one and anticipate his or her responses.

In some cases, an intervention may be the best course of action. The goal of an intervention is to present the substance abuser with a structured opportunity to accept help and make changes.

Enlisting the help of an intervention specialist is highly recommended. Experienced interventionists are equipped to keep the process on track while navigating potential obstacles like resistance and denial.

The interventionist will also act as a guide for the next steps. If the addict agrees to seek help, the intervention specialist will present a trusted network of treatment center options and help match your loved one with the right place for his or her recovery. If the intervention is unsuccessful, the specialist will offer advice about moving forward. In some cases, your loved one may refuse help at the time of the intervention, but once the idea of a recovery plan has been planted, come back later to ask for help.

Above all, living with an active user can leave you feeling lonely, frustrated, scared, and helpless. Working with the support of an intervention or addiction specialist means you are not facing the situation alone.

Ultimately, each person must seek recovery on his or her own terms, but you can support your loved one’s path. Often, it is the love of a spouse, parent or child that leads the addict to take the first steps toward sobriety.

If you suspect a loved one is in active addiction, contact a specialist at JourneyPure at the River today for help.