Maybe you’re looking into things like rehab facilities and Alachua Marchman Act services. Maybe you just want the right words to tell your friend or family member that you’ll always love them despite their difficulties. No matter what you’re going through, here are eight tips for successfully emerging on the other side.
1. Understand the Fundamentals of Addiction
Do some research into the nature of addiction before you consider yourself an expert on what your loved one is handling. You might be surprised to learn about the severity of withdrawal symptoms or the lesser-known impacts of certain drugs on the body. You might also be alarmed to recognize more warning signs of serious addiction than you thought. You won’t know until you do your homework.
2. Host an Intervention
If your loved one hasn’t realized the full extent of their addiction, it can help to hold an intervention of their behalf. The trick is not to judge or blame them for their substance abuse. Don’t use the intervention as an excuse to lash out for any kind of bad behavior that they might have exhibited while under the influence. Instead, focus on how much you care about them and want them to get help.
3. Drive Them to Support Groups
Being a chauffeur on “support group Wednesdays” can have multiple benefits. For starters, it can give you peace of mind that your loved one is actually attending those AA/NA meetings and not just lying about them. It can also show your loved one that you aren’t ashamed to be seen with them. It’s a physical gesture of emotional support, and it can bolster them before they put themselves through the wringer of a meeting.
4. Help Them Look Into Rehabilitation Options
A common misconception about rehab facilities is that they all look and function the same. In truth, some will be large, sprawling live-in centers while others will be cozier buildings that only offer therapy sessions and outpatient programs. Some will house residents for 30 days; others will let people live with them for a full 90-120 days. Some will be divided by gender. Some will be more expensive than others. Your loved one will have lots of options, and you can help them make a decision that’s right for them.
5. Evaluate the Danger
Is your loved one’s addiction slipping out of their control? Have they become a danger to themselves or their dependents? You might need to consider something like the Marchman Act. It’s a drastic step that should only be utilized in serious situations, but with the Marchman Act preventing overdoses throughout the state of Florida, it might be just what you need to protect your loved one from their own addiction.
6. Coordinate With Others
This can be particularly helpful if the addiction is causing upset in your entire family. Instead of leaving everyone to stress and worry as individuals, consider getting together and coordinating your assistance efforts. For example, you might host an intervention together, or you might take turns paying the person’s rent while they’re in rehab. If nothing else, you can lessen the emotional burden of dealing with an ongoing addiction if everyone shares the weight equally.
7. Talk to Your Loved One
Never underestimate the value of a good conversation. How did your loved one get started with drugs? Where do they buy their alcohol? How much do they use in the average week? What are their triggers? How can you help? Don’t be afraid to ask personal questions. There’s a chance that your loved one has been silently struggling for awhile, and if you can give them an outlet for their feelings, they might be ready and willing to open up.
8. Don’t Play the Blame Game
Last but certainly not least, don’t point your finger at someone who is probably already struggling with self-worth issues. Addiction is a disease. You wouldn’t blame someone for getting cancer, so don’t blame them for their dependency on drugs or alcohol, either. Let your compassion guide your actions when it comes to your loved one. Don’t let anger, shame or resentment take the wheel.
These are just a few things to consider if you’re trying to help a loved one with their addiction. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you can’t make them overcome their demons. You can only provide love, support and resources for them to re-take control of their own life.