Helping a Loved One With Addiction

If someone in your life struggles with substance abuse, it’s natural to be concerned and want to help. However, it’s not always easy to know precisely how to help an addict without first obtaining some basic knowledge about addiction and the treatment options available.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Before understanding how to help an addict, it’s vital to first be aware of addiction’s signs and symptoms. Once you have more knowledge about this chronic disease, you’ll better understand what your loved one is going through.

The signs of addiction in a family member can manifest in physical, behavioral, and psychological ways. Some of these symptoms will differ depending upon which type of substance is being abused.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

Some physical signs and symptoms of addiction include:

  • Extreme lethargy
  • Bloodshot eyes or constricted pupils
  • Weight, appetite, skin, and eating habit changes
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Decrease in personal hygiene
  • Showing symptoms of withdrawal when substances aren’t available

Behavior change may show up, which may make that person act very differently. Some signs include:

  • Lack of interest in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed
  • New friends and social circles
  • Lowered performance in school or at work
  • Stealing to pay for substances
  • Lying and deceitful behavior to hide how much they’re using
  • Having new issues involving the law
  • Being secretive and withdrawn
  • Not taking care of home, work, or family responsibilities
  • Financial troubles cropping up (asking to borrow money, selling personal items)

Psychologically, you may notice a loved one struggling with substance use disorder will exhibit these symptoms:

  • Have sudden mood swings
  • Seem depressed or anxious
  • Become suspicious or paranoid of those closes to them
  • Withdraw from family and friends emotionally
  • Display apathy or disinterest in most things
  • Having memory or thinking issues

Help Can’t Be Forced on an Addict

You may desperately want to help your loved one overcome addiction, but you can’t force someone to get the treatment they need. You can find out how to help an addict, but be prepared to encounter some resistance.

Someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol might not agree that they have a problem. Other barriers to accepting your help can include shame in admitting to having an addiction. A person may also be using substances to alleviate a mental health issue.

Although you can’t force help on an addict, you still can steer them toward accepting assistance. With the guidance of a professional, a carefully planned intervention can be a way to show your loved one how much everyone cares.

You can also speak calmly and clearly with your loved ones about how their addictive behaviors impact you. Offers on how to help an addict include repeatedly providing information on different drug rehab programs, social support systems, and other ways to achieve sobriety. Eventually, this person in your life will likely decide to reach out for help.

Helping an Addict Without Enabling Them

Ironically, those closest to someone with addiction are sometimes enabling the substance abuse. Often referred to as codependency, this behavior stems from a wish to help the person by showing love, but this behavior actually ends up hurings rather than helping.

For example, you may continue to give your loved one money, but it is spent on drugs and alcohol. You may drive someone to a bar with the thought of protecting them from driving under the influence, but this only enables more drinking.

Steps To Help an Addicted Loved One

Learn how to help an addict by following these steps:

  • Keep in mind that addiction is a brain disease and not a choice.
  • People with addiction have to help themselves and learn firsthand how to manage this disease.
  • You can encourage your loved one to get help, listing the various treatment resources available.
  • Be an example of healthy living by not using substances yourself.
  • Provide support without enabling addiction.
  • Never give up hope. Your loved one will eventually seek out help with your repeated support and encouragement.

Finally, if you require help for an addict, the addiction experts at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab can provide support. We have many facilities around Florida to provide comprehensive treatment to anyone dealing with addiction. Contact us today to discover the most effective treatments for overcoming addiction.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.